They were able to personalize the 3,000-square-foot townhouse to their needs while honoring the borough and family connections to steel-making.
Joe Sikora and Shenica Redley love the history of their Phoenixville neighborhood. Sikora had been living about a mile up the road when a new townhouse community being built on the original site of Phoenix Steel, spoke to them. They moved in last May.
“The steel mill had been the heart of the town for a couple of hundred years,” said Sikora, chief revenue officer for Global Gig, a clouds solution provider based in Austin, Texas. “Cannons for the Civil War were made here, and it was one of the largest nail factories in the United States. It’s where the first Ferris wheel was built and also parts of the Golden Gate Bridge.”
Steel is part of Sikora’s DNA. He’s originally from Pittsburgh, where his father was a steelworker, and he put himself through college working in steel mills.
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Just inside his current house, there’s a quote from late 19th century industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who was prominent in steelmaking and in Phoenixville: “There is little success where there is little laughter.” It has become the couple’s mantra. Nearby are a black-and-white picture of a steel mill blast furnace where Sikora once worked and a photo of one of the rolling mills on-site.
The pair were drawn to the 3,000-square-foot townhouse with three bedrooms, two full and two half bathrooms, a workout room, and 10-foot ceilings on the second floor. They love the home’s walkout loft with a rooftop deck, complete with fireplace.
“And I don’t have to do any yard work,” said Sikora, who moved from a 2½-acre property.
He appreciated the flexibility for customization that Media-based Rockwell Builders offered as the townhouse was built. Rockwell allowed the couple to tweak segments of the design to gain closet space and storage to better fit their needs.
“We took the time to personalize the home to what we needed,” said Redley, vendor relationship manager at Vanguard. “We’re big fitness people and wanted to incorporate that into our home, especially with the pandemic. Our upstairs loft area doubles as Joe’s office, and we made it into this really cool music room. Joe’s a guitarist, and I think I can sing from time to time!”
Sikora values his guitar collection, which includes one signed by Les Paul, one that was Guitar Magazine‘s guitar of the year, and one signed by Los Lonely Boys. The fun-loving pair enjoy hanging out at the bar they purchased from Restoration Hardware made from metal originally used to test lightbulb wattage in Germany in 1926. They have a matching light fixture. They added a black shiplap wall to match their home’s black trim.
When the couple met, they connected through fitness. Now they enjoy working out together in the home gym they designed and built. They created a sign dubbing the space “The Fitness Lab” and installed mirrored walls and a special floor for exercising that they bought on Facebook Marketplace.
Redley considers herself the sous chef while Sikora does most of the cooking with their GE Café appliances. They bought their brass, gold and black stools at a store in Boston, making the drive during the pandemic because the stools fit into their kitchen so well. The couple enjoy posting their meals on social media, including pastas, burgers, jerk chicken, and stir fries.
An end unit, the home has a front and side yard. Their front view includes the French Creek, where neighbors use the running track and activity trail. Other outdoor spaces include a 10- by 20-foot back deck off the living room where they grill and entertain.
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The walkout rooftop deck is where they celebrated Redley’s 30th birthday in August. With 40 guests, they danced to a DJ, and borough Mayor Peter Urscheler presented a proclamation declaring it International Shenica Day.
“The fact that we can build a relationship with the mayor that he can show up at my birthday party to give me this proclamation speaks to the closeness that we have within this town,” Redley said. “You also get a little bit of a city vibe in Phoenixville because we have a main strip here where we’re able to walk to get food, and there are the most breweries per capita in our town.”
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