May 30, 2013

Anthropologie - Philadelphia

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Twenty years ago, the first Anthropologie opened in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
I recently visited their flagship store, located at the corner of Walnut and 18th Streets,
on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.

They're known for their ever-changing interior merchandising and innovative exterior displays.
A perfect example of this was their fun vegetable garden theme. Eye-catching for sure!


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I walked through the door, and this place "had me at hello"! 
Its 4 floors offer not only fabulous designer clothes and accessories, 
but also artsy items for entertaining, gifting, and home decor. 
Unique Bohemian chic!

Now, I'm wowed by any store that you can "explore". 
I love to meander through and find new delights around every corner. 
The ambiance of this Beaux Arts mansion lends an air of old society glamour and sophistication.



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Here's some intriguing background on the place. Sarah Drexel was the daughter of Anthony J. Drexel, financier and founder of Drexel University. A philanthropist and socialite, she was first married to John Fell. Following his death, Sarah had this magnificent Philadelphia mansion built in 1898. Shortly thereafter, she married Alexander Van Renssalaer, and the home became known as the Fell-Van Renssalaer House.


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Although the mansion was gutted in the 1960's, many of the wonderful architectural details remain. 
The floorplan is open and roomy with loads of natural light.


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A modern steel and concrete spiral staircase replaced the original one. 
Alongside the staircase, you'll see an exposed fireplace stacked to each floor. 
Here's a mantelpiece that graces one of the landings. 
I loved that feeling of being enveloped in a sense of history!

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Don't forget to look up! 
A gorgeous Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass dome is directly overhead. 
The dome had been covered over in preparation for WWII. 
Imagine the thrill of uncovering it years later during the refurbishing! 
A priceless treasure!

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An exquisite fireplace mantel and ornate mouldings.

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In what was referred to as the "Doges Room", 
framed oval portraits dramatically cover the vaulted ceiling! 

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Don't you think the young ladies who once lived here would have loved knowing 
that one day their home would be such a fabulous place to shop?


There are 175 Anthropologie stores in the US, UK and Canada.
Here's the Anthropologie website.
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2 comments:

  1. visited earlier today. what an incredible building

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    Replies
    1. I agree, Lelia - it's fabulous!

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