Philadelphia Estate Boasts Hidden Speak Easy

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Behind its stately stone exterior, this Philadelphia mansion is full of secrets and surprises, including a bowling alley, a billiards room and — perhaps most intriguingly — a speakeasy bar concealed behind a false bookcase.

Set on five acres, the 1929 French Normandy-style estate was built during the final years of the Prohibition era, when people sought out speakeasies in order to illegally purchase alcohol. These establishments were often hidden in businesses, boarding houses or, in this case, private homes. The illicit space was — and still is — accessible via a hidden door handle in the billiards room.

The bar still boasts some of its original features, as does the rest of the 17,900-square-foot residence: The wood paneling lining the great room came from a 1650 hunting lodge of King James II of England.

With all this history in a home, I can’t imagine it lasts long. Should you wish to buy it, the asking price is $2.97 million. 

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Stately great room, full of history

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Billiards room

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Entrance to the speakeasy, hidden behind a bookcase

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Grand fireplace in the speakeasy

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Private bowling alley

All photos courtesy of Elfant Wissahickon Realtors in Philadelphia, PA.

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