Today I Drove to Grace Kelly’s Childhood Home in Philadelphia

Grace Kelly’s brick childhood home is located in the East Falls section of Philadelphia near the Schuylkill River.

Twenty minutes after I pulled out of Brick House 319’s driveway, I was standing in front of her parents’ former house.

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I paused to read the historical state marker which was erected in front of the former Kelly home in October, 2012.

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It was easy finding the Kelly home. As I drove down Henry Ave, which is a four lane busy road, I saw the large brick home on the left. It’s on a corner lot and at an intersection with a stop light.

I turned off Henry Ave, parked on the side street, and walked down the sidewalk toward the back of the house. I saw a pretty brick staircase leading up to the backyard. There was litter beneath the bottom step which perplexed me. (I cropped the photo.)

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Backstory: Grace Kelly’s father “Jack” returned home after serving in WWI and started his own firm called  Kelly for Brickwork. It was one of the most successful brick businesses on the East Coast. The post war building boom of the 1920s made him a wealthy man. He built the 17-room home shortly before Grace Kelly was born in November 1929.

Grace grew up and lived in the house until she graduated from a local private high school. She then ventured off to NYC to pursue acting and enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

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Grace Kelly’s mother sold the house in 1970.

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The house was in the  news not too long ago. The SPCA received a hot line tip and investigated. Read Philly Mag article here, NY Post article here and YouTube video here.

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The house still looks the same as it did decades ago. I didn’t see a tennis court, apparently their used to be one on the property.

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It has a slate roof.

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A classic, beautiful brick home.

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There’s a detached garage.

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As I walked down Henry Ave, I saw this classic Buick drive by; I quickly turned around to take a photo.

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I like the glass work above the front door and the hanging lantern.

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A park is located across the street from the house.

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Today I Drove to Grace Kelly’s Childhood Home in Philadelphia

  1. Saw Grace Kelly’s wardrobe at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown PA a year or two ago. Just incredible and amazing. She seemed larger than life in films but was actually quite tiny in stature. I also read the book about her several years ago. Quite a life which she lead with true class and grace, unlike many celebs these days.

  2. While in the area did you go to Delassandro’s for a cheese steak?
    They have great cheese steak sandwiches.
    You always hear about everyone going to Jim’s , Pat’s or Tony Luke’s but, Delassandro’s is much better. I see you posted a picture from McMichael park. Delassandro’s is right by their accross from the Golf course.

  3. Mark the Mason here. I still have a tan”Kelly For Brickwork” hardhat ! I worked for them last in ’87, at the Terminal C expansion, ( the old People’s Express, remember them ?) at Newark Airport (EWR). A member of Kelly’s board of directors was Jos. A. Speranza. Now, Speranza Brickwork, Inc. is one of the biggest masonry contractors on the East Coast, in Kelly’s tradition. They’ve done many a memorable project around the Area.
    You see the Kelly house, with a 500-year brick shell, and a 150-year slate roof, built in the Federal Style, will be around for a while. Just the windows & woodwork to paint & maintain. The low-fired, (somewhat soft) standard brick is showing some frost damage, since the ’20’s, but you can see the skillful bricklaying holding up. Those “jack-arches”, or flat arches over the first-storey windows are a bear to produce !
    Thanks for the tour. Keep up the good work at 319 !
    Mark Thompson

    1. That’s amazing! So Kelly Brickwork did commercial jobs in north Jersey too!! Yes, I sure do remember People’s Express…have you seen what the inside of Terminal C looks like now compared to then? Thanks for pointing out details in the brickwork at the Kelly house.

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