Property of the Week - Hail Columbia House - 338 Spruce St, Philadelphia PA 19106
For 227 years the Hail Columbia House has been an echo of the early days of the newly independent USA. Its three stories plus a dormer fourth floor, its charming garden and its oh-so-essential garage create a rare urban oasis stretching from Spruce Street to Cypress Street. Open the deep blue front door flanked by its historical marker and you enter a 30-foot long hallway with wide planked pine floors. There are 2 sitting rooms each has a wood-burning fireplace surrounded by floor-to-ceiling moldings. The hallway ends at what the original builder called “the piazza.” This is the transitional area between the front of the house and the rear. Here the original staircase with its graceful handrails, created without the design benefit of a computer, takes you to the second and third stories. Turn left off the piazza into the sunroom, which also delivers you out to the garden or back to one of the sitting rooms. Past the staircase enter into original kitchen and its cooking fireplace, now the dining room. From the dining room enter into the newly built custom kitchen with a mahogany and quartz island with seating for four. Large side windows look onto the planted outside corridor and French doors lead to the garden where you can enjoy morning coffee or evening drinks. The kitchen was designed for people who like to cook and eat. Floor to ceiling custom cupboards, drawers and pull out pantries provide ample storage for dishes, utensils and food storage. A professional gas stove with a duel fuel convection oven is supplemented by a Wolf stem oven and a GE microwave. The landscaped garden features flowering vines covering the garage’s rear brick wall, and to the side is a perennial garden. The garage opens onto Cypress Street, as does the back door of the property. The second level features a sitting room, currently used as an at home office, a master bedroom, a walk-in closet, and custom bathroom. Both bedroom and bathroom have fireplaces. The wide, walk-in bathroom shower has custom porcelain walls and seating. A Toto toilet and double vanity. The next landing leads into the laundry room with glass-fronted storage, washer, dryer and laundry sink. The third level features 2 additional bedrooms and a shared bathroom with custom porcelain walls surrounding the bathtub and another Toto programmable toilet. The original hand crafted wooden spiral staircase leads to the fourth floor. Here you will find a bedroom, bathroom, separate living room (now used for storage) and a cedar storage closet.
Hail Columbia House
Joseph Hopkinson and his wife Emily Mifflin Hopkinson moved into this house in 1794. Both their fathers had signed the Declaration of Independence. His father also designed the first Stars and Stripes, which had six stars. Her father went on to serve as governor of Pennsylvania. The young couple raised the first four of their 14 children here. In 1798 the 27-year old Joseph wrote the words to Hail Columbia. It was performed as a national anthem until the 1890s, before the Star Spangled Banner was officially adopted in 1931, according to the Library of Congress. Later he served as a congressman and federal judge. Their house was built between 1785 and 1791 by the cabinet maker Jesse Williams.
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