Childhood home of Princess Grace bought stays in family

Photo: Shuvaev
Photo: Shuvaev

UPDATED: The birthplace of Princess Grace in Philadelphia has been bought by the royal family in Monaco. The sale of the brick mansion at 3901 Henry Ave. in East Falls has been completed for an unconfirmed price.

Prince Albert told People magazine, “The house was very beautiful and very special to our family. I remember one visit, one of the earliest I recall, Grandma put me up in one of the bedrooms upstairs. I must have been about five and it was one of the first times I remember when I wasn’t put in with my sister. I remember just staring out the window, watching the cars go by, enjoying being alone.”

Albert commented on a separate visit, “I couldn’t have been more than two, probably my first visit to the house. I remember rolling about on the carpet in the living room.”

The 4,000-square-foot house was built by John B. Kelly Sr., father of the actress-turned-princess, in the late 1920s. The house had been listed at $750,000 when it was removed from the market on September 3, but without a recorded deed the exact sale price could not be determined. It had been priced at $1 million when originally listed in July.

kellyfamilyBefore Grace Kelly became an Academy Award-winning movie star, then a princess with her marriage to Prince Rainier III in 1956, the brick Georgian house at Henry Avenue and Coulter Street was her home, completed about the time of her birth in 1929. She lived there with her parents; her brother, John B. Jr.; and her sisters, Margaret and Elizabeth.

In 1950, Grace left East Falls to pursue a modelling and acting career. The family continued to live in the house until its sale by her mother in 1974. John Kelly Sr. died in 1960, and his widow in 1990.

“We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do with it. We’re looking at having it contain some museum exhibit space and maybe use part of it for offices for some of our foundation work,” the Prince said.

Article first published October 16, 2016.