Flyers’ Claude Giroux Buys Unit at 10 Rittenhouse

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Does Claude Giroux care that he’ll be close to Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon, who live at 1706, now that he bought a penthouse unit at 10 Rittenhouse? Do the Phillies and the Flyers guys hang out? In fact, does anyone hang out with Jonathan Papelbon?

Well, no matter. He has plenty of other bigwigs to hang with at 10 Rittenhouse. Last year, Property’s Shannon Rooney and Laura Kicey took a look at the penthouses, and some of these photos are those being used to market the 29th-floor penthouses. Thus, we can assume this is roughly how Claude Giroux will now live. Gallery below.

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Unique Upper Merion Home Overlooking Gulph Creek

117 Arden Road, Gulph Mills, PA.

117 Arden Road, Gulph Mills, PA.

Don’t be fooled by the crisp white exterior of this eighteenth-century stone manse. It was once a cluster of individual textile mills, which have since been combined to create a roomy abode looking out onto the waters of Gulph Creek at Hanging Rock.

As one might expect, the woods-surrounded home has an interesting interior layout. For one thing, the floor plan permits for two master bedrooms, one of which has a custom-outfitted dressing room. Distinctive features include Mercer tile, exposed beams and timbers, and six fireplaces–all of which are artisan-crafted.

The home’s outdoor highlights are its terraced gardens, two-car garage with upper level, and numerous outdoor entertaining spaces. Gallery below.

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Barnes Architects and “Skyspace” Artist to Receive National Medal of Arts

The new Barnes Foundation in Center City

Newsworks reports that President Obama will award the National Medal of Arts to Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, architects of the new Barnes Foundation (as well as Penn’s Skirkanich Hall and two dorms at Haverford College), and to James Turrell, the extraordinary light artist who recently created one of his signature “skyspaces” in Chestnut Hill, along with nine other recipients.

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Midday Headlines: Rittenhouse Club Horror Story

home for sale

New projects in and around the city are thriving (even if approvals can be cumbersome), but not all developments are created equal. Case in point: the Rittenhouse Club condo apartments in Norristown.

In an an article written for the Inquirer, Carolyn Davis tells the home buyer horror story that unfolded with a Norristown condo complex at its center.

The 26-unit project by developer R. Bruce Fazio cropped up with issues from the start. And not just cliché, annoying-leaky-pipes type of issues. No, more like scary naked wiring and wooden fire-escape staircase (what?!) issues. And it doesn’t stop there:

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Hidden 8BR Glenside Estate With Cupola

TREND photo courtesy Long & Foster.

TREND photo courtesy Long & Foster.

The thing we love most about this beautiful Glenside estate is that it has been restored to its 1830s heyday but there are still opportunities for new owners to personalize the property. With only four previous owners, the estate has retained original elements like pocket doors and pocket shutters as well as original pinewood flooring. While the property has been renovated meticulously, new owners will still have the chance to devise any use they like for two very cool spaces: a cupola and a restored barn.

The main living areas of the home include a library with the double whammy of built-in bookshleves and window seats. A formal living room features a fireplace with Mercer tile (you’ll also find that in the bathrooms and in one of the other three fireplaces). The kitchen has been fully renovated and includes radiant heat flooring, an eight-burner, two-oven Wolf stove, a Sub Zero refrigerator and a separate wine cooler. The first-floor dining room could accommodate more than 150 guests at a cocktail party.

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UNIQLO Now Planning Four Area Stores

UNIQLOThe extremely trendy and fairly inexpensive clothing retailer UNIQLO is invading the region: first, a store opened in the King of Prussia Mall. Then stores were announced for Center City’s Chestnut Street and the Willow Grove Park Mall. Now, Shoppist reports that the Tokyo-based company is coming to South Jersey as well, to the Cherry Hill Mall:

A rep confirms that the store will open on September 26th, just a week before the October 3rd opening at 1608 Chestnut Street. It will be on the main level, sandwiched between a Bath & Body Works and an Abercrombie & Fitch. If you’re counting, this is four UNIQLO stores to open region in less than a year. World domination next? (Or maybe just Delaware.)

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New Renderings of Vine Street Mormon Tower

The proposed apartment tower, with the proposed brick meetinghouse in front of it, and the under-construction temple in the foreground.

The Mormon Church’s planned apartment tower and small meetinghouse on Vine Street is about to go through the city’s Civic Design Review process—which means we get a bunch of new project renderings, plans, and specifications.

The project, which was announced several months ago by Mayor Nutter, will fill the block-long vacant lot on the north side of Vine Street between Franklin Town Boulevard and 16th Street, right across from the site of the still-under-construction Mormon temple. It’ll include a new access road through the middle of the site between the two buildings.

The tower will rise 32 stories and 360 feet, and will house 264 apartments, 13 town homes, and plenty of residential amenities including a large outdoor terrace, wraparound retail space, and two levels of underground parking. Portions will have green roofs. The meetinghouse, to be sited between the temple and the tower, will rise two stories and house a chapel, cultural center, “baptismal font,” educational facilities, and an outdoor courtyard.

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Growing Up in Center City in the ’70s and ’80s

Children playing in the Art Museum fountains, August 1973.

Children playing in the Art Museum fountains in August 1973. Photograph by Dick Swanson/The National Archive

Well, I did it. I finally wrote about what it was like growing up in Center City. I think I’ll carry the article around (it’s in the August print edition of Philly Mag) so when I’m faced with the below exchange — usually at a bar — I can just hand it out. Here’s how it goes:

Random Person: Where are you from?
Me: Philly.
RP: Born and raised?
Me: Born and raised.
RP: What part?
Me: Center City.
RP: That’s unusual.
Me: I guess so.
RP: Where in Center City?
Me: Mostly 22nd and Spruce.
RP: Oh, wow – in Center City.
Me: Yup.
RP: What was that like?

Here’s my answer.

Growing Up in Philadelphia: The Lost City

Passive House Building Principles at Kamp Kaolin in Landenberg

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Currently under construction in southern Chester County (Landenberg, to be precise), Kamp Kaolin is a 2,700 square-foot home designed with a whole slew of industry buzzwords in mind. Sustainability. Passive house principles. Aging-in-place.

We talked to Hugh Lofting, of Hugh Lofting Timber Framing Inc., who is in charge of the project. The company is one of only seven certified passive house builders in Pennsylvania, so he’s the man to talk to when you want to confirm that the building principles involve more than a bunch of architects standing around saying things like “wherever you think the truss should go is fine with me” or “I’m sure that foundation is level enough.”

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Clash of the Real Estate Titans: Zillow vs. Trulia

Clash-1 and are the two most popular real estate websites, where the majority of consumers go when they’re trying to find a home to buy. What you’ll find on both is syndicated information — listings copy written by the realtor; photos provided by the realtor; info about number of beds, baths, etc. But each portal, as they’re called, ups the ante by supplementing syndicated information with customized features: maps, lists of homes that have sold and how much they’ve sold for, property history, neighborhood amenities, etc.

As with the travel industry, consumers can now do much of their research online, which changes the role of real estate brokerages. For many consumers, an independent brokerage is no longer the first stop along the home-buying journey.

Companies like Zillow and Trulia don’t necessarily think of themselves as being in the business of real estate. Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, describes Zillow as a media company. In his first-quarter earnings call in May, he said: “We sell ads. We don’t sell houses.”

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