Main Line Monday: A Real Sanctuary in Narberth

200 Price Ave. # ELM 5, Narberth, Pa. 19072 | TREND Images from BHHS Fox & Roach

200 Price Ave. # ELM 5, Narberth, Pa. 19072 | TREND Images from BHHS Fox & Roach

One of the most sensitively executed adaptive reuse projects on the Main Line is now complete, and as a result, you now have the opportunity to live in a condo like no other in one of the Main Line’s most walkable, family-friendly communities.

This top-of-the-line unit at is the result of Main Line reBuild’s conversion of Alexander Mackie Adams’ 1929 United Methodist Church of Narberth into Elm Hall at Narberth Place, with six distinctive condominium units. This one, Unit 5, occupies part of the church sanctuary, which means you get some fabulous architectural elements built right in along with the modern conveniences you might expect. Read more »

Great Park(ing) Spaces Pop Up at AIA Convention

"Lean back," the chalk instruction advised visitors to At Media's Jury Award-winning parklet. And they did. |Photos: Sandy Smith

“Lean back,” the chalk instruction advised visitors to At Media’s Jury Award-winning parklet. And they did. |Photos: Sandy Smith

“Imagine.”

That’s the theme of this year’s American Institute of Architects convention in Philadelphia.

But imagine what?

Seven local architects, designers and firms that work closely with architects and builders each had their own answer to that question yesterday when they competed for a jury prize and public favor at Day One of the two-day Saint-Gobain Parklet Design Competition.

Regrettably, each of those two competitions gave out only one award, and there was enough variety and creativity in the entries that just about all of them deserved a “best” award of some sort. So I’ll make up some: Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: Great Room in North Wales

106 White Tower Lane, North Wales, Pa. 19454 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

106 White Tower Lane, North Wales, Pa. 19454 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

“Were you raised in a barn?”

Your kids might answer this question literally if they grow up in this huge former barn in North Wales.

Built in 1841, the structure has been converted into a one-of-a-kind home that offers totally modern comfort, room for expansion and a heaping helping of vintage character. Read more »

Hard Hat Tour: The View From Vue32

Architect's rendering of Vue32 in the context of its surroundings | Rendering by Erdy McHenry Architecture courtesy Cashman & Associates

Architect’s rendering of Vue32 in the context of its surroundings | Rendering by Erdy McHenry Architecture courtesy Cashman & Associates

Ground was ceremonially broken one week ago for Vue32, the new apartment tower Radnor Property Group (RPG) is building and will manage for Drexel University at 32nd and Race streets. But a recent hard-hat tour of the site reveals that work on the foundation and substructure is well under way.

RPG President David Yeager led us on a hard-hat tour of the construction site and explained why the slender 16-story tower looks the way it does and how all the pieces of the project, which also includes a row of townhouses, fell into place.

Yeager worked with Drexel President John Fry on a series of redevelopment projects on and around the Franklin & Marshall College campus in Lancaster, and now that he’s back in Philly, Fry has turned to Yeager and his company again to help him carry out Drexel’s master campus plan. The Vue32 project advances two key elements of it: reducing the pressure on off-campus housing in Powelton Village by providing more apartments for members of the Drexel community and promoting homeownership by Drexel faculty and staff in the neighborhood as well. Read more »

WATCH: SEPTA’s New Crum Creek Viaduct Goes Up in Fast Forward

Where things stood on the Crum Creek Viaduct this past winter, about halfway through the video. | Screen shot of video from SEPTA Crum Creek Viaduct website

Where things stood on the Crum Creek Viaduct this past winter, a little beyond halfway through the video. | Screen shot of video from SEPTA Crum Creek Viaduct website

One month from now, you won’t be able to ride SEPTA’s Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line west of Swarthmore, as the line beyond that point will be shut down while the spans of the new Crum Creek Viaduct are put in place.

(You will, however, be able to get to every station from Wallingford to Elwyn via shuttle buses from Swarthmore, so fear not, you won’t be completely stranded.)

