Three Homes on Lombard Street Don’t Exactly Fit In

Ah, the picturesque 1000 block of Lombard Street. Wonderful Seger Park fills up the entire southern side, and on the north side we see a mix of homes that date back over a hundred years and a row of not-entirely-offensive garage front homes that look like they were built in the 1980s. And then there's the three homes at 1017-1021 Lombard St., which don't fall into either category. Perhaps you too have wondered about them at some point.

Older homes on the block

Garage front homes on the eastern side of the block

These don't seem to fit in

Yeah, these homes don't really fit in on this block, or on any other we can think of in Center City. We're pretty sure these homes would be considered an example of Mid-century modern architecture, and we also see a strong Bauhaus influence. Architects and architecture historians out there, please feel free to correct us, we don't claim to be experts on architectural styles. These buildings draw a stark contrast with the surrounding homes, with light colored stucco facades and a single column of windows running up the front of each building. 

We always assumed that these homes were built like this from the ground up, but this doesn't seem to be the case. Looking at the Zoning Archive, it looks like all three properties are pretty old and underwent extensive renovations in 1962, with architect Alfred Gilbert doing the design work. We can't find any info on the guy, but it does seem like he had a preferred style.

It's worth noting, 1019 Lombard St. recently underwent a renovation and is currently listed for sale for $689K. The home has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and the listing suggests it has over 2,000 sqft of living space. This is a little surprising, as the lot is only 14'x45', but perhaps we'll try to make our way through the home at some point to see how they did it. You can too, if you're looking for a house in this neighborhood at this price point. And if you end up buying it, you'll know that people will walk past on a daily basis, wondering why your house is so different from just about every other home in town.