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The Grace Kelly Home

Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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Grace Kelly Home

Overview of the Kelly Family Home

The Kelly Family Home belonged to the famous Kelly family of Philadelphia who lived in the East Falls section of the city.  The Kelly house was built by John B. Kelly, Sr. (October 4, 1889 – June 20, 1960), who was affectionately known as Jack.  Jack was a very successful businessman in bricklaying and construction, and he was also active in Philadelphia politics. Jack was a 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist in the 1920s for rowing, winning 2 Gold Medals in Antwerp, Belgium in 1920 and one Gold Medal in Paris, France in 1924.

Jack Kelly’s son was named John Kelly, Jr. (also known as “Kell”), and he won the Diamond Scull at the 1947 British Henley Regatta on the River Thames by the town of Henley-on-Thames, England.  Kell also won a Bronze medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. Both Jack and Kell were named to the U.S. Rowing Hall of Fame and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame. Jack’s daughter, Grace Kelly, was an Academy Award winning actress, and the Princess of Monaco.

Grace Kelly: From Hollywood Royalty to Real Life Royalty

Grace Kelly

Grace Patricia Kelly was born in Philadelphia 1929.  Grace rose to fame in Hollywood through her role in High Noon, and she won an Academy Award for her work in The Country Girl.  Additionally, she starred in various Alfred Hitchcock thrillers including Rear Window, Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief.

Grace was already considered Hollywood royalty when she met Prince Rainier III of Monaco at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France in 1955. Shortly thereafter, Prince Rainier III proposed to Grace at her childhood home in Philadelphia, and the couple was married in 1956. The royal couple had three children: Princess Caroline, Prince Albert (current Prince of Monaco), and Princess Stephanie. In 1982, Princess Grace died at the age of 52 in Monaco following a tragic car accident. 

Grace Kelly Wedding

Restoring the Grace Kelly Home

In October 2016, Princess Grace Kelly’s son, Prince Albert of Monaco, bought his mother’s childhood home in Philadelphia. Over time, the 4,000 square foot, 6 bedroom, and 4 bathroom house had fallen into disrepair. In a labor of love, Prince Albert restored Princess Grace’s home to its grandeur, circa 1950s, using family photos as reference points.

Grace Kelly and Prince Albert and children at the Kelly Home

On May 11, 2018, Prince Albert of Monaco gave the Today Show’s Hoda Kotb a fascinating tour of Grace Kelly’s childhood home, in which he shared some of his own memories, and explained why he did not want to turn the home into a museum. Prince Albert also showed a door that still remains in the house today that was previously used to track the height and growth of the Kelly children, including for Grace when she was 2 years old. According to Prince Albert, “Grace Kelly touched people’s lives in so many different ways”.

Private Residence - Not Open to the Public

When Prince Albert II purchased the Grace Kelly Family Home in 2016, it was initially reported that the Kelly Home would become a museum. However, plans evolved, and the house did not become a museum. To that end, the Grace Kelly Home is not open to the public. Instead, the Grace Kelly Home serves as the private residence of Prince Albert and his family when the royal family visits Philadelphia. Additionally, the house will be used as the offices for the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and as an event space for The Princess Grace Foundation-USA.

Kelly Home Historical Marker

Insider Info

While the Grace Kelly Home is not open to the public, you can still view the house from the outside on the sidewalk adjacent to the house.

If you are visiting from Center City Philadelphia, be sure to take the scenic Kelly Drive which is named after Princess Grace’s brother, John B. Kelly, Jr. Kelly Drive is a 4 mile stretch of beautiful riverfront park along the Eastern banks of the Schuylkill River, which is home to nation’s oldest collegiate boat race, the Dad Vail Regatta. Kelly Drive runs from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the East Falls section of Philadelphia where the Grace Kelly Home is located.  Kelly Drive is also where Boathouse Row is located, but that is best viewed, especially at night, from across the Schuylkill River from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

You can also rent a bike from Indego and ride along the terrific bike paths along Kelly Drive to the Grace Kelly Home.  

How to Get There

The Grace Kelly House is conveniently located in the East Falls section of Philly which is about 7 miles away from the National Constitution Center where The Constitutional Walking Tour starts and ends. The Grace Kelly Home can be reached by car, bike, or foot.  You can also take SEPTA Regional Rail to the Queen Lane station, and from there, it is about a 0.9 mile walk.

Additional Information

Grace Kelly House (Not Open to the Public)
3901 Henry Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19129

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