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A house designed by Louis Kahn in Philadelphia. Photo by Melissa Romero

9 homes Louis Kahn designed in and around Philly

The architect’s small collection of residential work is limited to the Philly region

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Within Louis Kahn’s short-lived yet illustrious career, he only designed nine residences, and all of them are located in the Philadelphia region.

From the stunning Kahn Korman House in Fort Washington—his final and biggest home—to the restored Clever House in Cherry Hill, Kahn's homes are intimate dwellings. The majority of them have been deemed historic and have had long-time stewards as owners, while the future of other residences remain uncertain. Let's have another look at Lou’s beauties.

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1. The Jesse and Ruth Oser House

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628 Stetson Rd
Elkins Park, PA 19027

This Elkins Park house was Kahn's earliest residential commission. It was designed in 1940 for Jesse and Ruth Oser; Kahn and Jesse Oser went to Central High School in Philadelphia together and remained friends. The house sits on the former estate of hat baron J.B. Stetson, so it already had some features that Kahn had to work around: “He had little choice,” reads The Houses of Louis Kahn, “but to situate the house above, on a north-facing slope.” The fireplace, surrounded by Mercer tile, was a standout in the press, as it was the anchor of what Kahn called the conversation nook—a kind of dedicated family gathering spot that would be replicated in later residential projects.

The interior of the Jesse and Ruth Oser House in Pennsylvania. This is an old black and white photograph. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

2. The Philip and Jocelyn Roche House

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2101 Harts Ln
Conshohocken, PA 19428

The Philip and Jocelyn Roche House in Whitemarsh Township was built around 1947 (there is some confusion about the construction timeline), and features a Kahn-signature brick wall in the living room. Surrounded by a lush landscape, the three-bedroom home also has ties to Oscar Stonorov. It last sold in 2014 for $710,000.

The exterior of the Philip and Jocelyn Roche House in Pennsylvania. via Linda Baron, BHHS Fox & Roach-Blue Bell

3. The Morton Weiss House

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2935 Whitehall Rd
East Norriton, PA 19403

Winner of the 1950 AIA Gold Medal, Kahn described the Weiss House in East Norriton Township, Pennsylvania, as "a house that is contemporary, but does not break away from tradition." The wood and stone structure, built between 1947 and 1950 for local menswear shop owner Morton Weiss and his wife, showcases Kahn's signature connection to the outdoors through a unique window system—residents can rearrange opaque and transparent panels in the living space to control the amount of light being let in throughout the course of the day.

This future of this home remains uncertain and in the hands of a developer. Though neighbors rallied to save the home from demolition, it has been on and off the market for years.

4. The Samuel and Ruth Genel House

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201 Indian Creek Rd
Wynnewood, PA 19096

Louis Kahn designed this four-bedroom, five and a half bath home for Samuel and Ruth Genel in 1951. It’s often been compared to the Weiss House, since it used similar materials of cedar and stone, but Kahn once said the Genel Residence was far more superior.

The exterior of the Samuel and Ruth Genel House in Pennsylvania. Courtesy of the Marshall David Meyers Collection, Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania

5. The Norma and Bernard Shapiro House

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417 Hidden River Rd
Narberth, PA 19072

Built between 1958 and 1962 for Norma and Bernard Shapiro, Kahn's clients knew exactly what they wanted from their Kahn-designed home: Privacy. They had to have been pleased with the result; the family still owns the residence. Built on a steep slope, the upper entry level features the living area, while the lower level contains sleeping areas and a den.

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6. The Margaret Esherick House

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204 Sunrise Ln
Philadelphia, PA 19118

The house he designed for Margaret Esherick, niece of sculptor Wharton Esherick, at 204 Sunrise Lane in 1959, is one of the architect's more well-known works. It was recently sold for a little less than a million dollars, a relatively small sum that some contribute to the fact that it has only one bedroom. Over the past couple of years, Kevin Yoder Design has led a major restoration of the home that earned national recognition from Docomomo.

