Morning Headlines: St. Laurentius Decree Takes Effect Today

st laurentius church

Photo of St. Laurentius at Memphis and Berks in Fishtown: Google Street View.

For Philadelphia’s Roman Catholics, Sunday’s generally a day of prayer, but this week it was anything but for one Fishtown church, St. Laurentius, which Archbishop Chaput “decertified,” meaning it’s no longer a Roman Catholic church.

However, the decertification says the building can be used in the future for “profane but not sordid use,” according to the Inquirer — and that’ll be true even if it’s demolished and condos are put in its place.

Ken Gavin, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said the decree means that if the church is demolished or put to another use, the property could not be used for any purpose contrary to Catholic teachings. The order takes effect Wednesday…

John Wisniewski, a longtime member of St. Laurentius, said that a group of parishioners has hired a canon lawyer and that an appeal of the relegation was being sent to the Vatican.

While an appeal is in process, the church cannot be torn down, Gavin said.

Archbishop decertifies Fishtown church [Inquirer]

More headlines, this way…

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A Rowhouse In Manayunk That Is Not a Rowhouse

manayunk canal

Pretty Manayunk. Photo by Liz Spikol.

Manayunk’s Main Street waxes and wanes, but here’s something new: Rowhouse, a furniture and home goods store, which Shoppist describes as “a treasure hunt for cool home finds.” We don’t have much intel yet, but for some initial info, head here.

Reduced: Andy Reid’s Villanova Home

andy reid's house

Detail photo of Andy Reid’s Villanova house via Main Line Executive Realty, Inc.

When we say that former Eagles coach Andy Reid’s Villanova home dropped its asking price by “about $300,000 last week,” what we mean is this: it actually dropped $300,001. That’s real estate for you: that exceedingly precise dollar amount makes it possible to now put the home’s ask below $2 million, which is to say $1,999,999. Bob Barker would love that.

A little refresher, with some notes for winter: The very private Main Line home is at the end of a cul-de-sac and has two fireplaces and a heated driveway and front walkway for easy snow removal. Specs and gallery below.

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Morning Headlines: Saffron: Philly’s Boardwalk Beats NYC’s High Line

Photo via Schuylkill Banks on Facebook.

Photo via Schuylkill Banks on Facebook.

Phila.’s new gem: A stroll on the Schuylkill [Inquirer]

Inga Saffron is downright ebullient today. Her feelings about the newly completed and opened Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk are unmistakable:

As wonderful as the High Line is, it merely allows people to wend their way through Manhattan a few stories above its bustling streets. When the latest segment of the Schuylkill Banks trail opens to the public Thursday, you’ll be able to walk on water, under the glittering gaze of the Center City skyline.

Take that, New York.

Saffron is convinced that the Boardwalk trumps the High Line mostly for its transformative powers. She alternately says the distanced perspective can make Center City feel like “outer space” at night and that at other times, “strange optical illusions appear.” Why, she asks, does it look like there’s a Penn building on Spruce Street when we all know it’s on Walnut?

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Property’s Weekend Agenda: Mid-Century Modern Sale

vintage-mcm-sale

I feel for Joe Ujj, the person who’s having a mid-century modern furniture/art/lighting/accessories sale this weekend in New Hope. I don’t know him, but he posted the info online, and wrote, along with his description of the items, “Not everything is pictured yet, this got kind of overwhelming.” Oh, man.

Well, we’re about to make it more so by suggesting readers go. Here’s what’s up. It’s a two-day sale with, Ujj writes, “mostly 60′s, 70′s and 80′s modernist pieces. Some real designer stuff, some ‘style of’ and some just fun decorative pieces. I love to buy stuff, but I have to sell stuff so I can buy more stuff.”

He notes that “artisan Yvette Prazsak from Princeton, NJ will also be selling her incredible, handmade jewelry, glass pieces, artwork, etc.”

