“South Philly’s Stoop” and Six Other Local Projects Are Recipients of the Knight Cities Challenge

Google Street VIew

The former Edward H. Bok Technical School via Google Street VIew

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation–which recently partnered with the William Penn Foundation to award $11 million to five Philadelphia parks (including the highly anticipated Rail Park)–has announced the thirty-two recipients of its annual Knight Cities Challenge this year. Six of them–really eight, as you’ll read in a bit–are in Philly.

The organization is known for running similar competitions in various fields throughout the country, but it’s the Cities Challenge that seeks innovative civic ideas that will help enhance Knight Foundation communities into “more vibrant places to live and work.” Thank goodness we’re one of them, right?

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NBC Universal Exec Selling Transformed Spruce Street Home

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Rittenhouse Hotel.

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Rittenhouse Hotel.

Somewhere along the line this Federal-style mansion was converted into a tri-level condo (includes finished basement) with a reworked interior we were not expecting. According to Mary Genovese, who along with Fred Manfred is a listing agent for the property, tells us the transformation took place about four years ago. Now, the current home owner, who happens to be an executive for Comcast subsidiary NBC Universal, is relocating and looking to sell his cool Midtown digs. Any takers?

In addition to having hardwood floors, a fully finished lower level with separate laundry, and a back patio you can see from the kitchen, the home has a study with full bathroom and a kitchen featuring double ovens, stone surfaces, and wood cabinetry. Leased parking for $250/month is available around the corner.

Interested in seeing the inside?

VIDEO: “The Abandoned Tunnel Under Philadelphia”

Screenshot of Uncover Philly, episode one.

Screenshot of Uncover Philly, episode one.

At this point, most of us are aware–and of course totally jazzed about–the planned Rail Park on the elevated section of the long-disused Reading Viaduct. What some may not be aware of is that the underground portion of the Viaduct, formerly used to transfer freight out of the city, is still there, silently waiting for its next functional chapter in Philadelphia.

What its next purpose might be is a question that hovers in the back of our minds as we watch Cory J. Popp’s latest video: “The Abandoned Tunnel Under Philadelphia,” the first episode in his Uncover Philly series. Here’s how Popp describes it:

The Reading Viaduct Tunnel is one of those places that most Philadelphian’s know exist, but few have actually seen it themselves. My hope is that this story will reignite interest in seeing this space repurposed and encourage more people to discover parts of the city they don’t often see.

Check out the episode here.

Spotted in Old City: Contemporary Loft Condo Comes with Two Elevators

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Rittenhouse Hotel.

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Rittenhouse Hotel.

We were always partial to that ivy-clad condo on Cuthbert Street, but now that we know about this neighboring loft apartment at 108 Arch…well, we’re slightly torn. Location-wise, they’re tied. But on the one hand, the former has a cozy compactness; on the other, the latter tempts us with its modern indulgences.

And what are these contemporary luxuries? For starters, the 2,500-square-foot unit has a pair of stainless steel elevators opening directly into the apartment foyer. Can’t say we’re too surprised since it’s in the same building as that insanely pricey rental from last summer.

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Do You Live In One of Philly’s Most Expensive Suburbs?

No bottle shop, no thanks. | Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock

Is this even a list you want your town to be on? Unlike their “10 Best Philadelphia Suburbs” list, which inspired a lot discussion some weeks ago, Movoto has taken a dollar centric approach with their latest catalog: the 10 most expensive Philadelphia suburbs.

Movoto’s Cassie Sheets says data examined included median home values, cost of living, affordability ratio (that is, “median home value divided by median household income”), and the percentage of income spent on rent. Much like their “10 Best,” AreaVibes was hit up for help in narrowing down the list, as was data from the U.S. Census. All this info was then averaged “into one overall Big Deal Score where the lowest scores were our most expensive Philadelphia suburbs.”

You can see the full list below, but here are the top 10–do you see your ‘burb on the list?:

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Update: William Penn Inn in Wynnewood Plans Get Conditional Hearing

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 3.27.28 PM

William Penn Inn c. 1875 | Image courtesy of the Lower Merion Historical Society

So what ever happened to the William Penn Inn in Wynnewood? Last we heard, it had been saved from the clasps of demolition thanks to an agreement of sale between Rayer Builders and William Inn Partners LLC, a partnership that ensured the new development proposal for the parcel it sits on would, unlike the first one, preserve the historic structure.

Well, readers, we got an update. According to the Main Line Times’ Cheryl Alison, attorneys for the dual developers had a conditional use hearing earlier this week. They presented the developers’ project as having crucial “need for setback and impervious surface relief” if the building is to be preserved. Plans include converting it into three condos, as well as adding new homes on three new lots. Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: Charmingly Rustic Find in Bucks County

TREND images via Addison Wolfe Real Estate / Listhub

TREND images via Addison Wolfe Real Estate / Listhub

Golly, Tinicum Township is just a treasure trove of delightful abodes, isn’t it?

Case in point, Wildcat Farm. It’s kind of like one of those country-style properties that’ll use every single one of its inviting features–like say, twelve acres that encompass a converted cookhouse and rustic outbuilding, as this one has–to charm the dollar right out of your wallet. Oh, we know what you’re up to, Wildcat…

No, but really. We like it a lot, not least for its materials which consist of stone, stucco, and log, the latter being most evident in the 18th-century family room (and a bit in the bathroom and bedrooms directly above it!). Interior details include wainscoting, polished pumpkin pine floors, fireplaces, and a modern kitchen. An in-ground pool and barn, currently used for storage and, is also on the premises.

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Property’s Photo(s) of the Week: The Loft District Horse and Miss Divine

We just couldn’t help ourselves. A day after selecting her magnificent shadowy capture of this horse in Callowhill (it was shot somewhere along 13th and Nectarine) for Property’s Photo of the Week, photographer Theresa Stigale posted a new one–and it’s awesome.

But, what else do you expect from an amazing photog whose primary interest is Philadelphia documentary photography? The bonus image in question was taken on Broad, near Brown Street, and has a cameo of the changing Divine Lorraine.

Needless to say we couldn’t choose just one.

Click here to see them

Reduced (Again): Will Someone Please Buy Keewaydin Already?

615 W Mermaid Ln,  Philadelphia, PA, 19118

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Chestnut Hill

Confession time: the jaw dropping Keewaydin ballroom house on Mermaid Lane? Yeah, I’m totally in love with it. Until now, aside from the Gothic dining hall and master bedroom, the rest of the interior has pretty much gone unnoticed by me because–just look at the photo!

Though I shouldn’t say “unnoticed;” more just “never really paid much attention to it” because, while stunning enough, the latter rooms were always my favorite. Now though, $30k has been knocked off the house price and that’s news– but what more could I say about it?

I’ll tell you what I’ll say: Someone needs to buy it already.

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This Is How Much Philly Has Changed In Three Decades–And It Continues to Do So

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Remember that mesmerizing slider that compared the Center City of 1965 with the one from 2014? Well, we stumbled upon an old CityLab post (old meaning two years ago) that highlighted an interactive time-lapse of various satellite images from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat program. It gave us an idea…

According to CityLab, the Timelapse project–which Google has GIFs of!–is a venture between TIME, Google, NASA, USGS, and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. It’s meant as a kind of digital flip book that puts the “stunning change across the earth’s surface, in both our natural environments and our man-made ones” right before our eyes.

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