If you’re waiting for the Kelly House Museum to open to the public, don’t hold your breath…
When his serene highness Prince Albert of Monaco came to East Falls to speak at Jefferson University’s commencement last month, he stayed in his mother’s childhood home on Henry Avenue. Since he purchased the house in 2016, the stately colonial has been restored look like it did when Grace Kelly lived here with her family.
The Prince’s plan has always been to use this place as a residence when he’s in town, and also house the US offices for his Monaco Foundation and the Princess Grace Foundation (which provides theater, film, and dance scholarships). But he’s also said he wanted to fill it with family memorabilia, which got a lot of folks buzzing about a museum here. In fact, neighbors regularly contacted us, asking when the Kelly House might be available for a tour.
Sorry guys, it’s not happening. As the Prince recently confirmed to Hoda Kotb on NBC’s Today, with all the memories and family history here, he wouldn’t want to see the house transformed in any way. Let’s put all our hopes for a Princess Grace museum to bed.
However, that’s not to say you need to give up on ever seeing the inside – the Prince said his and his mother’s foundations plan to host events here, and it’s quite possible community members may be invited (especially those who donate, ahem).
Meanwhile, we can take a virtual tour! In the video above, Hoda interviews the Prince about his mom and his early memories here “rolling on the carpet with my sisters and cousins.” He walked her around the elegant rooms, restored to 1950’s glamour, and including much of the original furnishings. Yes, there’s the famous door with all the children’s height’s recorded! And his mother’s childhood bedroom still has her old twin bed.
The house contains artwork, furniture, family silver, Grace Kelly portraits, and a basement “Brickskeller” that looks straight out of Europe. Everything’s beautifully arranged and appointed – as only a Prince would have it. Welcome, your Highness, to our little corner of NW Philadelphia! Give us a holler when you’re ready to explore (bet they don’t have Turfburgers in Monaco!).