by Pete Mazzaccaro
Philadelphia Magazine has been building homes in the greater Philadelphia area for 13 years.
A showcase for high-end home building and decorating, the magazine has built multi-million-dollar homes in Delaware, New Jersey and many other locations around the greater Philadelphia area.
This year, however, the magazine chose a location on Graver’s Lane in Wyndmoor, a few blocks from the Philadelphia border of Stenton Avenue. It’s the first time it has built a home in the Northwest suburbs.
At $3.285 million, the 8,200-square-foot home sits on .44 acres. It has three floors, a face of re-purposed Wissahickon schist, a three-car garage, a pool and outdoor kitchen. The home looks like a classic, but a quick tour through the six bedrooms and five full baths, exercise room and caterers’ kitchen is enough to see that the home is clearly contemporary. More than that, it’s a little bit fabulous.
“When we envisioned this project, we wanted to build something suitable for people’s lifestyle today,” said builder Glenn Fauso Jr., owner of Main Street Development in Blue Bell.
And it does just that. Cooley Group agent Tyler Bradley calls it “Wyndmoor 90210.”
Michele Cooley and Bradley were called by Fauso last year and asked to find him a suitable lot, which they did in several hours. The house was built in seven months time.
The purpose of the program is to showcase Philadelphia Magazine’s partners, in particular the companies that build and design the homes. In addition, the magazine works with a number of sponsors that provide everything from technology and automobiles to appliances and decora-tions throughout the home.
Sherry Litwer, Design Home project manager at Philadelphia Magazine, told the Local in a re-cent tour of the design home that 40 organizations – some local in Chestnut Hill – participated. In addition to the Cooley Group of Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach, the listing agents, The Hill Company, Indigo Schuy, Balance, and Threadwell can be found in the home.
The reason so many organizations partner up for the home, to have their goods on display in a showcase, is because of the Design Home’s popularity. Litter said she expected 4,000 people to tour the home in the three and a half weeks it’s open to the public.
“Design Home has its own group of followers, she said. “I will meet people at the door and they say, ‘I come every year.’”
In addition to the advertising potential, Litwer said the home tours serve another purpose.
“The biggest part is to promote the builder, who in this case has taken the biggest risk,” she said, “but the other reason we do Design Home is to raise money for a charity.”
This year, 100 percent of the money raised by selling tickets to tour the Design Home will go to Manna, an organization that provides meals for people with terminal illnesses.
“We’ve been involved with Design Home for many years,” Manna Executive Director Ron Sex-ton told the Local. “ [Philadelphia Magazine publisher] David Lipson has been on our advisory board. We’re really looking forward to working with them again.”
At $25 a ticket, the expected 4,000 in attendance would net the organization $100,000.
“It’s extremely important,” Sexton said of the Design Home in his organization’s fundraising needs. “It not only raises funds but raises awareness about what we do.”
Sexton’s organization provides the volunteers for the Design Home. Some 10 volunteers were stationed around the home who act as docents — answering questions and keeping an eye on all the home’s furnishings.
Cooley said that she expected the home would sell pretty quickly. As is, it is about as state-of-the-art a home can be. There’s even an option to buy the home “as is” with all of the furnishings.
The Design Home is open between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from Oct. 23 through Nov. 16. Tickets are $25 The home is located at 622 E. Gravers Lane in Wyndmoor. To register, visit www.phillymag.com/designhome2014.