The home on the northeast corner of Henry Ave. and School House Lane was built between 1914 and 1920 for Viola Carstairs. Leon and Blanche Levy purchased this neo-classical mansion in the 1930’s.
Blanche Levy was the daughter of Goldie Paley (see Goldie Paley House). The original house contained a master bedroom suite with two dressing rooms and two bathrooms, plus four more
bedrooms and three baths. The house contained a total of 13 bathrooms, and a small kitchen on the
secondd floor. The third floor was devoted to servant quarters. A chauffeur, a butler, an upstairs maid, a downstairs maid and a kitchen person staffed the house. Outside the house, there was a tennis court and a swimming pool
on the eastern end of the property. In the 1950s another pool, with
a pool house, was built directly in the back of the house because Mrs. Levy did not want to walk so far to swim.
There is local legend that Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner were married in this house. Actually, Frank and Ava were married at 506 W Springer St. in West Mount Airy in November of 1951. However, the Levy house was used as a decoy to fool the local media. Rumors were circulated that the wedding would occur at Levy’s home and since he was
a friend of Sinatra’s and a broadcast executive, the story was considered to be plausible. Robert Levy, Blanche’s son, was an alumni of William Penn Charter School, (class of 1948) and very active in its affairs. In 1987, Blanche Levy gave the property to Penn Charter, under the condition that she could occupy it for the rest of her life.
In 1992, Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science purchased the property from Penn Charter. In November of 1995 a $700,000 renovation program was initiated which culminated with the offices of Admissions and Financial Aid moving into the building in April of