City House of the Week: Double Lot in Fitler Square Boasts 60-Foot Garden Sanctuary

Images by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach–Center City, Rittenhouse Hotel

Images by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach–Center City, Rittenhouse Hotel

Here’s the deal. The weather is sunny and warm. You deserve to spend what little free time you have in your busy life outside on some lush green grass. This home near Fitler Square offers something that’s particularly rare these days: an expansive, 60-foot long garden with a delightful lawn that’s perfect for lounging, gardening, yoga, playing bocce or even playtime with the kids. What’s more, the home itself was completely designed and renovated by architect Brett Webber, a firm that knows a thing or two about amazing spaces.

What makes the outdoor area special is that it’s a double lot, so there is plenty of room for just about anything. The lawn is flanked by planters and individual stone slabs make up the path that leads to the, ah-em, second patio space. Do you currently have a second patio? Well, this place does, friend. The best part is that the rear doors give you direct access to Panama Street, a picturesque alley-like street that’s probably one of the reasons you fell in love with Philadelphia in the first place. Read more »

Property’s Photo of the Week: The Only Covered Bridge Remaining in a Major U.S. City Is in Philadelphia

It’s well over a century old, but the Thomas Mill Covered Bridge is just as picturesque as any place marked on this map right here. And guess what? It should be on that map seeing as how it’s a Philadelphia bridge with some serious historical cachet.

According to the Friends of the Wissahickon website, it was originally built in 1737 and is “the only remaining covered bridge in the Wissahickon.” We don’t know about the former (other sources place its construction in the mid- to late-1800s) but it’s one-and-only status is true in an urban context: it’s the only covered in Philadelphia and, the city’s Capital Program Office adds, “the only covered bridge in a major U.S. city.” Pretty neat, huh? Read more »

Tesla Looks to Power Your Home (and the World) With Powerwall Battery Thingy

Powerwall is on the wall. | Image: Tesla

Powerwall is on the wall. | Image: Tesla

Elon Musk has done his fair share of insanely cool things in his 43 years of existence. He’s brought a sexy electric car to market with Tesla Motors. Then there’s that privately funded space thing he’s pioneering with the ultimate goal of people living on other planets. Let’s not forget co-founding PayPal, for goodness sake. You know, run-of-the-mill prodigy type stuff you see once or twice a generation.

Musk recently launched Tesla Energy, a “suite of batteries for homes, business and utilities,” according to a press release. The home component is dubbed Powerwall–a wall-mounted rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: There Is a Llama House and Two-Acre Pond at Twin Silo Farm

All photos by Juan Vidal

All photos by Juan Vidal

Well that does it, we’ve seen it all now.

To speak the truth, we can’t believe it didn’t come to our attention before when we first wrote about Twin Silo Farm. Sure, it has a full-scale hedge maze, two-acre pond with a fountain, and a “resort-like” pool and spa–but a llama house? And not just your average run-of-the-mill llama barn, but one designed in the style of Polish country homes. How do we respond to this? More importantly, how do we respond to this: “[it] is now a gorgeous home to the beautiful white swans.” Oh, swans now? Next it will be geeps.

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PHOTOS: Leasing Has Started at Avenir on Fifteenth in Center City

Photos by the Scully Company. Courtesy of Lorraine Gimblett.

Photos by the Scully Company.

Last March (boy, that was quick), we told you about six Philadelphia development projects that were springing forward this year. For fun, we tacked on just one more to that list for good luck: Avenir on Fifteenth. You can call it Avenir (French for “future”) for short.

Located at 42 South 15th Street, the apartment complex is an adaptive reuse of the Robinson Building, which had previously been office space. (You might know it as the building with the Kimye Wendy’s, which has since moved up the block and off of the corner). Developed by the Scully Company and Alterra Property Group, the newly refurbished structure has had its floors gutted and claims a sleek look inspired by the sans-serif typeface. Fun fact? There are 180 “efficiently designed apartments,” some of which are Philly’s first micro units ranging from 314 to 434 square-feet! There are, however, multiple sizes and floor plans offered with the flats, studios, one- and two-bedroom units.

