When Sara O'Malley's parents, Thomas and Eleanor Kinsella, purchased their three-bedroom home on Addison Street in Society Hill, they already were somewhat familiar with the quiet, historic Philadelphia neighborhood.

They became familiar with the area while visiting family, she said.

Born in Dublin, Thomas Kinsella is among Ireland's most celebrated contemporary poets. He is known for his writing as well as for his Gaelic translations and for his teaching at Southern Illinois University and Temple University.

Eventually the couple decided to make the Philadelphia home their U.S. base of operations.

"We made the top floor bedroom into a study so while the grandchildren had the full use of the ground floor, basement and yard, quiet work could be accomplished upstairs," daughter Mary Kinsella said.

The 1,746-square-foot property includes three bedrooms: two on the second floor that share a full bath and a third-floor bedroom with a powder room.

The Kinsellas renovated the kitchen.
SAMME FERRIOLA
The Kinsellas renovated the kitchen.

The family said the Kinsellas did some extensive renovations in the course of owning the home, opening the floor plan on the ground level by removing a wall between the kitchen and living room. That project also involved a kitchen renovation.

"We were very pleased with the change," son John Kinsella said.

The kitchen (and its French doors, which open to a patio out back) has remained one of the family's favorite rooms, Mary Kinsella said. The patio also received some updates, including new paving and stucco.

The refinished basement adds another family gathering area.
SAMME FERRIOLA
The refinished basement adds another family gathering area.

Renovations also included refinishing the basement, which helped create another space for the family to gather.

"The home was in full use — and pleasantly — with the basement cozy in winter and cool in summer," O'Malley said.

With the passing of their mother last year, the family said their father decided to move home to Dublin and list the property for sale.

"It's the perfect location for a family," John Kinsella said.

O'Malley said they expect the quiet, historic location will appeal to new buyers.

"The quiet neighborhood is an extension of the home," she said. "Lovely neighbors, stores, coffee shops, doctors and hospitals, schools, et cetera — all in easy walking distance but not adjacent."

The home is listed with Andy McDermott at Long & Foster for $849,000.

Quiet Society Hill “is an extension of the home” at 639 Addison, said Thomas Kinsella’s daughter, Sara O’Malley.
SAMME FERIOLA
Quiet Society Hill “is an extension of the home” at 639 Addison, said Thomas Kinsella’s daughter, Sara O’Malley.