Historic Steel House on Poplar Turns into Airbnb in Philadelphia

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) – A historic house in Philadelphia now operates as an Airbnb.

“In a southern town, you’re not known by your address, you’re known by the name of the house you live in,” said Gwen Alexander, owner of Steel House on Poplar.

Welcome to the Steel House on Poplar! Built by two friends shortly after World War II in 1945 and eventually became a stamp of history for those who live in the city of Philadelphia.

“Willard Hays and Richard Molpus built the house. They were friends before the war. They came back and built the duplex for their families. They had been here for many, many years, and sometime in the 70’s Sarah Steel bought the house and it’s a duplex. She lived on the left side of the house and she always rented the other side of the house,” said Steel House on Poplar owner Tony Alexander.

You might recognize the owners of this Airbnb by now. Tony Alexander is the owner of Steve’s on the Square in Philadelphia and Dr. Gwen Alexander is a Talented and Gifted Teacher (TAG) at Neshoba Elementary. But they decided to take on a new role to provide travelers with a home from home when visiting Philadelphia.

“We were here around 2019, I think Christmas 2019. We were looking for a property, maybe this is our forever home and we came across it and thought one day it would be perfect for an Airbnb. Gwen, my wife just retired to Georgia as an educator for 30 years and we were looking for a project for her when she came here. It felt like a perfect fit and so far it has been just that,” said Tony Alexander.

And for those who don’t know much about Airbnb, it’s a service that allows owners to rent their property on the internet to people looking for accommodation.

“A lot of people don’t like to stay in hotels anymore, they kind of want to feel at home and it’s completely furnished, has everything you need: fridge, washer and dryer. It’s just a great place to stay,” said Tony Alexander.

The Alexanders say they have had a lot of success since launching The Steel House for rent 3 weeks ago.

“The first time we implemented it was live on Facebook and live on Airbnb, we had people calling for degrees in May. People are coming to town because they don’t don’t have enough room in their family’s house so they decided to stay at the Airbnb and celebrate. We’ve had wedding parties who want to have a wedding party here. We’ve had people staying for the casino, they stay for concerts,” said Gwen Alexander.

The Alexanders said travelers can stay a minimum of 2 days at the Steel House on Poplar and even rent for up to 2 months or more. For more information on Airbnb or to book a stay, you can contact Gwen Alexander at 706-329-2915 or visit “The Steel House on Poplar” Facebook page.

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