As this is being written, construction crews are putting the steel beams of the new spans in place on temporary supports so they can be moved into position during the 11-week shutdown of the line. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Logged In in Bucks

163 Marienstein Rd., Upper Black Eddy, Pa. 18972| Images via Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty

163 Marienstein Rd., Upper Black Eddy, Pa. 18972| Images via Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty

Usually, log lodgings come in two basic varieties: the rustic, rough-hewn, back-t0-the-land log cabin and the luxurious Gilded Age hunting lodge.

Cross both with the Main Line Colonial aesthetic, and the result would probably look like this solidly built and splendidly outfitted log home in Upper Black Eddy, Bucks County.

Actually, for all it evokes Gilded Age splendor, this home, built entirely of cedar logs shipped from Maine, is almost totally modern. Read more »

Parklet Season Gets Off to Early Start During AIA Convention

Parklets have caused many to rethink how we use the public realm. Tomorrow and Friday, a competition invites Philly architects and designers to reimagine the parklet. | Photo credit: Dan Reed via Flickr

Parklets have caused many to rethink how we use the public realm. Tomorrow and Friday, a competition invites Philly architects and designers to reimagine the parklet. | Photo credit: Dan Reed via Flickr

Vistors in town for the American Institute of Architects national convention, Reading Terminal Market patrons, tourists and plain old passers-by will have an opportunity to relax, dine al fresco, and even play architecture critic during a two-day pop-up parklet competition being held in conjunction with the AIA convention.

From noon to 7 p.m. tomorrow and Friday, May 19th and 20th, the Saint-Gobain Parklet Design Competition will put the best efforts of some two dozen local architecture and design firms to a very public test. A dozen contestants each day will erect parklets in the curbside parking spaces in the 1200 block of Arch Street, in front of the Center for Architecture and Design. Convention-goers and the general public are invited to drop in, relax, and take in the sounds and sights of the city around them from the comfort of a parking space converted to pedestrian use. Read more »

Once a Hot Disco, Now a Cool Opportunity

First floor, 2015 Sansom St

Once a hot dance club, this space is an office now, but it could become a chic boutique or happening cafe. Its owner is looking for a tenant with vision and creativity. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Spencer Zahn has had a knack for being in the right place at the right time throughout his career. He has helped boost the careers and fortunes of many notable musicians, artists and other creative types while himself remaining in the background.

And that’s still how he prefers it. But he is stepping out of the shadows for just a little bit to promote the space he has worked from for many years now. Read more »

That House Out There: Tinkering with History in Westtown

1534 Woodland Rd., West Chester, Pa. 19382 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

1534 Woodland Rd., West Chester, Pa. 19382 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

You know how there are those who just can’t resist tinkering with things — assembling them, disassembling them, rearranging them, adding and subtracting from them?

The Westtown farmhouse you see here has an owner who was into that sort of thing, and the house was the object of all the tinkering.

Now the widow of that owner is ready to downsize her life, and your reward is a house that you can retool into the home of your own dreams. Read more »

Why Bikeability Is a Real Estate Story

Indego bike stations like this one in front of the Cecil B. Moore branch of the Free Library in Sharswood form a link in an emerging alternative transportation network that many house-hunters find increasingly appealing. | Photo: Sandy Smith

Indego bike stations like this one in front of the Cecil B. Moore branch of the Free Library in Sharswood form a link in an emerging alternative transportation network that many house-hunters find increasingly appealing. | Photo: Sandy Smith

Earlier today, we reported on the latest rankings from Walk Score, which listed the most bikeable downtowns in the United States based on their Bike Score rankings.

One might think at first glance that this is a transportation story. But there’s a reason the news came from one of the nation’s largest online brokerages aside from the fact that the brokerage, Redfin, owns Walk Score.

If you’ve been following reports in this section over the last few months (like this one, for instance), you should have picked up on a growing preference among home buyers for homes in locations where they can choose how they will get from home to where they want to go. Read more »

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