Spencer Ervin, Jr., Gratz, Tate, Spiegel, Ervin & Ruthrauff, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Andrew F. Mimnaugh, Philadelphia, for appellees.
Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Jones, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Pomeroy, J., concurs in the result.
In December of 1967, appellants John Adams and Jettie L. Adams, husband and wife, leased premises located on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia to appellee Partrick & Wilkins Co., for a three year period. Simultaneously, the parties entered into a sales agreement whereby appellants agreed to sell the leased premises to appellee Partrick & Wilkins Co., or its nominee. Settlement under the purchase agreement was to take place prior to the end of the leased term, which was December 13, 1970. Appellee Partrick & Wilkins Co., subsequently assigned its interest in the sales agreement to appellee Duby Corporation. Eventually the parties agreed that the settlement date for the sale of the property would be December 10, 1970. Settlement, however, did not take place because a dispute arose concerning the exact dimensions of the property to be conveyed. Appellees thereafter filed this action requesting that appellants be required to specifically perform the sales agreement. The trial court held in favor of appellees and ordered specific performance of the agreement. Appellants then appealed to this Court. We remanded the matter to the trial court for the filing of exceptions. Partrick & Wilkins Co. v. Adams, 456 Pa. 566, 322 A.2d 341 (1974). After the remand, exceptions were filed by the appellants
and were dismissed. The trial court then entered a final decree ordering appellants to specifically perform under the sales agreement. This appeal followed.
The description of the property to be sold was described in the sales agreement as follows:
"premises 5100-02-04-06 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (approximately 87'10" on Lancaster Avenue and 104'3 7/8" on 51st Street -- odd lot)."
Although the agreement refers to a 104'3 7/8" length on "[North] 51st Street," the trial court, after receiving evidence concerning the intention of the parties, concluded that the parties intended that 108' was to be conveyed. This conclusion was based on the following findings of fact to which appellants filed no exceptions in the trial court and which are not challenged in this appeal.
The property involved in this dispute is a corner lot located at the corner of Lancaster Avenue and North 51st Street. This corner lot and an abutting lot on North 51st Street were both owned by a predecessor in title, who in 1967 sold both lots to the appellants at an auction sale. For purposes of the auction, the predecessor in title published a pamphlet wherein the corner lot involved in this dispute was described as having a frontage on North 51st Street of 108 feet. There also appeared in the same pamphlet a plot plan showing the dimensions of both lots. On the plot plan, the corner lot's dimension along North 51st Street was 108 feet.
Several months after the appellants purchased the two lots, the corner lot was put up for sale and shown to the appellees herein. During negotiations, appellees' agent and appellants' agent went on an inspection tour of the corner lot. During that tour appellants' agent gave to the appellees' agent the auctioneer's pamphlet, which the appellants had received when they purchased both lots. The pamphlet, ...