BBOnline Member SINCE 2001

The Gables A Victorian Bed & Breakfast in University City

4520 Chester Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19143
Innkeeper(s): Don Caskey and Warren Cederholm
  • Introduction

    Gables Bed and Breakfast ExteriorThe Gables is nestled in the middle of Philadelphia in a section known as University City. This is a residential community developed around the turn of the last century. It boasts an eclectic grouping of Victorian homes and Edwardian townhouses.

    Over the last 10 years, this beautiful home has undergone extensive renovations and restoration to become one of the finest Bed and Breakfasts in Philadelphia.

    The Gables was designed by prominent Philadelphia architect Willis Hale in 1889 and became the home for the Egan family from its construction until about 1936. This exuberant red brick 16 room Queen Anne Victorian sits convenient to transportation on the corner of Chester Avenue at 46th Street.

    Gables Bed and Breakfast ParlorThe home features natural chestnut and cherry woodwork throughout the first floor sitting rooms, grand entry hall and large dining room. Guests may relax and socialize in these rooms decorated in period furnishings. Each day homemade muffins, fruit, cereal and other breakfast goodies are served along with juice, coffee, and hot tea.

    Guests are often found sitting on the magnificent wrap-around porch or in the garden reading the morning paper or perhaps a good book selected from the many available throughout the house. The yard with its ever blooming perennial garden is a favorite spot shaded by a stately old Norway maple and blossoming dogwood, Japanese cherry, crab apple and magnolia.

    Gables Bed and Breakfast PorchThe gleaming oak floors with intricate inlays invite guests into the warm, welcoming rooms. Oriental style carpets accentuate the rich pallet of color chosen for the walls. Each guest will be delighted in the comfort and beauty of the lavishly furnished and sparklingly clean rooms. Most rooms have private baths and some even have working gas fireplaces to add an ambiance of romance.

    "Breathtaking... The Gables far surpassed our expectations." Jim and Janet Hendry, Burlington, VT

    The owners and innkeepers Don Caskey and Warren Cederholm are dedicated to making your stay in their home as comfortable and gracious as you might expect when you step back into the era of Victorian Splendor. "A lovely experience, like staying in a private home of very hospitable friends." Sara & Mohamed Cairo, Egypt

  • A Sample of Breakfast

    Gables Bed and Breakfast -BreakfastA Breakfast Sampling

    Coffee is ready about 7:00 AM each morning, earlier if prior arrangements are made. The New York Times is available for those early risers to browse while breakfast is being readied. Fresh fruit and homemade muffins and juice are placed out by 7:30 and cereal is also available. The main dish is ready by 8:00 AM and varies each morning.

    Some Delicious Possibilties

    • An asparagus and mushroom breakfast pie
    • A puffy souffle topped with Warren’s Special Peach Salsa
    • An exciting artichoke and onion fritatta
    • Homemade waffles made from Fannie Farmer’s original recipe with real Pennsylvania Maple Syrup and butter
    • Light-weight Blueberry pancakes topped with lemon curd
    • Baked Almond French Toast a l’orange
    • Scrambled eggs with baked garlic cheese grits, homemade toast and ham
    • Individual ramkins filled with shirred eggs, spinach and cheese
    • A tasty sausage strata layered with meat, vegetables, and cheese topped with spicy crisp buttered breadcrumbs
    • And any number of other recipes—if you have one to share, please send it.

    With so many people on a low carbohydrate diet, most mornings meat is served along with the entre. Hard-boiled eggs are available for the asking. Our meat comes from one of the local Farmer’s Markets where the Amish sell their homemade sausage and cure their own bacon and ham. Whenever meat is served in an entre, the host is sensitive to our vegetarian friends and others who may not eat pork or beef so a vegetarian dish is also prepared.

    Warren’s willing to share any of his recipes, but first you must come to the inn for a taste.

    Note: Prices are subject to change and should be verified at time of reservation.

  • Guest Comments

    The Gables A Victorian Bed & Breakfast in University City

    "Since discovering "The Gables," I never stay any place else when visiting Philadelphia. The house is an architectual gem, and the tasteful period decor, gracious hospitality, and fabulous breakfast make for a top-notch B & B."

    -Catherine Lavoie, senior historian, Historic American Buildings Survey, National Park Service

    "A truly wonderful experience!!! It is so good to see people who so proudly preserve their heritage and their memories--allow others to partake of their wonderful hospitality and live in this preserved splendor. "

    -Drs. Naynjot and Kishore Lahiri, Noida, India

    "After traveling all over the world, I must say this is the best B&B I have ever visited. This perfectly restored masterpiece is welcoming and is the perfect home away from home for every traveler."

    -Althea Lindsay, New York

    Gables Bed and Breakfast  Guest Book

    "What a classy hotel! Thank you. "

    -Dat Phan, "The Last Comic Standing"

    "Great B & B!"

    -Robert Prosky, Actor of stage and screen

    "Perfect for fussy parents visiting their offspring."

    -Philadelphia Magazine, The Ultimate Guide

    "...a hidden charm in Philadelphia...from the moment you step onto the huge wraparound porch you feel welcome."

    Gables Bed and Breakfast Friendly Pet

    -Attache Magazine, US Airways, article by Jeff Plain, Greenville, SC

    "The magnificent Gables Bed and Breakfast in West Philadelphia has all the makings of romance--gorgeous..."

