Not too many buildings get a second, much less a third, chance to be useful. Why gut and preserve when you can rebuild? So when a building with significant history gets that chance, it's big news.
This week, the Divine Lorraine on North Broad St debuted its fully restored lobby, but that the building is still standing defies the currents of history. It was designed and built between 1892 and 1894 by Philadelphia architect Willis Hale. Most of Hale's buildings in Philadelphia no longer stand, because the architect had ornate, Victorian tastes that fell out of favor in the 20th century. The Divine Lorraine is lucky not to have been a victim of these changing tastes and preferences.
The building was originally conceived as apartments for North Philadelphia's growing upper class, but in 1900 it was converted into a luxurious hotel. By 1948 the hotel was less luxurious, but still operating when it was purchased by Reverend MJ Divine, a controversial figure who claimed he was an incarnated deity. Divine racially integrated the hotel, making it the first hotel of its class in the US to be fully racially integrated, while operating his religious sect from the building. Divine plays a strange role in religious history, with Jim Jones later claiming to have received the Reverend's reincarnated soul.
By the early 2000s, the building had fallen into disuse and disrepair. Divine's group sold the building to developers, who tried and failed to restore the building, instead resorting to stripping the abandoned building essentially down to its studs. Eventually, a new developer was found to take on the project. They have completely restored the building to its 1930 appearance, and they have fully restored the units to their luxurious former glory. Do you want to see what living in history looks like? Click on the (really long) link below and pick a unit. I'd love to show it to you!
I have 14 years’ experience in residential and commercial properties throughout the Philadelphia area and inner ring suburbs. In my former life, I practiced law in Philadelphia in the areas of Premises and Products Liability, which translated beautifully into having a deep understanding of how houses “work” and Contract Law, not to mention being in the midst of my second personal renovation.
I live with my family in Germantown in a Queen Anne and previously lived in Fishtown until 2011. I am originally a native of Rochester, NY (go Wegmans!) and attended undergrad at Eugene Lang in New York City and University of Rochester, where I received a BA in Political Science in 1998. I attended Law School at State Universit y of New York at Buffalo School of Law where I received a Juris Doctor in 2003 and became a member of the PA Bar as well in 2003. I practiced in Philly for 2 1/2 years before making the leap to real estate, my true love.
I am a dog fanatic with a beautiful Husky/Collie (I’d guess?) mix at home…I can most likely find you a rescue dog too if you’d like one for your home! I am a sucker for old homes with original details, Back staircases, stained glass but love elements of most periods of design.
When I’m not selling houses, I can most often be found hanging out with my two young daughters at all the kid hot spots in town.
2014 & 2018 Space & Company Leadership Award
2017 and 2012 Space & Company Top Producer Transactions Award
2017 Space & Company Double Digit Sales Growth Award
2016 Best Realtor-Philadelphia Home Magazine
2013-2015 Five Star Real Estate Professional Award