Schuylkill View, Manayunk

December 13, 2011 |  by  |  Found  |  , , ,

Photo: Ben Leech

Somewhere around the 3800 block of Main Street in Manayunk, I pulled the car over to take some photos of this endearingly ugly old garage with a roofline like none I’ve ever seen before.  You sometimes see garden walls built this way, capped with sharp upturned stones like something Fred and Barney would have built, but a whole building in this style is a rarity.  Walking around to get a better look at a side wing with a collapsed roof, I noticed a little rock outcropping a ways farther up the hill.  Then I notice the steps and the arch.  I followed them up a cleft in the hillside to discover….

Photo: Ben Leech

Nothing much.  A grassy clearing at the top of the hill, cut off from the rowhouses lining Cresson Street by the Norristown Septa tracks.  But any disappointment I felt at the anticlimax of this empty plot was later soothed by the discovery of what once stood there.  In T.M. Fowler’s 1907 Bird’s Eye View of Manayunk, if you squint, you can see a Victorian mansion on the hill above the warehouses and factories lining the Schuylkill banks.  You can also see a carriage house below it with a roofline capped in little upturned stones, and unless I’m imagining things, a little archway off to the side.

The house was once known as Schuykill View, the picturesque estate of millowner Richard Hey.  It was one of many such mansion “Views” (along with Fairview, Tower View, and others) that once lined the cliffs of Victorian Manayunk.  All are now gone, except for this carriagehouse folly and some steps that lead to nowhere.


View Larger Map

 

About the author

Ben Leech is a preservationist, architectural historian and illustrator based in Philadelphia and Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Instagram @bentleech and support his capitalist alter-ego at Archivolt Press



2 Comments


  1. What a great find – always one of my favorite Philly things and to think it was a historical holdover. Amazing. Thanks!

  2. I know of the current owner

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
African-American Abolitionist & Son Of Former Vice President Aaron Burr Receives Formal Recognition

African-American Abolitionist & Son Of Former Vice President Aaron Burr Receives Formal Recognition

August 19, 2019  |  News

The remains of John Pierre Burr, a black Philadelphia abolitionist and natural son of former Vice President Aaron Burr, has resided in an unmarked grave for more than a century. He will receive formal recognition and an official headstone on Saturday, August 24. Kessler Thibert has the details > more

Historic Maritime Landmark Under Threat After Construction Mishap

Historic Maritime Landmark Under Threat After Construction Mishap

August 15, 2019  |  News

Deferred maintenance and a construction error endangers Edward Corner warehouse, one of the waterfront's last prominent reminders of Philadelphia's shipping history. Starr Herr Cardillo has the details > more

In Northeast Philadelphia, A Rich History Of Train Tracks And Acquisitions

In Northeast Philadelphia, A Rich History Of Train Tracks And Acquisitions

August 13, 2019  |  Vantage

Ed Duffy give us a panoramic view of railroad history in Northeast Philadelphia with this longform essay > more

Eastern State Penitentiary Illuminates “Hidden Lives” Of The Incarcerated

Eastern State Penitentiary Illuminates “Hidden Lives” Of The Incarcerated

August 9, 2019  |  News

"Hidden Lives Illuminated," an animated film project created by inmates of SCI Chester, debuts at Eastern State Penitentiary on August 15. Kimberly Haas went inside the state prison to speak with the incarcerated artists > more

Rittenhouse SoundWorks Keeps The Tune Ups Coming In Old Auto Garage

Rittenhouse SoundWorks Keeps The Tune Ups Coming In Old Auto Garage

August 7, 2019  |  Vantage

A Germantown couple bet big on adaptive reuse when they converted an old garage into a full-service recording studio in 2014. Today, they are sought out by musicians from around the globe. Stacia Friedman has the story > more

In Germantown, Saving A Neighborhood's Character One Renovation At A Time

In Germantown, Saving A Neighborhood’s Character One Renovation At A Time

August 2, 2019  |  Vantage

Emily Birdie Busch profiles nine renovation projects in Germantown that are keeping the neighborhood's architectural history within view > more