7. Fred E. and Elaine C. Clever House

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417 Sherry Way
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

You may remember that the Clever House was recently sold, and for less than $300,000. The house was designed in 1957 for Fred E. and Elaine Cox Clever, who commissioned the starchitect to build the Cherry Hill, New Jersey abode for them after seeing his influential "Trenton Bath House." The three-bedroom, two-bath home sits on .62 acres was built during a period in which Kahn was interested in structures based on triangular geometries, the central element of the home is its large living room, which features an 18-foot ceiling composed of four large angular gables, each fitted with a large triangular window. This living area is surrounded by five smaller rooms, each with its own pyramidal roof. Today, the new owners Kevin Lyons and Jennifer Smith are currently restoring the home bit by bit.

8. The Norman and Doris Fisher House

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197 E Mill Rd
Hatboro, PA 19040

Louis I. Kahn's Fisher House was built in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, between 1960 and 1967 for a well-respected doctor, the late Norman Fisher. In 2012, Norman Fisher's children began the process of prepping the house for sale through the National Trust, which is in charge of ensuring that its architectural integrity is preserved. Norman Fisher's daughter Nina wrote about what she learned from growing up in a Louis Kahn house: "I was all of three years old when my parents, Norman and Doris Fisher, met Louis Kahn for the first time...They didn’t press Kahn to hurry through plans, and they didn’t accept the first design he laid out on paper. They became a team, my parents and Lou, assessing needs versus desires, considering fiscal constraints, and scrutinizing Lou’s many drawings, plans, and scribbles. They fully embraced his visionary approach and poetic take on architecture."

The exterior of the Norman and Doris Fisher House in Pennsylvania. Photo by Melissa Romero

9. Kahn Korman House

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6019 Sheaff Ln
Fort Washington, PA 19034

The two-story Korman House in Montgomery County, built in 1973, was Kahn’s last completed residential work and also his largest. Steven and Toby Korman wanted ample space to raise their three boys, and Kahn collaborated with E. Arol Fesmire, who he had also worked with on the Fisher House, to build a 6,500-square-foot home. According to Whitaker and Marcus in The Houses of Louis Kahn, it still feels just as intimate as his smaller designs. Current status: The Korman’s oldest son Larry and his family have lived in the house since 1998, and the structure has been meticulously preserved. 

The exterior of the Kahn Korman House in Pennsylvania. Courtesy of Flickr

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1. The Jesse and Ruth Oser House

628 Stetson Rd, Elkins Park, PA 19027
The interior of the Jesse and Ruth Oser House in Pennsylvania. This is an old black and white photograph. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

This Elkins Park house was Kahn's earliest residential commission. It was designed in 1940 for Jesse and Ruth Oser; Kahn and Jesse Oser went to Central High School in Philadelphia together and remained friends. The house sits on the former estate of hat baron J.B. Stetson, so it already had some features that Kahn had to work around: “He had little choice,” reads The Houses of Louis Kahn, “but to situate the house above, on a north-facing slope.” The fireplace, surrounded by Mercer tile, was a standout in the press, as it was the anchor of what Kahn called the conversation nook—a kind of dedicated family gathering spot that would be replicated in later residential projects.

628 Stetson Rd
Elkins Park, PA 19027

2. The Philip and Jocelyn Roche House

2101 Harts Ln, Conshohocken, PA 19428
The exterior of the Philip and Jocelyn Roche House in Pennsylvania. via Linda Baron, BHHS Fox & Roach-Blue Bell

The Philip and Jocelyn Roche House in Whitemarsh Township was built around 1947 (there is some confusion about the construction timeline), and features a Kahn-signature brick wall in the living room. Surrounded by a lush landscape, the three-bedroom home also has ties to Oscar Stonorov. It last sold in 2014 for $710,000.

2101 Harts Ln
Conshohocken, PA 19428

3. The Morton Weiss House

2935 Whitehall Rd, East Norriton, PA 19403

Winner of the 1950 AIA Gold Medal, Kahn described the Weiss House in East Norriton Township, Pennsylvania, as "a house that is contemporary, but does not break away from tradition." The wood and stone structure, built between 1947 and 1950 for local menswear shop owner Morton Weiss and his wife, showcases Kahn's signature connection to the outdoors through a unique window system—residents can rearrange opaque and transparent panels in the living space to control the amount of light being let in throughout the course of the day.

