Knox Home closing ends era for many in Wynnewood

May 6, 2013 4:08:11 PM PDT
It's the end of an era on Philadelphia's Main Line. It has never been your average retirement home and now the Knox Home will soon be up for sale.

The first thing you notice there is no institutional feel with rooms full of antiques, comfortable furniture, table cloths, and acres of grounds.

The Knox Home is something out of, well, the ordinary.

"This is more like a family setting. People congregate around and talk for breakfast and the whole dining room gets in the conversation," resident Nakasha Buntele said.

"The staff will do anything for you; it's above independent living. We are a family," resident Helen Dellosa said.

In 1939, Charles Knox, a bachelor, left his home and money in trust to form a place where people, first women, later men, of modest means could retire comfortably, have a room, and three meals a day.

"It was very much affordable because he had left a trust fund to subsidize it," board president Howard West said.

But times have changed.

People in their 60's used to often move to retirement homes, but with Meals On Wheels and other social services, the trend is for seniors to stay in their homes longer - to age in place.

"Therefore the need for this type of facility is disappearing and we have no demand for it," West said.

Nowadays when seniors are ready to move from their homes, they often need nursing support, leaving a simple non-medical, independent living home like Knox in a jam.

Faced with continuing red ink the home's board decided it will close the property.

Staff has found new homes for almost all the residents.

Among the still undecided is 93-year-old Kay Crabbe.

She says she will miss this quiet comfortable place.

"It's the atmosphere that is so attractive and appealing," Crabbe said.