WHAT: Vintage MCM sale
WHEN: Saturday Sep 27, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday Sep 28, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
WHERE: 6220 Lower York Rd., New Hope, PA 18938
WHY: Look at these photos

Falcon Condominiums Ready to Launch

Four of the units feature master bedrooms that are 15'x15'. Rendering via FalconCondominiums.com

Four of the units feature master bedrooms that are 15′x15′. Rendering via FalconCondominiums.com

I once asked Bart Blatstein, one of the more successful developers in Philadelphia, what he thought were some of the biggest issues in city development. The first thing he said? The scarcity of female developers in Philadelphia. (The second thing he mentioned was minority developers.) It is certainly true that the names that get mentioned over and over are men’s — Carl Dranoff, Eric Blumenfeld, Kenny Gamble, Tom Scannapieco, etc. But it’s also true that there are women in the business, including Lesley Scannapieco, who plans to develop the former Bok School. Add to that list of names Khara Cartagena, a successful businesswoman (she’s the owner of the Velvet Lily), who’s been quietly developing since she was 18. With her newest project, the Falcon Condominiums on the 3800 block of Terrace Street, she’s making a bit more noise.

First, the skinny: the condos, built on the site of the former Falcon Polish Social Hall, consist of seven contemporary units in the heart of Manayunk. The units are three stories; six have two bedrooms, one den and two and a half baths. There’s also a one-bedroom unit that’s ADA compliant. All units have at least one patio, if not two, and there’s secure garage parking. Kitchens have granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and bamboo floors, while bathrooms have both wood grained tile and white wall tile. The units range from 1,800 to 2,000 square feet, except for the one bedroom, which is 600 square feet.

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$1.75M Princeton Estate With Luxe Amenities

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo by Laura Kicey.

We have already seen Sally Weisman’s new home in New Hope (to be honest, we are still dreaming of that perfect patio). At the time, it was hard to imagine why she would have been reluctant to move there. Now we see the home she’s leaving in Princeton, and it’s a lot easier to understand. The five-bedroom estate has recently been listed at $1.75 million, and it is just as jaw-dropping as the New Hope property.

The home is stretched over nearly 6,000 square feet of living space. The main level includes a formal foyer and center hall, a sun room, an office, the kitchen, a butler’s pantry, a breakfast room, and formal living and dining rooms. The kitchen namechecks all the luxury appliance brands. A Viking six-burner stove is not far from the SubZero refrigerator, and it’s all connected with granite. Upstairs the master suite has a sitting room all its own and an en-suite spa-like bath with a double walk-in closet. Two additional bedrooms are each en-suite and the remaining two bedrooms share a bath. The laundry room rounds up the upstairs living space. The finished lower level includes a game room, exercise room, additional laundry facilities, a kitchenette, storage and a serious wine cellar. The cellar is fully conditioned and has room for more than 1,000 bottles.

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Saffron’s Take on the Fairmount Bike Lane Wars

Photo of N. 22nd Street via Google Maps.

Photo of N. 22nd Street via Google Maps.

If there’s one thing in town guaranteed to produce loud opinions and complaints, it’s bike lanes. If there are two things, it’s bike lanes and City Council. Which makes the latest bike lane showdown in Fairmount the perfect shouty storm. Fortunately, Inga Saffron is here to lay out the facts in the Inquirer.

North 22nd Street was repaved in August. Since then, Saffron says, it has been without traffic markings of any kind. When the Streets Department proposed including a bike lane when it finally painted the lines, at-large Councilman Bill Greenlee (of Fairmount) got involved. His concern? That adding a bike lane will cause traffic backups by limiting cars to just one lane. Now everything is on pause.

Saffron says this is an important development because Greenlee is the first councilperson to exert his relatively new right to control segments of the city’s growing web of bike lanes. Naturally, the legislation giving Council said right was drafted by Greenlee himself. The Streets Department is waiting for consensus before moving forward.

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On the Market: $3.75 Million Spruce Street Townhouse with Library

2102 Spruce Street google street view

Photo credit: Google Street View.

Mid-nineteenth century properties are easy to come by in Philadelphia and this restored residence is counted among them. But aside from being on the┬ácity’s Historic Register, the home also has some more modern perks…enter roof deck and two-car garage.

Inside, high ceilings and original moldings can be seen throughout. French doors leading out to the garden, which the dining room overlooks, and an elevator with brass door are also shown in the listing. (We don’t know about you, but we’ll just take the staircase) Our favorite point, though? The library adjacent to the master suite.

Gallery below.

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