This future of this home remains uncertain and in the hands of a developer. Though neighbors rallied to save the home from demolition, it has been on and off the market for years.

2935 Whitehall Rd
East Norriton, PA 19403

4. The Samuel and Ruth Genel House

201 Indian Creek Rd, Wynnewood, PA 19096
The exterior of the Samuel and Ruth Genel House in Pennsylvania. Courtesy of the Marshall David Meyers Collection, Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania

Louis Kahn designed this four-bedroom, five and a half bath home for Samuel and Ruth Genel in 1951. It’s often been compared to the Weiss House, since it used similar materials of cedar and stone, but Kahn once said the Genel Residence was far more superior.

201 Indian Creek Rd
Wynnewood, PA 19096

5. The Norma and Bernard Shapiro House

417 Hidden River Rd, Narberth, PA 19072

Built between 1958 and 1962 for Norma and Bernard Shapiro, Kahn's clients knew exactly what they wanted from their Kahn-designed home: Privacy. They had to have been pleased with the result; the family still owns the residence. Built on a steep slope, the upper entry level features the living area, while the lower level contains sleeping areas and a den.

417 Hidden River Rd
Narberth, PA 19072

6. The Margaret Esherick House

204 Sunrise Ln, Philadelphia, PA 19118

The house he designed for Margaret Esherick, niece of sculptor Wharton Esherick, at 204 Sunrise Lane in 1959, is one of the architect's more well-known works. It was recently sold for a little less than a million dollars, a relatively small sum that some contribute to the fact that it has only one bedroom. Over the past couple of years, Kevin Yoder Design has led a major restoration of the home that earned national recognition from Docomomo.

204 Sunrise Ln
Philadelphia, PA 19118

7. Fred E. and Elaine C. Clever House

417 Sherry Way, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

You may remember that the Clever House was recently sold, and for less than $300,000. The house was designed in 1957 for Fred E. and Elaine Cox Clever, who commissioned the starchitect to build the Cherry Hill, New Jersey abode for them after seeing his influential "Trenton Bath House." The three-bedroom, two-bath home sits on .62 acres was built during a period in which Kahn was interested in structures based on triangular geometries, the central element of the home is its large living room, which features an 18-foot ceiling composed of four large angular gables, each fitted with a large triangular window. This living area is surrounded by five smaller rooms, each with its own pyramidal roof. Today, the new owners Kevin Lyons and Jennifer Smith are currently restoring the home bit by bit.

417 Sherry Way
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

8. The Norman and Doris Fisher House

197 E Mill Rd, Hatboro, PA 19040
The exterior of the Norman and Doris Fisher House in Pennsylvania. Photo by Melissa Romero

Louis I. Kahn's Fisher House was built in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, between 1960 and 1967 for a well-respected doctor, the late Norman Fisher. In 2012, Norman Fisher's children began the process of prepping the house for sale through the National Trust, which is in charge of ensuring that its architectural integrity is preserved. Norman Fisher's daughter Nina wrote about what she learned from growing up in a Louis Kahn house: "I was all of three years old when my parents, Norman and Doris Fisher, met Louis Kahn for the first time...They didn’t press Kahn to hurry through plans, and they didn’t accept the first design he laid out on paper. They became a team, my parents and Lou, assessing needs versus desires, considering fiscal constraints, and scrutinizing Lou’s many drawings, plans, and scribbles. They fully embraced his visionary approach and poetic take on architecture."

197 E Mill Rd
Hatboro, PA 19040

9. Kahn Korman House

6019 Sheaff Ln, Fort Washington, PA 19034
The exterior of the Kahn Korman House in Pennsylvania. Courtesy of Flickr

The two-story Korman House in Montgomery County, built in 1973, was Kahn’s last completed residential work and also his largest. Steven and Toby Korman wanted ample space to raise their three boys, and Kahn collaborated with E. Arol Fesmire, who he had also worked with on the Fisher House, to build a 6,500-square-foot home. According to Whitaker and Marcus in The Houses of Louis Kahn, it still feels just as intimate as his smaller designs. Current status: The Korman’s oldest son Larry and his family have lived in the house since 1998, and the structure has been meticulously preserved. 

6019 Sheaff Ln
Fort Washington, PA 19034