Philadelphia Style - - Contents - BY SARAH JOR­DAN

A hand­some Main Line man­sion built with en­ter­tain­ing in mind read­ies for its next house­warm­ing party.

The cin­e­matic good looks of the lat­est New­town Square man­sion to hit the mar­ket are un­de­ni­able. The house in­spires images of leisure time well spent, of cock­tail par­ties on the flag­stone ter­race with guests sip­ping G&TS and ad­mir­ing the sweep­ing views across the 12-plus acres of man­i­cured grounds. Or maybe shoot­ing pool with old friends in the wood-pan­eled li­brary; or a care­free sum­mer pool party for the kids.

Dis­creetly lo­cated just a few min­utes off the Main Line’s main roads, the hand­some stone man­sion—for sale at $5.3 mil­lion— re­sem­bles an English manor house of a by­gone age. Ann Capron of Mcin­tyre Capron & As­so­ciates, a res­i­den­tial ar­chi­tec­ture firm with lo­ca­tions in Philadel­phia and Paoli, spent two years de­sign­ing the metic­u­lously crafted home, which took 14 months to com­plete. Now 17 years old, the home’s grand de­tails ri­val those of much older sub­ur­ban es­tates.

A cus­tom-de­signed heavy oak wood front door opens onto a foyer where one quickly ap­pre­ci­ates the sen­si­ble flow of rooms. No de­tail or de­sign choice has gone un­con­sid­ered, right down to the plat­formed porce­lain dog tub in the mud room with a thought­ful pair of steps for pups to de­scend. The in-ground pool was pur­posely sunk sev­eral feet be­low the level of the house so that the pool--es­pe­cially out of sea­son dur­ing cooler months--would re­main out of view from rear-fac­ing win­dowss.

Hard­wood floors run through­out the gor­geously light-filled home, as well as stun­ning mill­work and mold­ings. “I took cast­ings of all of the mold­ing from the Hare fam­ily es­tate [which he’d pre­vi­ously owned] and du­pli­cated them here ex­actly,” says Tom Bent­ley, who owns the man­sion and is a home builder him­self. The din­ing room, liv­ing room, fam­ily room, and kitchen are all gra­ciously sized. The wide hall­ways give the up­stairs and down­stairs an appealing grandeur.

Its many rooms and fea­tures are ar­ranged for max­i­mum har­mony and logic, in­clud­ing but­ler’s pantries near the din­ing room and kitchen com­plete with a mas­sive butcher block is­land. There is am­ple stor­age and closet space for the six bed­rooms; two full-size dress­ing rooms com­ple­ment the master bed­room; an in-law suite is fur­thest from the heart of the house; a wood­pan­eled study is next to a clubby-look­ing bil­liards room and wet bar; and a play­room (with a wall-to-wall Beauty & the Beast- themed mu­ral) is smartly sta­tioned at the top of the house on its third floor.

“I used to en­ter­tain like crazy,” re­mem­bers Bent­ley, who drew up the floor plans with fun in mind. “The house fits 250 peo­ple no prob­lem. I de­signed the flat area by the ter­race to fit a Cen­tury Tent per­fectly. I have elec­tri­cal lines along the side, so we could set up a band, right into the tent.”

With a mix­ture of nos­tal­gia and prac­ti­cal­ity, he adds: “But, I don’t live that way any­more. It’s for some­body who is en­ter­tain­ing and has a fam­ily and younger kids. I have mem­o­ries of my kids sled­ding in the back­yard, hav­ing their friends over… but they’re older now. We’re in a dif­fer­ent phase of life.”

But, the builder can’t re­sist cre­at­ing again. “I’m itch­ing to build a new house. This place was a la­bor of love, but I’m anx­ious to be­gin a new project.” For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Lisa We­ber Yakulis, Kur­fiss Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty, 25 Morris Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610-517-8445; li­sawe­

A project that took more than a year to build, the stately six- bed­room, eight­bath­room man­sion boasts a game room, gourmet kitchen, and li­brary.

The sky’s the limit: Built with en­ter­tain­ing in mind, owner Tom Bent­ley took spe­cial care in de­sign­ing the pool and out­door ter­race (be­low).

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