Are There Brownstones in Philadelphia?

Primarily constructed during the second half of the 19th century, brownstone homes are among the oldest styles of residential housing in the United States. With the signature brown-red facade, brownstone townhouses are designed to seamlessly blend multi-story houses. While typically found in numerous New York neighborhoods such as Brooklyn and parts of Manhattan, this historic architecture is in other urban areas, including the City of Brotherly Love. While most brownstone townhouses are located in Rittenhouse Square, they can also be found in areas such as Society Hill and Washington Square West. 

At The Mike McCann Team, we can help get you into the home of your dreams. Whether you’re looking for that special brownstone in Center City or new construction townhomes in Old City, we have you covered. Let’s take a look at the beautiful and stately homes known as brownstones.  

What Makes a Brownstone a True Brownstone?

A true brownstone is made of brick. The colored facade is where the name comes from, which is a once-popular building material called sandstone. Sandstone is mined from quarries up and down the American East Coast and turns brown once weathered by iron ore. Brownstone was considered a durable, cheap, and quality building material. It was even used by Pennsylvanian Quakers to build stone mills and mill houses.

The term “brownstone” is often used synonymously with “townhouse” or “rowhome,” although that is not always correct. So what’s the difference? A townhouse is a multi-story urban house that is scaled similarly to its surrounding houses. Technically, a brownstone is distinguished by the reddish-brown sandstone on the outside.

Pros and Cons of a Brownstone

Historic brownstones in Philadelphia present a stately, revolutionary aesthetic that buyers and pedestrians alike find appealing. There is a certain charm tethered to the zeitgeist of the city itself, as many brownstones have an accessible rich history tracing back to the 1700s. They usually have a bit more space than your average city dwelling. These homes may require maintenance and have an increasing market value, but many owners will tell you they’re well worth it. In fact, as brownstones get more and more popular with seasoned investors and homeowners, it’s no surprise that a large portion of the “window-shoppers” or even genuinely interested buyers get priced out quickly.

Choose The Mike McCann Team

With over 8,000 properties sold, the Mike McCann team has your best interests in mind. For condos for sale in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia, or if you are looking for a REALTOR® serving the region that can help you find your next brownstone, townhouse, or rowhome, contact us today!

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