Margaret Esherick House named to Chestnut Hill Historical Society Architectural Hall of Fame
At a gala ceremony 14 November 2015, the Chestnut Hill Historical Society named five inaugural inductees into the community's Architectural Hall of Fame, including the Margaret Esherick House, designed by architect Louis I. Kahn and built in 1961.
Exemplifying spatial clarity and the hallmarks of pure geometry and materiality that would come to define his larger commissions, Kahn's Margaret Esherick House represents one of only nine private homes he designed. Characterized by clarity of form - Kahn's early iteration of servant and served spaces - and materials - natural concrete and Apitong wood - the house is a 2,500-sf jewel box with walls of windows, built-in shelves, and reading nooks built for single bookseller Margaret Esherick. The house features the only intact kitchen in a private home by famed sculptor and woodworker Wharton Esherick, Margaret's uncle. The Esherick House is an AIA Philadelphia Landmark Building and listed on the Philadelphia Registry of Historic Places.
The current owners and a design and construction team including k YODER design collaborated to ensure continued stewardship of the Margaret Esherick House as an important example of Kahn's work and to improve its livability as a 21st century home. New interventions maintain the rigor of servant and served spaces, complement - rather than replicate - aesthetic details, and refine elements not intrinsic to Kahn's vision.