The Story of 613 Saint Joseph Street
On the Southwest side of Lancaster City is the diverse neighborhood of Cabbage Hill where Mitch and Patty are the owners of a recently renovated 1860s townhouse. Between the home’s historical characteristics and the vibrant city atmosphere, Mitch and Patty eagerly purchased the 613 Saint Joseph Street residence in August of 2019, and they’ve been its happy homeowners ever since.
After moving in 2014 to the outer suburbs of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the couple was repeatedly drawn to the city’s cultural opportunities and the growing Downtown area. This ultimately led them to move to Saint Joseph Street with their eleven-year-old son where they could be a part of the revitalization efforts and experience the blend of small community and city life for themselves.
Mitch’s connections as a realtor gave them first-hand knowledge of new properties and properties needing revitalization. When it came to 613 Saint Joseph Street, a friend and renovator notified them of the upcoming house-flip. The couple had already been looking in a specific geographic area, and they knew this would be a good match for them. All-in-all the renovation spanned six months, including a new kitchen, an expanded bathroom, and an exterior refresh. The newly renovated 1860s townhouse is located in a charming residential area—historically, a working-class neighborhood—with all the amenities of being just a few blocks away from the heart of Downtown Lancaster.
Throughout the renovation process, Mitch and Patty were able to hand-select the finishes to make the space unique to them while also maintaining the home’s historical characteristics. As a couple with great appreciation for historical features, retaining the older attributes of the home was key. Though updated, the townhouse has what they believe are the original wood floors with square nail heads—something you don’t see in modern architecture. In fact, the Cabbage Hill neighborhood is full of historic elements dating back to the 1860s when Henry C. Locher, a successful tannery owner, invested in real estate development. Many of the homes built during this development boom still stand today. As an added bit of history, in the 1900s Saint Joseph Street was even home to a trolly line.
Other historic features of the home include its sturdy construction style and the use of wooden beams which often aren’t included in newly constructed homes. Additionally, in the front living space is an exposed red brick wall—evidently hand-done based on the lack of precision that is more typical of today’s technology. The imperfections of the brick wall, however, are near and dear to Mitch and Patty’s hearts as the brickwork is likely the same today as it was when originally built.
A modern element that the couple loves is the open-concept floor plan on the main level. As a long, narrow home, guests in the kitchen can see through to both the dining room and front living room. At the same time, the house also has a distinctive feeling of defined space which has been very convenient for their family. To watch TV and play video games, the third-floor attic space was converted into a family room, or for quiet phone conversations, the first-floor living area is a great option. Though small in terms of square footage, the various levels, and spatial definition likens to that of a much larger property. This blend of open and separate living spaces has given the family significant flexibility day-to-day.
During the past year, Mitch and Patty have truly enjoyed making this house their home. Being just a 10-15 minute walk to Central Market, they’ve found the area is perfect for their lifestyle. A few local favorites of theirs include Max’s Eatery, Shot & Bottle, Tellus360, and 551 West, a local pub. It’s safe to say that Mitch and Patty thoroughly appreciate the close proximity to and diversity of Downtown Lancaster. The past year has also given them an opportunity to establish what it is they can do to take their home to the next level. For now, they’re working to make the office space more functional and are looking forward to making the backyard liveable.
For help locating a home that’s right for you, contact the Jeremy Ganse Team at (717) 208-4240. We have extensive knowledge about the best residential areas in the county, and we’d love to help you find the home that fits your wants and needs. We look forward to hearing from you!