Morning Headlines: City Tries to Shut Down Kensington Chocolate Factory

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Screenshot of Blasius Chocolate Factory via Google Street View

Look at the recent posts on their Facebook page and you’ll find nothing but support for Blasius Chocolate Factory. That’s because city officials showed up on Wednesday to force the business to cease operations, an order the Factory continues to ignore.

Apparently, the Venango Street business owes more than $12,000 in delinquent property taxes — money that owner Phil Kerwick believes he does not owe since the factory is only opened half the year.

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Reduced: Gorgeous 1850s West Chester Farmhouse

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Originally listed for sale at $3.6 million in October, this 19th-century West Chester farmhouse has a lot to love, including a rustic kitchen hearth (above), extensive woodwork, woodburning stoves, cast iron tubs and a restored stone bank barn used for entertaining and athletics.

Renovated from top to bottom in 2009, the home’s custom kitchen has cabinetry by Goebel and appliances by Thermador and Sub Zero. Outside, landscaping and hardscaping have resulted in a patio suited for entertainment.

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Unique Hexagonal Home Designed By Henry J. Magaziner

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In January of 2012 Hidden City profiled late Philadelphia architect Henry Jonas Magaziner, describing him as both a preservationist and advocate whose “inspirational presence” could still be felt in places like Center City and Valley Forge. Unsurprisingly, his devotion to the area was a personal one.

After graduating from Central High School in Northwest Philadelphia, Magaziner went to Penn but had to drop out because of the Great Depression. After some time as a salesman, Magaziner went back and graduated with a degree in architecture in 1936. He then worked for his famous father, Louis Magaziner, before leaving to practice in different parts of the country. In 1946, he returned to Philadelphia and resumed working for his father, followed by seven years at his own private firm.

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Morning Headlines: Conshohocken Development Stalled Again

Screenshot via Google Street View

Screenshot via Google Street View

It’s been almost seven years since the Borough of Conshohocken purchased the 60,000-square-foot, three-story Verizon building on Fayette Street, but getting redevelopment of the property off the ground has not been easy.

Last week the Borough Council postponed the award of a demolition contract after concerns about a low bid from one of the four bidders, Neuber Demolition & Environmental Services, which made a “less than ideal offer” of $414,950, according to the Times Herald’s Carl Rotenberg.

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Morning Headlines: Penn’s Landing Redevelopment Plans Still Being Perfected

Penn's Landing Master Plan rendering via PlanPhilly.

Penn’s Landing Master Plan rendering via PlanPhilly.

As of now, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) has more of what project manager Karen Thompson calls “a conceptual framework.” But in a little over a week — April 25th, to be exact — the DRWC aims to showcase stronger renderings of Penn’s Landing redevelopment.

According to PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates, the current framework elaborates on certain points in the Master Plan and tests the project’s feasibility “in terms of logistics and engineering.”

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Art Museum Stunner With Four-Car Parking for $1.6M

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Pretty sure I’m not the only one who would have loved to grow up here! This completely redone home (renovated in 2011) is a century-old, looks fantastic, and is within walking distance of the Barnes and various restaurants and coffee shops. But for some reason, although maybe some of you will appreciate this, it includes private 4-car parking (I much prefer public trans).
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Morning Headlines: Lit Brothers Tower Gets Civic Design Approval

Rendering by Stantec Architecture.

Rendering by Stantec Architecture.

The new Comcast tower wasn’t the only project given the go-ahead by the Civic Design Review committee. It also approved revised plans from developer Brickstone Realty for the “Lit Brothers Tower,” a 30-story residential “growth” (as Curbed Philly put it) on top of the historic department store building.

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Morning Headlines: Artist-Designed Bike Rack Winners Will Be Available This Summer

Photo credit: Bicycle Coalition of Great Philadelphia.

Some of the new designs.
Photo credit: Bicycle Coalition of Great Philadelphia.

Cyclists will soon get to test the functionality of last year’s bike rack design contest winners, which are currently on display at City Hall until June 17th. They will be made available for public beta testing sometime this summer.

According to the Inquirer’s Inga Saffron, the prototypes range from cute to elegant, with all adhering to the practicality requirement from the competition. But has the true bike rack issue been addressed? Maybe not. Read more »

Morning Headlines: Dranoff’s One Ardmore Place Gets Township Committee Approval

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Carl Dranoff’s various Ardmore plans, first proposed more than a decade ago, have caused controversy for almost as long. So it wasn’t surprising that discussion of the residential/retail proposal for Ardmore at last night’s Lower Merion Township Building and Planning Committee meeting was “raucous,” as the Inquirer‘s Carolyn Davis put it. Things devolved into personal sniping, with words like “boorish” and “venomous” being thrown around. (Davis writes that things started getting ugly last week with a string of emails — which, alas, no one leaked to us.) The meeting didn’t end until after 1 a.m.

What’s known among Main Line residents as the “Cricket Lot” project — real name: One Ardmore Place — involves an apartment building with 121 units and roughly 8,000 square feet of street-level retail space fronting Cricket Avenue. Carolyn Davis boils down years of debate:

Critics say the project is too big for its site and neighborhood. Proponents claim it would boost downtown Ardmore by drawing young residents to live in a transit-friendly building near the train station.

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