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The Ultimate Sunken Living Room Is Located in Society Hill

TREND images via Redfin.com

TREND images via Redfin.com

We’re telling you now, don’t be fooled by its Society Hill zip code or pretty 18th-century facade. Because even though it’s near the corner of 2nd and Spruce, what we actually have here is a thoroughly updated house with a…let’s say distinctive interior.

Case in point, an entrance bridge overlooking a two-story living room. The partially stone-walled room looks as if it came about after the first floor was likely expanded by breaking through to the lower level. Deepest sunken living room ever? We’d say so. Features here include a built-in bar, arched masonry fireplace with wood stove, and a floating sculpture by Peter Rose.

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Headlines: PennDesign Named Among Top Schools in the World for Architecture

The School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, was recently named as one of the top universities in the world for “architecture & built environment” in the World University Ranking for 2015 report released by QS. Arch Daily has the easy-to-read list right here. PennDesign was ultimately ranked at 35, with MIT ranked in the top spot.

Penn wasn’t the lone university from the region on the list. Princeton came in at 38 and Penn State’s Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture ranked in the 51-100 area. According to QS, the “rankings highlight the world’s top universities in 36 individual subjects, based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact.”

For what it’s worth, Architectural Record ranked the top schools in the nation and broke it out by undergraduate and graduate programs, which is helpful and something QS doesn’t do. You can find those lists here.

More Headlines:

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Exclusive Sneak Peek at the 4.5-Star Hotel Replacing The Four Seasons

The new lobby | Courtesy: Sage Hospitality Group

The new lobby | Renderings Courtesy: Sage Hospitality

The Four Seasons will close its doors in June, awaiting the day it can stretch onto its Utopian perch on the top floors of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center in 2017. The current setup at One Logan Square will undergo a $28 million renovation project that will transform it into a 4.5-star hotel concept operated by Sage Hospitality.

A rep from Sage said they’re not ready to release the name of the new hotel. However, they did hook us up with some exclusive renderings that show a completely revamped lobby at the venerable Four Seasons on the Parkway.  Take one look and its clear that Sage is trying to blaze its own luxurious trail at the iconic location. Its sleek, sexy and even artsy look will certainly bring it up to speed with (and possibly outpace) a rapidly growing hotel scene in Philadelphia. We’re chompin’ at the bit to see the rest of it.

“We’re excited to really make this hotel on Logan Square, Philadelphia’s hotel,” said Walter Isenberg, CEO of Sage Hospitality, in an email. Read more »

This Cool Map Shows Where Philly’s Most Photogenic Streets Are Located

Wallace Street | Photo credit: Flickr user Brookeipse

Wallace Street | Photo credit: Flickr user Brookeipse

The more projects spring up, the more people move to Center City, the more overall change Philly is seeing to its landscape…all of this combined makes for spellbinding excursions around a city with deeply-rooted neighborhood histories and evolving city blocks, regardless of whether its by lifelong residents or newcomers. But with so much going on, how do you know which areas to check out first?

A fellow named Eric Fisher can help you out there.

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3601 Market Street On Track for Summer Opening, Commercial Space (Almost) All Leased Up

All renderings via Southern Land Company

All renderings via Southern Land Company

Here’s some cool news. 3601 Market Street is ramping up to its opening this summer and developers Southern Land Company has announced they’ve leased up all but one* commercial space in the building.

The usual quick-serve chains–Jimmy John’s and Dunkin’ Donuts,–are in the fold, according to a press release from Southern. And while those staples might not move the old foodie meter for you, a few others just might.

Bagel lovers are sure to rejoice as local favorite Schmear It will venture out of its popular truck and into the world of brick and mortar operations. They’ll have a space alongside “a local pizza joint” called PWS.

Two of the more interesting concepts include a  place named Herban Quality Eats, a “healthy & hearty fast-casual restaurant serving warm meals made from real, nutritious ingredients.” It’s currently based out of the shared kitchen space at the Enterprise Center near 48th and Spruce. We’ve heard Read more »

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