7 Philly Architectural Salvage Companies That Will Transform Your Space

It seems like everybody in interior design is clamoring to get into the architectural salvage game. Beloved brands like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel make a killing off brand new “salvaged iron” tables, and Pinterest is chock full of reclaimed wood DIYs. So there’s certainly a desire for upscale salvaged goods — for good reason. Not only do they look phenomenal, but buying salvaged materials (like petrified wood and abandoned doors) also helps the environment by keeping perfectly good items from clogging up our landfills. Wondering where to go to spruce up your home while unleashing your inner Captain Planet? Look no further than these seven Philly architectural salvage companies that’ll transform any space into a cozy, charming haven. Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: A Fun Home in Aston

414 Crozerville Rd., Aston, Pa. 19014 | TREND Images via Weichert Realtors

414 Crozerville Rd., Aston, Pa. 19014 | TREND Images via Weichert Realtors

We’ve seen homes with lovely backyard playgrounds before. But it’s very rare indeed to find one with the playground built in.

This completely renovated former farmhouse in Aston has it – or rather, one of the most popular pieces of playground equipment – as an integral part of the home.

But before we get to it, let’s rattle off all the other nice features this home has. Read more »

SEPTA Shows Off Quiet New Electric Bus to Public

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Photo: Sandy Smith

While it was busy getting the crowds to and from the Democratic National Convention, SEPTA took time out on Thursday (July 28th) to show the locals and visitors a glimpse of the future.

That glimpse took the form of a Proterra Catalyst battery-powered electric bus parked in front of SEPTA’s Center City headquarters in the middle of the day.

SEPTA ordered 25 of these buses in late April after winning a Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Grant from the Federal Transit Administration. SEPTA used the grant, which totals $2,585,075, to cover the difference in cost between the more expensive battery-electric buses and the diesel-electric hybrids it normally buys. Read more »

Hey, Mayor, How ’Bout Making That Broad Street Parking Ban Permanent?

Photo: Holly Otterbein

Photo: Holly Otterbein

The South Philly parking catastrophe that some feared after the city’s decision to enforce the ban on parking in the median of South Broad Street during the Democratic National Convention has failed to materialize. And that in turn has led to a call for Mayor Jim Kenney to make enforcement of the ban permanent.

“I’m a South Philly resident myself. I live two blocks off of Broad Street,” said Jake Liefer, co-founder and treasurer of the 5th Square, a political action committee that seeks to advance an urbanist agenda for City Hall. The group launched a petition drive on July 26th to persuade the mayor to continue the ban after the convention. “Over the past three days, I’ve been able to park my car on my block easily — and even park right in front of my house.” Read more »

Neighbors Weigh In on American Street’s Future

 

This illustration shows what a typical block with a bioswale in part of its median would look like. | Image from Gilmore & Associates for the City of Philadelphia

This illustration shows what a typical block with a bioswale in part of its median would look like. | Image from Gilmore & Associates for the City of Philadelphia

As Philadelphia went through its industrial revolution that made it “The Workshop of the World,” one of its greatest industrial districts was the one that arose along American Street in Kensington thanks to a Reading Railroad branch line.

Most of that industry is now gone, and what remains is on a much smaller scale. But the street remains huge — and foreboding to some, thanks to its desolate appearance, a byproduct of that deindustrialization. This has led to an unusual partnership between three city agencies aimed at both remaking the street for a mixed-use future and turning it into a showcase for green infrastructure.

At a public open house on July 26, representatives of the Streets Department, the Water Department and the City Planning Commission invited residents of South Kensington (Old Kensington), West Kensington and Norris Square to give their opinions about what issues the city should address first when rebuilding the street. Read more »

First-Time Find: A Place to Grow in Swarthmore

2 Yale Ave., Swarthmore, PA 19081 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

2 Yale Ave., Swarthmore, PA 19081 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Often, young families face a dilemma once they have children: Do we stay in the neighborhood we love, or must we move somewhere where they’ll have play space, or good schools, or some combination of those and other factors?

With this home close to the center of Swarthmore, you can avoid having to make that decision, for you will have taken care of all that the moment you buy it. Read more »

Conventioneers, It’s Clear: Take the Subway

SEPTA shuttle buses, fresh from dropping off passengers, round the intersection of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue as supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders stage a protest outside the convention security perimeter. | Photos: Sandy Smith

SEPTA shuttle buses, fresh from dropping off passengers, round the intersection of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue as supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders stage a protest outside the convention security perimeter. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Back in 1983, when I moved here, SEPTA’s official Philadelphia Street and Transit Map (still the best paper map of the city around, if you can find a copy) had this blunt statement on the back:

“If you wish to move around the city quickly, you must stay out of traffic.”

Note to Democratic National Convention-goers: That means you should take the Broad Street Line to get to the Wells Fargo Center.

A completely unscientific survey of delegates and other attendees during last night’s opening session revealed a significant satisfaction gap between those who relied on SEPTA’s shuttle buses and those who used the subway to get to and from the convention site. Read more »

Point Breeze Among Best “Bad” Neighborhoods for Home Buyers

Image via Google Maps

Today’s run-down block, tomorrow’s golden opportunity. | Image via Google Maps

The good news: Ori Feibush is right. The bad news: Ori Feibush is right.

If a newly-released RealtyTrac analysis of property sales data in marginal neighborhoods across the country is any guide, we can expect continued fireworks in Point Breeze for years to come.

That’s because according to RealtyTrac, zip code 19146 is one of the “35 Best Down-and-Out Neighborhoods to Buy a Home.”

Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac analyzed data on 3,561 urban ZIP codes in the United States to come up with its list of 35 “Rough-and-Tumble Neighborhoods on the Rebound.” Read more »

SEPTA: Expect Crowds on the Broad Street Line All Week

Expect crowded conditions on the Broad Street Line around this time every day during the convention. | Photo: Ben Schumin

Expect crowded conditions on the Broad Street Line around this time every day during the convention. | Photo: Ben Schumin

SEPTA is also part of the city’s mobilization effort to get the delegates and hangers-on for the 2016 Democratic National Convention where they’re going.

The agency has 125 buses stored at a parking lot within the convention’s security perimeter, ready to shuttle delegates from their Center City and airport hotels to the Wells Fargo Center.

But not everyone is eligible to ride the buses, which have been swept to clear Secret Service security requirements. For everyone else, there’s the Broad Street Line. Read more »

Dept. of Minor Miracles: Nobody Is Parked on the Broad Street Median Today

Look Ma, no cars in the median! | Photos: Holly Otterbein

Look Ma, no cars in the median! | Photos: Holly Otterbein

This morning, South Philly residents awoke to see something most of them had never seen in their lifetimes: South Broad Street completely free of parked cars in its median.

That was the first miracle. The second was this: the Philadelphia Parking Authority only had to tow away a handful of them.  Read more »

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