The Best of Then and Now
Step beyond the substantial art deco façade and through the solid bronze doors of 210 Washington Square and you’ll discover 49 captivating new condominium residences including 4 Penthouses – each a stunning example of 21st century design housed within a flawlessly refurbished 20th century landmark structure. Built In 1929 using an extravagance of limestone, polished Italian marble, oak and bronze, The Ayer was the original home of advertising giant N.W. Ayer & Sons. Today, this intimately scaled building has been deftly transformed into a sought after address – one that melds gracious ‘on the park’ living with rare landmark architecture and the finest materials, services and amenities from both then and now.
Unsurpassed Landmark Living
Located within Society Hill and directly on storied Washington Square - one of Philadelphia’s five original squares designed by William Penn in 1682 – The Ayer overlooks many significant landmark structures in this newly flourishing historic neighborhood. Refurbished according to Penn’s original grid design, and seen to superb effect from The Ayer’s residences, Washington Square is a lusciously green city arboretum that percolates with rich and varied life. It’s also ideally located. The performing arts venues on the Avenue of the Arts and Walnut Street are within easy walking distance. So too are the art galleries in Old City, the shopping on Walnut Street, the Independence Hall Historical sites, the Delaware waterfront and many of Philadelphia’s best restaurants and clubs.
As demonstrated by many of his award-winning commissions, the Philadelphia architect Wesley Wei is marvelously adept at creating clean, contemporary dwellings within historical frameworks. The Ayer is the most recent of his celebrated works. “My goal was to respect the bones and details of the original building while creating clean, modern residences that reflect how we live today,” explains Wei. “The days of service at the dining table are increasingly rarefied. Most people live informally. So I’ve made the spaces between kitchen, dining room and living room open and organic.”As a result of Wei’s trademark modernist approach, the living spaces are unhampered by light blocking walls. “I wanted to take maximum advantage of the massive windows and high ceilings,” says Wei. “By not strictly defining living spaces, we’ve been able to capitalize on the great light while also giving the residences an easy, elegant flow.” The distinctive Wei imprint is also seen in this use of substantial materials. “I prefer to add texture and color to a space with natural materials rather than with paint,” says Wei. “In the case of The Ayer, These materials are natural stone and wood.”