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Girard Estate in western South Philadephia takes its name from the historic home at its heart: Gentilhommiere, the summer estate of financier Stephen Girard. When Girard died in 1831, he left the home and land to the City of Philadelphia, with income from the estate to be used to support Girard College, the school he established for orphaned white boys. To further that goal, the trustees of the estate built 442 single and twin houses on the estate in the first decades of the 20th century. These homes stand out from rowhouse South Philly not only in being freestanding but also for the variety of architectural styles they boast, including Tudor Revival, Arts and Crafts, Mission, Prairie and Colonial Revival. They were rented for about 50 years before residents pushed the estate to sell them in the early 1950s. Today, these homes, which sell quickly on those rare occasions they go on the market, form a National Register historic district created in 1999. At the heart of the district is Gentilhommiere, now restored as the centerpiece of Girard Park though still closed to the public. The district in turn is the heart of the larger Girard Estate neighborhood, a tight-knit community where friendships stretch back years and families who have come back have brought their relatives with them, such is its charm.

Girard Estate

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Listing information last updated on February 27th, 2017 at 7:46pm EST.