The Space

By J. Cooper Robb
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Feb. 22, 2006

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Photographs by Jeff Fusco

Heather Rogers
Occupation: General manager of Mum Puppettheatre.
Neighborhood: Society Hill.
Style: 3,500-square-foot 19th-century federal-style home.

Imagine this scenario: You reside in a nice, modest home in South Philadelphia. Then out of the blue you're asked to housesit in one of the city's finest homes. This was exactly the question posed to Heather Rogers when Pat Coyle, a board member at Mum Puppettheatre, where Rogers is general manager, asked if she'd housesit Pat and her husband Ed's magnificent Society Hill home. Now a few months into her stay, she gave us a tour of her spectacular-albeit temporary-address.


When did you move in?
"I came here in May. Originally the plan was for me to stay until November. But they called me last August and asked me if I'd mind staying until July instead. I was like, 'Sure!'"

Had you been here before?
"I'd been once before, so I knew how beautiful it was."

It's magnificent. But it's a big change to up and move. Was there any hesitation on your part?
"No. It was more just a matter of talking with them about what my responsibilities would be."

I'd be nervous that I'd break something.
"I'm not really. The house is incredibly comfortable. I mean, it's gorgeous, and I love seeing my friends' faces when they first walk in, but the house isn't intimidating in any way. It's very homey. It's like the house hugs you back."

How many bedrooms are there?
"There are three bedrooms. It's a big house, but it doesn't feel cold or barren. Their architect Brett Webber redid the entire place when they moved in about five years ago, and the house is wonderfully open. The kitchen is fabulous, and it has this unbelievably pretty garden with a large balcony off the second floor that looks over it."

If I lived here, I'd never go out.
"I actually go out more than I used to because the location is so much more convenient than South Philly in terms of being near all the theaters and restaurants and things. On the Fourth of July, for instance, I just walked a few blocks to the river to watch the fireworks, and afterward I was home in a couple minutes. It's a great neighborhood to live in, and the neighbors are really nice."

I like having the dining room on the second floor, and the breakfast room off the kitchen is great.
"I love this floor. And the living room has an atrium, which makes it also feel more open on this floor."

What's your favorite room?
"It's not so much a room as this little nook between the dining room and kitchen, where the window seat is. I love sitting there in the morning with my coffee and just watching everyone walk down the street."

What's your favorite thing about being here?
"I love the garden. It was unbelievably pretty in the snow. I like to garden, and I've gotten to do a lot of it here. In South Philly we just have a slab of concrete."

Do you feel different living here?
"I do. I feel like a princess. I have a taste for the good life now."

More images from this Space can be found below.

Got a great space? Email J. Cooper Robb (jrobb@philadelphiaweekly.com) with your name, neighborhood and contact info.


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