Elkins Estate’s Elstowe Manor to reopen this spring

Elstowe Manor, 1750 Ashbourne Road, Elkins Park, will reopen in the spring as a modernized version of its former self. Plans include using the space as an event venue, boutique hotel, helipad, teaching kitchen, recording studio, and distillery.

The plans are part of a $25 million multi-phase redevelopment of the 124-year-old, 42-acre property.

As Elkins Park estate’s largest building, the 70,000-square-foot Elstowe building will have 37 of its rooms, plus two ballrooms, renovated for weddings and other events.

The property was formerly owned by the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine de Ricci, who have used it as a retreat space since 1932. New Jersey-based Landmark Developers bought the estate for $6.5 million in 2019, and plan to refine its floors, reopen the third-floor balustrade, update plumbing and electrical systems.

“I really feel that Elkins rivals just about anything that I’ve seen, so, why screw it up?” Frank Cretella, Landmark Developers’ founder, said. “I have other projects where I’m converting warehouses, bank buildings, and I put my own mark on it, but this I think, I could never do justice to what’s there now.”

Landmark has already booked several events for 2023.

The next phase of development will focus on adding 17 guest rooms and more event space to the 28,000 square-foot Chelten House, to be completed by sometime in 2024. The stables will be used for dry-aging rooms, five guest cottages, and a Morgan Stillhouse distillery.

The Annex, attached to Elstowe Manor, would be up next for renovations, which would add 40 more rooms of rentable space.

The final phase of the project includes an ancient bath-style spa, a band shell, and a conference center within the property’s nine existing buildings. 

Beyond a new take on an old property, Cretella believes the project will provide jobs to the nearby community.

“The way we run our company and work with our teams, I think we’re going to be a preferred employer,” Cretella said.

To schedule a tour of the estate, you can click here. For more on Landmark’s plans for Elstowe Manor, you can check out their venue page or you can read The Philadelphia Business Journal’s article here.