Here’s What People Are Saying About Dilworth Plaza

Renderings are beginning to meet reality.

Renderings are beginning to meet reality.

As you surely know by now, Dilworth Plaza turned into Dilworth Park yesterday. Every media outlet in town turned up for the party, and while they all basically said the same thing (spoiler: they really, really like it), there is something to be said for the sheer volume of coverage.

The Daily News’s Jenny DeHuff might have summed the crowd up best:

Planned for months, yesterday’s ribbon-cutting was a lovefest of who’s who at the local, state and federal levels, as well as the minds and bodies that brought the project to fruition.

At The Inquirer, Chris Hepp and Paul Nussbaum do a great job of reminding us all that this public space has been heavily financed through private dollars.

The project evolved into what [Center City District President Paul] Levy called a “model private-public partnership.”

That partnership is evident in the funding. Major contributors include the state ($16.35 million), the Center City District ($15 million), the Federal Transit Administration ($15 million), the city ($5.75 million), and SEPTA ($4.3 million). The William Penn Foundation provided $1.2 million.

They also captured this rather unfortunate quote from the first visitor through SEPTA’s fancy new turnstiles.

The first customer through the new turnstiles – equipped to handle both existing passes and future “smart cards” – was Lou Hoffer, 30, of Center City.

“It’s fancy,” said Hoffer. “It feels like New York.”

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Classic Stone Mt. Airy Home with Delightful Playroom and Plenty of Built-Ins

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

There is a lot to love about this stylish Mt. Airy home. The stone facade is classic, the hardwood floors are gleaming, the kitchen is new and there is roof deck potential. But our favorite detail is the third-floor playroom, which has been made over as Mt. Airy’s own private family Småland, replete with all of the Swedish retailer’s most colorful children’s accessories.

Down on the ground floor, the home features a handsome foyer that gives way to a living room with fireplace and built-in cupboards. The brand-new kitchen features a built-in of its own: an island-style gas stovetop range. There is a breakfast room adjacent to the kitchen with richly patterned wallpaper and yet more built-in storage. Upstairs the five bedrooms are split between the second and third floors, most with adjoining bathrooms. The third floor has room for one bedroom, a bath, and the darling playroom.
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Chester County’s Belgrave Farm: 36 Acres and Magnificent Private Waterfall

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach.

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach.

Somehow, the dramatic, tree-lined driveway is not the most theatrical element at Belgrave Farm. Nor is it the stunning kitchen nor the vast, 36-acre plot of land. The most breathtaking detail at the 200-year-old Chester County farm is the enormous waterfall out back, which flows into a pristine private pond.

The interior is impressive all on its own. The home has a meticulous design, which architect Peter Zimmerman has added to via a series of additions. The kitchen features high-end appliances throughout, and seven bedrooms fill the upper floors. Views span the Ridley Creek stream.
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At Last, Everyone and Everything in Accord at Goldtex

Photo by Liz Spikol.

Photo by Liz Spikol.

Less than a year ago, the news out of the Post Brothers’ Goldtex building was drama, controversy and inflatable rats. Which is why Inga Saffron, in today’s Inquirer, is expressing genuine surprise that not only have the former adversaries moved beyond attacking each other, but that the building itself seems to be – dare we say it – an example of good design.

In Saffron-ese:

The surprise is that the renovated factory emerged from the debacle with its architectural integrity intact.

“There must be something in the water,” she writes, explaining that both Electricians Local 98 boss John Dougherty and developer Michael Pestronk both expressed some regret over the affair.

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Habitat: Everyone Should Have a Coffee Bar in the Bedroom

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Thirty years after building their dream home in Wawa, Delaware County, Jo Ann Townsend and her husband realized they needed a change.

“What we liked then was not what we wanted now,” Townsend said.

The couple had originally purchased nine acres of land from her husband’s parents. Her father-in-law was an architect who designed the home specifically to synchronize with the sun. In the summer, the home would be shaded. In the winter, the sun would stream through the all-glass wall in the living room .

