The Lovely Bones: East Kensington Fixer-Upper

A 2009 Google Street View image shows skater hooligans perpetrating their monkeyshines at the corner of Trenton Avenue and Cumberland. These days they're probably building kinetic sculptures.

A 2009 Google Street View image shows skater hooligans perpetrating their monkeyshines at the corner of Trenton Avenue and Cumberland. These days they’re probably building kinetic sculptures.

If there can be said to be a ground zero for Kensington redevelopment and renaissance, it might be cobblestone Trenton Avenue, which anchors the East Kensington neighborhood and whose Trenton Ave Arts Festival gave rise to the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, that most beloved of creativity competitions.

This home is basically at Cumberland and Trenton, and as such, is in a pretty nice spot to appreciate. It also appears to have rather good bones, as well as a large backyard and a “clean” basement. Sold as-is, of course (hence the price), but if you’re looking for a blank canvas and a project, this might be a good place to start.

Gallery of poor-quality photos below.

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Road Trip: Cat-Oriented Estate Sale in Northern NJ

The man himself, in a painting by Roy Anderson. Also for sale.

The man himself, in a painting by Roy Anderson. Also for sale.

The internationally know former president of the Cat Fanciers Association Richard Gebhardt has, according to the listing on EstateSales.net, “decided to part with many of his lifelong treasures.” Seems a shame, but I suppose there comes a time in every life, feline-focused or no, when our possessions get the better of us. In Gebhardt’s case, given that he’s spent much of his years devoted to breeding, judging and advocating on behalf of cats and dogs (he is also a fan of the Japanese Chin, seems like), many of those treasures are animal themed: For instance:

- Hand-painted screen presented by the Japanese Cat Society
- Original photographs by world-renowned animal photographer Creszentia Allen
- Pair of Kutani Siamese cats
- Contents of Richard’s pet grooming parlor
- Chick Bragg “Cat Family” lithograph
- A CAT CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT GIVEN TO RICHARD BY BETTY WHITE

Gebhardt also has celebrity autographs from Paul Lynde and Muhammed Ali, a bronze medallion/medal/currency proof set made for Benito Mussolini, and perhaps the oldest working juicer I’ve ever seen. And that’s just for starters. I mean, do you not want to drive to Denville, NJ tomorrow to check this out? I know I do. Gallery below, and 135 more photos at the sale’s website.

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Must-See Open House: 1021 Meetinghouse Road

The property's original well is under glass now, behind the sofa. TREND photo via Realtor.com.

The property’s original well is under glass now, behind the sofa. TREND photo via Realtor.com.

This rather unique 4 bedroom has fireplaces in every room, hardwood floors and an addition with stone walls and exposed beams built around the property’s original well, which is featured like a great archeological remnant.

In the backyard, which is more than an acre and a half, there are black walnut and Kentucky coffee trees, which are apparently quite rare. The listing also notes that the kitchen has an Aga stove worth $10,000, which likely contributes to the stated $1,000,000 of upgrades. Plenty of other perks, too, in this highly livable home for a family looking for a place in the close-in Philly suburbs. Giant bulldog tapestry not included.

Gallery below.

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The DesignPhiladelphia 2014 Schedule Is Out!

header-logoThe schedule is now online for the city’s incredibly fun and diverse design festival, which is back for its 10th year. Starting October 9th, there’ll be more than 120 parties, exhibits, talks, happenings, what-have-yous at venues ranging from studios to street corners, storefronts to schoolrooms, museums to modern homes. If you’ve never been in town during DesignPhiladelphia, be warned: THE CREATIVE PEOPLE ARE COMING, AND THEY ARE TAKING OVER. We’ll have picks before the fest begins, and every day as it’s going on.

Events include our own Property Presents: Tales from the Design World, which as you can see from the event info, features ME. It is described thusly:

From client horror stories to the challenges of reinventing public spaces, those on the front line of Philly’s design community have the most entertaining tales to tell. Join us for this storytelling event, where designers, writers, architects, urban planners and photographers will tell their most personal, funny, and profound five-minute anecdotes.

