Luxe listing: Historic architecture and a secret garden in Chestnut Hill for $3.25 million

“It was like nothing we’d ever seen before.”

That’s how Robert Pollock, 79, describes his and wife Jane’s reaction to their historic Chestnut Hill home, “Binderton,” when they first saw it in 1993. He adds: “It was like nothing we thought we could own.”

Indeed, the average person looking at Binderton today could be forgiven for thinking the grand eight-bedroom house, close to 12,000 square feet, was a part of a college campus. With its red-brick construction and Jacobean revival details, it strongly resembles buildings that the home’s architecture firm, Cope & Stewardson, designed for Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Princeton and Penn, including the latter’s iconic Quadrangle Dormitories.

Commissioned by J. Wilmer Biddle, a lawyer and high-society stalwart, the house was built between 1903 and 1906. The sumptuous gardens — now spread out over 1.6 acres — were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.’s landscape architecture offices in 1911.

“The chance to buy a house like this,” said Robert, well aware of its sterling pedigree, “was a gift.” Read More 

Landscape Architecture 

Liz Spikol