Top 25 Cyber Monday Deals: Home & Design

shop horne cyber monday

Mash Studios’ PCH Entertainment Shelf for sale at Shop Horne.

Let’s have a little fun, shall we?  Or, um, spend money we shouldn’t?

· Dwell Studio: 20% off everything. Code: CYBERCHIC20.

· Art.com: 40% off everything. Code: CYBER49

· Loom Decor: 30% off everything until midnight

· West Elm: Discounts between 10% and 25% depending on purchase prices. Code: EVENMORE

· Thomas Paul: 20% off everything.

· Design Within Reach: Discounts on overstocked, discontinued and clearance items.

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Optimistic Outlook for Philly’s Largest Fixer-Upper?

The long struggle to preserve the SS United States, the once-grand ocean liner now  in limbo on the Delaware, seems, on the surface, to have taken a new turn. The Associated Press reported last week that the ship’s owner, the SS United States Conservancy, has begun a project to clear out the belly of the ship and sell the materials. That space will then be fitted with modern utilities “to make it more appealing for developers interested in turning what was once the world’s fastest ocean liner into a massive dockside attraction.”

It’s great to see the ship get national attention, and the AP report does a nice job of providing the history of the ship and a strong rationale for its survival. But after so many years of panicked declarations, it’s depressing to read, once again, sentences like, “its future is still uncertain” and the Conservancy “warns that if its grand plans do not come together quickly, there might be no choice but to sell the historic liner as scrap.”

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Morning Headlines: Looking Even Worse for the Salvation Army

philadelphia-building-collapse01

The Inquirer has an examination of what people knew and when they knew it before the Hoagie City building collapsed onto the Salvation Army thrift store. This goes to the heart of the matter in terms of culpability, both criminal (civil lawsuits) and moral. It also reemphasizes what we already knew and which Victor Fiorillo wrote about in September: The Salvation Army is not looking good in this whole thing. Some fundamental questions:

– Did the store manager at the Salvation Army know the employees were at risk?
– Did the Salvation Army supervisor of nine stores know the employees were at risk?
– Did the Salvation Army organization know that the demolition was risky enough to merit closing the location while the work continued?

The Salvation Army’s lawyer, Eric A. Weiss, told the Inquirer that the organization had no idea what stage the demo had reached.

At decision-making levels, Weiss said, the charity thought it was still negotiating with its Market Street neighbor over what steps would be taken to shield the shop during demolition when the collapse occurred.

He said the Salvation Army had designated a Harrisburg lawyer to negotiate with the owner of the building being torn down, STB Investments Corp., a company controlled by real estate investor Richard Basciano.

But the Inquirer reported previously that STB warned the organization of the hazards in a series of emails. As it stands now, aside from the criminal charges filed against the demolition contractor and the excavator operator, it seems as though the Salvation Army will bear the brunt of the blame for the loss of life and the injuries suffered. Good thing they’ve got deep pockets.

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Now for Sale: Pat Croce’s Exuberantly Decorated Main Line Home

croce-opener

Pat Croce — former president of the 76ers; author of inspirational New York Times bestsellers; self-described pirate; museum founder; and Key West habitué and bar owner — has put his extravagant Lower Merion estate on the market for $7.95 million. The home has six bedrooms and 8 full bathrooms and three half-bathrooms, for a total of more than 10,500 square feet. The house sits on three and a half acres, and was built in 1923. Croce and wife Diane paid 2.35 million for it in 1993.

As befits a man of Croce’s status, the home has a game room, a media room, plenty of garage parking, a pool, tennis courts, a bar, and other perks. It also has a very distinct sense of style, as exuberant as the man himself. Note the pirate-themed chairs.

Gallery below.

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“Ask Me How Brewerytown Is Booming!”

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Photo: Brad Maule

Last night at Rybrew — the cafe-restaurant with a superb beer selection at 28th and Girard Avenue — neighborhood residents mingled with real estate professionals and developers to talk about Brewerytown. The event was put together by MM Partners, a neighborhood development and real estate company that is, without question, Brewerytown’s most tenacious evangelist. In order to educate attendees about the neighborhood, MM hand-picked local “experts” — whether business owners or residents — to wear name tags that read: “ASK ME HOW BREWERYTOWN IS BOOMING!”

MM’s Jake Roller explained that the event was targeted to real estate professionals for a reason. “When we started out, I don’t think anyone knew the name Brewerytown,” he said. “We’ve been trying to educate people about the real character of the neighborhood with events like the jazz concerts and the spring festival. I think we’ve made progress with the general public. Now I think the next step in the evolution of the neighborhood is getting people to move here, and that has to start with real estate brokers.”

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Villanova Property Where Will Smith Stayed Now Comes With Bentley Convertible

bentley

Associate broker Robin Gordon is one the top producers on the Main Line, having sold more than $1 billion of real estate in roughly 15 years, according to her marketing manager husband Michael Gordon. Now, Michael tells us, Robin is trying something new: She’s offering a fast-settle incentive of a two-year lease of a Bentley Continental GT convertible. Feel the wind in your hair! In your very well-coiffed hair! Realtor Michael says he thinks this car lease, courtesty FC Kerbeck, could start a new trend in luxury-home promotions, and that doesn’t seem far-fetched. Remember Caryn Black’s extravagant open house? That also featured luxury cars in a prominent role.

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BREAKING: Sale Pending on Louis Kahn’s Esherick House

esherick-house

Finally! The Louis Kahn home in Chestnut Hill that has been on the market for such a long time — and that inspired my personal confession of a rather disturbing nature — is pending sale, which means unless something catastrophic happens, it will have new owners soon.

    

Those owners, though, are keeping a low profile for the moment, preferring to remain anonymous. But they do say, via email, “We are committed to being good stewards of this beautiful reflection of the genius of Louis Kahn.”

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Comment of the Week: Kanye’s Arrogance May Be the Problem

kim_kanye_180“I don’t know if the snicker had as much to do with Kanye’s race as much as it had to do with his extremely long track record of arrogance. I think people were looking for a way to ridicule his visit and simply latched on to his most glaring inaccuracy, whether or not that criticism would withstand the light of day.

That being said, I think that anyone trying to remind architects that their profession is one that must inherently be attentive to the needs of the humans it is meant to serve is positive.”

-DTurner, regarding A Matter of Race?: Kanye West Used “Architect” As a Verb

Thanksgiving Special: Best Luxury Kitchens in Center City

luxury-kitchen

Everyone’s thinking about cooking this week. Well, not everyone. Not people like me, who wouldn’t know how to make stuffing even if you paid me to, and whose entire Thanksgiving crew includes a very cranky, just-neutered cat who’s wandering through the house uttering nonstop plaintive cries I can only interpret as, “Why? Why?”

But. There are many other people who cook, and for them — and even for me — it’s nice to dream of a phenomenal kitchen in which to whip up, over eight hours or so, a hearty Thanksgiving meal.

We’ve chosen six kitchens in luxury homes that are currently for sale in Center City that we think are tops — either because the equipment is terrific or because the design is lovely. Half of them are on Delancey Street (or Delancey Place, if you’re being grand about it).

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