    -Philadelphia Magazine, Best of Philly

    "I travel a lot yet find this one of the most delightful places I have ever stayed. Pity the world can't be populated by places like this one to stay at!"

    "A fantastic find on the web! Even better in real life. Breakfasts were wonderful, as was the room, as were the hosts. No doubt we shall return."

    -Debbie and Chris Gale, Langley, England

  • Room Amenities:

    • Digital alarm clock
    • Cable television featuring a wide selection of channels and music choices
    • CD player
    • Video Cassette Recorder/player
    • Private phone with answer machine, each room with its own private number (There is no switchboard, messages to rooms must be dialed directly)
    • Dataport access for the internet
    • DSL wireless access
    • Personal hair dryers
    • Fine antique quilts and/or down comforters
    • Plush cotton towels
    • Thick terry cloth bathrobes
    • 100% cotton, high thread count, sheets with embroidery and lace. All are ironed and starched for added crispness.
    • A choice of down and feather or polyester fiber-filled pillows.
    • A selection of toiletries for those who forget to bring theirs from home
    • "Room controlled" air conditioning and heat
    • Some rooms have working gas fireplaces

    Amenities shared with other guests

    Gables Bed and Breakfast  LobbyA full breakfast is served between 8 and 9:30 AM each morning view

    Free off-street parking is available on the premises. The lot holds about 8 cars so parking is not guaranteed, but on a first come, first served basis

    Easy public transportation stops right in front of the house and takes you in just minutes to the universities, Center City, the Historic District, and sports stadiums as well as the museums, shops and other places of interest

    There is a high-speed computer station for guests to check and send e-mail. The house has a DSL wireless network for those whose laptops are so equipped. Private phoneline dataports in each room also provide access to the Internet

    A pantry provides space for a common refrigerator stocked with spring water and other cold beverages and ice, a microwave oven, and an assortment of nibbles

    There is an ironing board and iron on each floor and shared with other guests

    A videotape library also is available for viewing pleasure

    The fax machine is housed in the office, arrangements may be made with the innkeepers to send or receive faxes. The number is the same as if you were dialing The Gables at 215-662-1918, when it hears a fax machine it automatically receives the message

    Note: The Gables does not have a switchboard so all calls should be dialed into each room directly

  • Recognition

    Featured in the December 2002 issue of Victorian Homes Magazine

    Winner of The Historical Society's Outstanding Preservation Award and Philadelphia Magazine's Best of Philly Award 1996 "Best Urban Getaway"

    Winner of 2009 "Best of Philadelphia Bed and Breakfast" United States Commerce Association

    Winner for two consecutive years, 2009+2010, Best Bed and Breakfast in Philadelphia, US Commerce Association

  • Nearby

    Gables Bed and Breakfast Turret FireplaceUniversity City's location makes it a neighborhood for people from all walks of life, many of whom not only live but also work in the area. The easy access to public transportation makes center city only minutes away. Philadelphia's Convention Cente, downtown shopping, and the historic sites can all be reached in less than 15 minutes.

    • The University of Pennsylvania
    • University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
    • Drexel University
    • University Hospital
    • Children's Hospital
    • Presbyterian Hospital
    • Scheie Eye Institute
    • Civic Center
    • Philadelphia Museum of Art
    • Academy of Natural Sciences
    • Franklin Institute Science Museum
    • Historic Bartram's Garden
    • Longwood Gardens
    • Winterthur Museum
    • Garden & Library
    • Historical Society of Pennsylvania
    • Library Company of Philadelphia
    • Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
    • Philadelphia Flower Show
    • Morris Arboretum
    • Theatre
    • University City Historical Society
  • A Greener Gables Bed and Breakfast

    Gables Bed and Breakfast Sitting AreaThe Gables has gone green. We are now recycling, using all green cleaning supplies, supplying water (but not in those individulized plastic bottles), purchasing wind energy, using front load washers and on demand hot water in the kitchen, energy saving light bulbs where we can and being very conscious of products that we purchase. We are in discussion with a contractor to install solar panels on the roof and set that as a project for 2010.

  • How to Find Us

    The Gables A Victorian Bed & Breakfast-Exterior in SnowThe Gables is a short taxi or shuttle ride from either the Philadelphia International Airport or from the train station at 30th Street.

    The #13 trolley of SEPTA's Green Line stops right out front of the house and is just 5 minutes to the University and 12 minutes to Center City and the historic district.

    By car, it is less than 5 minutes from South Street Exit 346A off of Route 76 Expressway. From the exit, head away from Center City toward The University of Pennsylvania. Keep straight on Spruce Street. Turn left at 42nd Street. Proceed 3 blocks. At the stop sign turn right on Chester Avenue. Continue on Chester through Clark Park.

    The Gables is at 4520 Chester Avenue, on the left at the end of the first residential block after the park. It can easily be recognized on the corner of 46th by the large wrap-around porch and glowing candles in the window. For convenient off-street parking, turn left onto 46th Street and left into the driveway behind the house. Walk through the side yard to the front entrance via the wrap-around porch to ring the front door bell. There you will be welcomed by the hosts.

  • Christmas Pictures

    The Gables A Victorian Bed & Breakfast-Our Christmas TreeThe Gables A Victorian Bed & Breakfast-Exterior of B&B

    Our Christmas Tree and Exterior of B&B