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Historic Washington Square West home to star in a Temple student’s film

The hauntingly beautiful home’s new owner is on board

Remember that iconic Washington Square West home at 12th and Pine that hit the market last year? More than 300 people walked through the beautiful yet dilapidated historic home at the time, after years of trying to peer through its bay windows. And after more than a dozen offers, it sold for $685,500 to a buyer who planned to restore the corner home to its original beauty.

That’s still the plan, but before all that begins, it’s set to star in a short film.

Althea Rao is a Chinese media artist and filmmaker and a Master in Fine Arts student at Temple University. She had been on the hunt for a place to shoot her MFA thesis film when the Washington Square West home hit the market in September 2016. “I immediately fell in love with this house,” Rao told Curbed Philly in an e-mail. “With the help of a realtor friend, I was able to find the buyer of the house and got in contact with him.”

The new owner agreed to Rao’s request to shoot her short film there and is now the signed on as her second executive producer.

The fantasy film is called “Three Seasons” and is adapted from a Confucius fable, Rao said. It will feature a “pre-Victorian looking western setting and costume design and an Indian lead actress and a Mexican lead actor.”

Rao, who has launched a Kickstarter to help fund the film, said the owner hasn’t done much to the house since buying it, but is in the process of cleaning it out and hiring an architect for the restoration. That will probably take two years or longer.

Filming will only take a few days this May and early June, but we’ll have to wait until the end of the year to see the final film. Here’s what are some photos Rao shared of the home in its current state from a recent scouting visit.

Courtesy of Althea Rao