Info: Thurs., Oct 9th, 6:30-8:30pm, AIA Center, tickets

DesignPhiladelphia Event Schedule

Number of Property Tax Deadbeats Is Down

the-blob-theater-hd

The city’s property tax collection program, the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), once terrified the populace as far away as Phoenixville.

The unthinkable is happening: The city is managing to collect more property taxes. I know this information is hard to absorb, but let Patrick Kerkstra persuade you:

The total debt owed the city and School District of Philadelphia in unpaid property taxes fell over the past year, edging down $10 million between April 2013 and April 2014, according to a Philadelphia magazine and PlanPhilly analysis of city tax data. The total number of property tax deadbeats declined as well, dipping about 1,400 over the same period.

To be sure, the gains are modest given the massive scale of property tax delinquency in Philadelphia; nearly 96,000 delinquent parcels and $512 million owed, figures that dwarf those in all other big cities except Detroit.

But it’s notable nonetheless that the city managed to stop — for a time at least — the spread of tax delinquency (the epidemic has grown quickly in most years of the Nutter administration), and more notable still that the city is now reducing the total amount owed.

For more of Kerkstra’s report:

City Picking up Pace on Tax Collection [Philly Mag]

East Market Project Gets Infusion of Funds

east market rendering detail

Detail from one of the East Market renderings. Full versions below. Courtesy National Real Estate Development.

Gov. Tom Corbett has just given the East Market project a $2.5 million shot in the arm, bringing the total state monies invested so far to $10 million. The city, according to a release that went out today, will spend $4 million to spruce up the area in question, once known as Market East (which previously had a train station known as Market East as well, but now known as Jefferson. Quiz later).

The project is that massive reinvention of, er, The Area Formerly Known As Market East. From the release, here are the latest details:

The funding will help support the first phase of development for East Market, estimated to cost $230 million. This initial phase encompasses 1100 Market Street, including new construction of a mixed‐use development consisting of 107,000 square feet of new retail with frontage on Market Street and a 322-unit apartment building above the retail space. There will also be a new parking garage for 201 cars and a centralized loading facility to service this and future phases of the East Market development, all below grade to minimize traffic impacts and support the pedestrian-centric plans. Also included in this first phase is 34 South 11th Street, former home of the Family Court. This building will be transformed into 150,000 square feet of new office space and an additional 44,000 square feet of ground floor and second floor retail space.

East Market is owned by National Real Estate Advisors, JOSS Realty Partners LLC, Young Capital LLC and SSH Real Estate and is supported on this project by IBEW, NECA and NEBF.

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Where to Move If You Bleed Eagles Green

map-nfl

As I’ve written before, Philadelphians can be quite unfairly harsh about New Jersey, which is actually a very beautiful state in many ways. And when it comes to one of the most pathetic, losingest sports teams in the United States, the citizens of New Jersey — despite the wary eye cast in their direction by Philly city folk — are supporters of that mess. Supporters! (Oh, also: Delaware.)

For those who bleed green for the Iggles but want their children to learn to read in Jersey (just in case they run out of money for letters in the Philly public schools), here’s a map of football fandom. Keep your friends close and your fans even closer.

The Geography of NFL Fandom [The Atlantic]

Main Line Monday: Newly Listed $6M Contemporary

main line monday logo This home with pool and tennis court, among other amenities, has almost 9,000 square feet of living space. The land was purchased in 2000 for $1,400,000, according to public record, and then a new house was built on the 2.3 acres by architect Matthew Milan and builder Frank Zadlo. So what makes it worth so much money now? Let’s take a look. Gallery below, after the Fine Print.

THE FINE PRINT
Beds: 7
Baths: 6/1
Square feet: 8,798
Price: $5,965,000

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Jacques Ferber Reopens on Walnut Street

Jacques-FerberJacques Ferber was a Walnut Street institution since 1911, but where once there were furs (and protesters against them) there are now Vans. Ferber has moved to the second floor of 1708 Walnut, Shoppist reports:

The Ferber team preserved details of the historic building (take a look at the wide wood frames around the mirrors—those were designed by Frank Furness). The final result? A modern space with plenty of character, just like the collection itself.

Jacques Ferber Reveals Its New Walnut Street Store [Shoppist]

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