PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Before she was an actress and a princess, Grace Kelly grew up in Philadelphia’s East Falls neighborhood. The home where she spent so much time is back in the family and it’s been completely renovated.
Kelly would be 88 years old if she were alive today. A gala celebrating the Kelly family home took place Friday night in East Falls.
Sitting at the corner of Henry Avenue and West Coulter in East Falls is a home fit for a princess. It’s not a castle, but the childhood home of the late Kelly who left Hollywood to become the princess of Monaco.
“It’s just incredible to be back in this house after so many years,” said Chris LeVine, Kelly’s nephew.
LeVine is pleased to announce the home that was built 90 years ago by his grandfather is now back in the family and finished after a year-and-a-half renovation.
“It has really brought all of the family together and it’s been wonderful to see it emerge out of the shadows, so to speak,” said LeVine.
“It was incredible and very emotional for us but my cousins did such a great job,” said Monaco’s Prince Albert, who was among those Friday night’s gala celebrating the renovation of a home where his mother once lived.
The restorations were not without challenges. As family members who headed the project were left to deal with disrepair left by a former resident who purchased the property in 1973.
For more than 40 years the home was owned by a woman who was cited for hoarding cats.
Kelly died in a car accident in 1982, but her mission continues today.
“Princess Grace would give money to aspiring artists that were struggling and had potential and talent that she recognized and would help them get a leg up in the industry,” said Toby Boshak, executive director of the Princess Grace Foundation USA.
The foundation continues that charity and will hold events in the colonial home, but this is a family first and LeVine says he’s glad it’s back where it belongs, with the Kelly family.
“On Wednesday, we had the cousins here. We planted this dogwood and it’s kind of a rebirth and as I mentioned its really brought the family together,” said LeVine.
While the Philadelphia region considers the late Kelly a royal figure of our own and a princess in her own right, to Albert, the former starlet is a mother that he holds dear.
“I hope that she would be proud and that she would be happy that it stays in the family and that the memories that she has and passed to us that we will be able to pass on to the next generation as well,” said Albert.