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Homewood, Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Completed in 1930, for Lt.-Colonel Schofield Andrews (1889-1971) and his second wife, Marie Disston (1890-1971). One of Chestnut Hill's best known mansions, after the Andrews', it was owned by an heiress who lost her father and brother on the Titanic and summered at Miramar in Newport. Later, it was donated by her family to Temple University. Since 1996, it has once again been a private residence. 
Both recent widowers, Andrews was a veteran of the First World War who went on to have a successful career as an attorney and founding partner of Ballard Spahr LLP. His second wife, Marie, was a grand-daughter of Henry Disston (1819-1878), who founded Disston Tools in 1840.

Their new 30-room home, covering 18,000 square feet of living space, was built with a soft brown rubble stone and clay-tile roof in the style of a Norman farmhouse. Homewood is centered on three sides around a large courtyard. The front walls face Crefton Street and a third wing cornered by a conical tower topped by a weather vane protrudes diagonally into the 5-acre gardens behind. The original interior was heavily influenced with art-deco features such as the colorful tiled wall fountain in the Flower Room and the floral fireplace in the dining room.

In 1949, Homewood was purchased by Eleanor Elkins Widener (1891-1966), the ex-wife of Fitz Eugene Dixon (1888-1982). Hiring the architectural firm established by Horace Trumbauer (1868-1938), her family's preferred architect, she set about a major refurbishment plan. The fireplace and 16th century oak-linenfold panelling that once adorned a hunting lodge belonging to King James I (1566-1625) of England were retrofitted into Homewood from the house in which she had spent the previous twenty five years at Ronaele Manor. Otherwise, Mrs Dixon generally 'French-ified' the house, adding a baroque staircase in the entrance hall, larger windows and rustic shutters on the ground floor.

Eleanor Dixon lived at Homewood with her son, Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr. (1923-2006) and daughter-in-law, Edith B. Robb, of Ardmore. After Eleanor's death, the Dixons continued to live in the house until 1969, when they donated it to Temple University. Known as the Eleanor Widener Dixon House, the university renovated the property and it became one of three buildings that made up the "Albert M. Greenfield Conference Center".

In 1996, Homewood became a private residence again when it was purchased and restored by Bill and Ann Hozack. The seven bedroom, seven bathroom house with swimming pool, tennis court, speakeasy bar and bowling alley was most recently on the market with Elfant Wissahickon Realty for $2.5 million.

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