Morning Headlines: The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk Makes Philadelphia Better

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk | Photograph by Laura Kicey

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk | Photograph by Laura Kicey

What raises the quality of a city? According to Better! Cities & Towns editor Robert Steuteville, there are four things that are key creating a “strong sense of place” within any given town: walkability, the presence of culture and arts, history and its preservation and, finally, a “connection to nature.”

Does that sound like any place you know?

Philadelphia may meet the first three, but it’s only in the last few years that the last element has started to move toward reaching its full potential. Steuteville points to New York’s High Line as a dramatic example of this city-nature relationship, but says Philly now has a similar thing going on with its Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk:
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That Art Museum Area Victorian We Loved Might Soon Be Under Contract

833 N Woodstock St, Philadelphia, PA, 19130

833 N Woodstock St, Philadelphia, PA, 19130

Ooof, don’t kick yourself too hard! This three-story period beauty has just been listed as “contingent” on Redfin, which may soon mean that it’s no longer on the market.

Lest you forgot, exposed wood beams, stained glass windows, and original moldings and built-in armoire are just a few of the things the home offered potential buyers. More info here.

Gallery below. Read more »

House of the Week: A Frank Weise Modernist Marvel on Lombard Street

1201 Lombard St, Philadelphia, PA, 19147

1201 Lombard St, Philadelphia, PA, 19147

Holy mackerel, a Frank Weise home is for sale!

Admittedly, I’ve only been familiar with Mr. Weise’s work for 90 minutes. Modern Homes Philadelphia, a website that acts as a resource for those interested in modern architectural living in the area, has a whole slew of images and information on the architect’s jaw-dropping buildings.

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On the Market: Lovely Arts & Crafts Residence in Mt. Airy

6920 Boyer St, Philadelphia, PA, 19119

6920 Boyer St, Philadelphia, PA, 19119

It should come as no surprise that we’ve featured an Arts & Crafts house more than once on Property since hallmarks of the movement include exposed beams, built-in bookcases, the use of natural materials, original oak wainscoting and inlaid hardwood floors. The style makes for charming residences and it just so happens that this home is one such property. (Although, in this case, its inlaid hardwood floors come with dark ribbon trim.)

Built by builder Ashton Tourison circa 1909, the home has only been sold twice in its lifetime. Careful preservation has allowed it to continue to boast original stained glass and brass lighting fixtures, with additional historical notes like a servant’s gong, a secret safe, which, according to the owner, is “hidden in a nook behind oak paneling,” and pocket doors.

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Bart Blatstein Plans Mixed-Use Complex in South Philly

The vacant lot at Broad and Washington that Blatstein wants to develop. Photo via Google Street View.

The vacant lot at Broad and Washington that Blatstein wants to develop. Photo via Google Street View.

With casino fever taking over yesterday, it was easy to overlook another project Bart Blatstein, one of the applicants who lost out on Philadelphia’s second gaming license, has in mind for the city.

If you will recall, rumors of a Wegmans coming to South Philadelphia sprung up earlier this year after he expressed interest in developing a vacant lot at the corner of Broad and Washington. Those rumors were squashed pretty quickly and, a few months later, Blatstein presented a clearer picture of what he wanted to do: a verticle Piazza-like community with “every amenity known to mankind.”

Yesterday, that idea was scratched.

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Tuesday Trinity: Why Won’t This Sell Edition

610 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA, 19147

610 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA, 19147

Keeping in mind that the listing photos are from a previous occupant and not the current one, we still wonder why this South Philly house hasn’t been taken off the market yet. It’s a cute trinity, it’s in a pretty sweet location and the kitchen has been recently updated.

So what’s the problem? The home was listed for $325,000 in August 2012, but was removed the following February. It was listed again this June and had its price reduced to $310,000 a few months later. Will it disappear from the market again if no one expresses interest?

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For Sale: Elfreth’s Alley Home With Brick Pass-Through

112 Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia, PA, 19106

112 Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia, PA, 19106

Exposed brick, beams and stone can be spotted throughout this three-bedroom on historic Elfreth’s Alley, but the dining room in particular got a good chunk of the former: a brick wall encompasses an entire side of the room and an additional brick pass-through separates it from the eat-in kitchen.

The kitchen boasts modern stainless steel appliances in case you were thinking the home was all history, history, history just because it was built in 1741. While the property still has its original wood floors, it has seen renovation work.

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Morning Headlines: Gentrification and How Cities Try to Help Displaced Residents

With gentrification in Philadelphia becoming a hot topic last month thanks to seven series pull-out section in the Daily News (as well as a recent Onion article on the subject that didn’t really feel like satire), it seems fitting that we should at least take a look at what other cities are doing to deal with gentrification’s drawbacks.

This morning, Sandy Smith offered up a taste of what three cities (and the entire state of Missouri) are doing to help low to middle-income residents who are at risk for being displaced as a result of rising home values, which, Smith writes, aside from displacing long-time residents who can no longer afford to live in a neighborhood with increasing rents, cities experiencing gentrification often have perpetually blighted neighborhoods that could otherwise be put to good use.

Smith includes Philadelphia’s PHL Tax Loop program among the examples, which you can read on Next City.

How Cities and States Are Fighting Gentrification’s Displacement Factor [Next City]

In other news…

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SOLD: Delancey Street Home Finally Sells After a Few Price Cuts

2127 Delancey St, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

2127 Delancey St, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

After months on the market, this Delancey residence has finally caught a buyer!

According to the property’s Zillow history, the home was originally listed at $1.39 million in March. It was cut to $1.29 million in April and once again in May, bringing it down to $1.2 million. In July, one more reduction was made, leaving it at $999,999.

Just a hair under the million-dollar mark, we’re guessing someone must have started to sweat at this point. Homes on ritzy Delancey are, after all, usually sold off with price tags that dance in the millions (case in point, 2129 Delancey, which sold in May for $1.2 million, or 2041 Delancey, which had a June sale for $2.5 million).

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