For more than a century, a Victorian-era row house in Philadelphia has been the home of a forward-thinking women’s rights group. Today, nowadays, the building has grown into a boutique hotel with much of its stimulating past lingering inside.
Now known as the Guild House Hotel, this new boutique hotel in the Washington Square West area of Philly opened to the public on September 15, 2021.
Founded in 1882, the New Century Guild occupied this Italian-style Victorian building at 1307 Locust Street from 1906 to 2017. It was sold to Civetta Property Group, a private real estate investment company in Philadelphia, in August 2018. In 2020, the still active guild was renamed the Gender Justice Fund – its current name – and re-focused its focus on ending gender-based oppression.
“It was not an easy decision, as the property had been their home for a century, but their goal is to advance the causes of gender justice and so they decided to sell the property,” said Brennan Tomasetti. , co-founder of Civetta Property Group. and member of the association’s board of directors.
A three-year process from acquisition to transformation, the current Guild House Hotel has undergone a top-to-bottom renovation overseen by ROHE Creative, a Philadelphia-based, female-owned interior design studio. Philadelphia-based architecture firm Moto Designshop has completed its preservation.
During the early stages of the project, Tomasetti noted that the house was in a “fairly rough” shape, where in many areas the ceilings had collapsed.
Many ornate architectural elements of the building, as well as the addition of eight new bathrooms, were carried out. “It was important that we honor the history but also that we transform the property into a modern luxury experience,” explained Tomasetti.
Preserving its architectural past, the 12-room hotel features seven ornate fireplace mantels, a library with extensive woodwork, and period lighting in some rooms. The property has also received property from the New Century Guild, including books from their library, a piano, tables and desks, as well as artwork ranging up to portraits and images of guild members. .
“When they found out about our business and our intention to honor history, they gifted it to us,” said Tomasetti.
Guild members included suffragists, educators, artists, writers and poets as well as leaders of the NAACP and the Pennsylvania Suffrage Association.
The Gender Justice Fund website cites that the guild had been pushing for equal wages, better working conditions and greater political representation, while providing professional and practical training and support.
“Their impact on Philadelphia, and America as a whole, is incredible, and that’s just the part that we’ve discovered,” noted Tomasetti. “There are still many, many more stories to tell. “
At the Guild House Hotel, some names of these women are revealed. Each of the hotel’s 12 rooms is attributed to a founder or member of the New Century Guild. On average, prices will range between $ 250 and $ 600 per night for suite styles ranging from Junior and Queen Quarter Suites to King Salons and The Deluxe Suite.
To continue its roots in empowering women, The Guild House Hotel partners with women-owned businesses in Philadelphia and beyond.
Coffee is provided by Sip & Sonder, an entrepreneurial and creative hub owned by black women where coffee, community and culture connect. The tea is supplied by Blushing Wren, which sources locally grown and sustainably grown ingredients that are also hand harvested and gently blended. Bath products come from Fork & Melon, a clean line of skin and body care products.
The Guild House Hotel is close to Philly’s Washington Square Park, Avenue of the Arts, the Old Town district and Walnut Street shopping. Visit their website at guildhousehotel.com.