Upstairs, the couple later added a three-story addition to the home. It enlarged the top-level bedroom but they didn’t have a clear idea of what to do with all the extra square footage.

“Lots of room with no sense or space planning,” Townsend said.

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Morning Headlines: Flipping the Conventional Wisdom on Renters

Photo by Michelle W. via Flickr.

Photo by Michelle W. via Flickr.

Kellie Patrick Gates parses a hefty city planning commission survey at PlanPhilly this morning. Among the findings that might surprise you if you still subscribe to antiquated notions about renters: they are “highly committed” to their neighborhoods; many choose to rent despite their ability to buy; and the most highly committed renters in Philly appear to live outside Center City.

Among the findings that night not surprise you:

Other factors that respondents said kept them from buying included some Philadelphia-specific criticisms: School quality (31 percent), taxes (29 percent), the feeling they could get more house for less money outside the city (27 percent).

The report also found that Center City renters love exactly what you think they’d love. Restaurants, amenities and walkability. Renters in neighborhoods outside Center City cited closeness to friends and family as behind their decisions to rent where they do.

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Contemporary Chestnut Hill Manse Bordering Philadelphia Cricket Club

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach.

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach.

The listing for this contemporary estate in Chestnut Hill pegs its construction somewhere around 1974. Which would make it about 120 years younger than its closest neighbor, the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Like its neighbor, the home features lots of lush green land and plenty of 215 cachet.

The home features five bedrooms and three full baths on just more than an acre of land. Glass doors and wall-sized windows allow plenty of light but the secluded setting ensures privacy. The kitchen is ringed with custom cabinets and also includes a large center island and top-of-the-line appliances like a six-burner Viking stove. A two-story addition makes room for a garden room, family room, TV room and sun room (in another house, these four rooms would be the same). The master suite includes a private bath with a sauna and six enormous closets.
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A Swoon-Worthy Garden and Patio in New Hope

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo by Laura Kicey.

At first, Sally Weisman did not want to move. She’d been living in Princeton, New Jersey for 13 years in a beautiful home. She was reluctant to downsize because she loves to have friends and family over. But she was ready for a smaller space. She considered going back to New York. Then she found a townhouse in New Hope. The clincher was the available lot next door.

Her interior designer, Helen Walton, first suggested that Weisman buy the available lot. When her builder agreed that it was a great idea, things started to take shape. Weisman moved in November and the garden was finished last month.

“I really couldn’t live without a garden or some outside space,” Weisman said.

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Secluded Garden Just Off Main Street in Manayunk

TREND photo courtesy Keller Williams.

TREND photo courtesy Keller Williams.

From the garden, it would be tough to guess that this house was just a stone’s throw from Main Street in Manayunk. The interior of the home also makes it seem a bit more … grown up than some of the typical neighbors. All of which is likely owed to the architect and professional designer who put the whole thing together.

The home features four bedrooms and two full baths as well as a powder room. Luxe paint, built-in shelving and original plank hardwoods give things a warm feel. The kitchen has been recently redone and includes subway tiles on the backsplash as well as a custom bench at the eat-in table. A basement boasts additional room for storage.

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Eclectic Loft in Historic Rebman Building

TREND photo courtesy Plumer & Associates.

TREND photo courtesy Plumer & Associates.

The common thread among units in the Rebman building appears to be the usual soaring loft ceilings, enormous windows … and the ability to completely customize your space. The two other lofts we have featured could themselves not be more different from each other. This third unit goes in a completely different direction, combining a cosy home with decidedly industrial fixtures.

Unit 4G features the same open layout with walls of windows facing south and east. Customization is immediately apparent, and not just from the distinctive red piping. Current owners have completely soundproofed the unit. The listing promises not a peep of noise from busy streets below. The unit’s single bedroom has a wall of custom-fit wardrobes. The bathroom has been built for two and includes a full laundry setup. A workspace could easily be upgraded to a studio for two.

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