Spotted in Chestnut Hill: Stone Mansion Basically Inside Pastorius Park

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-Chestnut Hill

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-Chestnut Hill/Redfin

Have you ever gone a-walkin’ or caught a summer concert in Chestnut Hill’s Pastorius Park and thought, wouldn’t it be great to just live here? Well, friend, here’s a listing you might want to see.

Located at 8100 Lincoln Drive (map), the stone beauty is 7,800-square-feet of everything you’d expect from a mansion in Chestnut Hill. Designed by H. Louis Duhring in the 1920’s, it has the historical chops to go along with the location.

You may recall that Duhring designed this in-cre-di-ble 1860s Victorian Italianate “summer” house/ Arts & Crafts style on Rex Avenue, and this home, which looks to be quite literally inside Pastorius Park, boasts original archietectural details such as a stone entryway, multiple fireplaces and hand-carved woodwork.

Seriously, that woodwork though. Seriously, that living room fireplace, though.

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Can’t Touch This: Historic Edward Corner Building in Fishtown

A photo posted by Pennsporter (@pennsporter) on

One of the remaining vestiges – and a recognizable one at that – of Fishtown’s maritime industry boom is now safe from the hands of would-be developers secretly wishing to demolish the old construction in favor of new development.

According to PlanPhilly, this past Friday saw the Philadelphia Historical Commission vote in favor of protecting sites in West and Northeast Philadelphia, as well as a Frank Furness-attributed building in Fishtown and the Edward Corner Marine Merchandize Warehouse building at 1100-1102 North Delaware Avenue. From PlanPhilly:

Also on Friday, the Commission voted to protect the Edward Corner building at the corner of Frankford Avenue and Shackamaxon Street in Fishtown. The building, currently vacant and owned by developer Michael Samschick, who has occasionally sought to demolish it, was formerly a marine-supplies outpost.

Patrick Grossi said the building was not only notable for its iconic ghost signs, but also, “given its current state, it’s actually well primed for reuse.”

Back in 2007, a nine-story residential building was proposed at the spot. While that proposal never materialized, it was reported earlier this year that there were new plans brewing for the Edward Corner Building site: a 12-story apartment tower with ground floor retail. At the time, Property speculated over whether the historic building would be incorporated into the design of the purported new one.

Main Line Monday: A Splendid Remnant of the Cheswold Estate

cheswold estate haverford

TREND images via

Unique and historic, the Stewart Stable residence in Haverford has, through its very existence, preserved the spirit of its forerunner, the renowned Cheswold estate.  For one, it boasts a stunning façade made of Tudor board and stucco and crowned with Vermont red slate, all while situated on a lush acre complete with stream and pond.

Inside, the home’s first level boasts an open floor plan encompassing the living, dining, and family rooms and library; marble and oak floors; beamed ceilings and original arched carriage windows; and four gas fireplaces. The dwelling, recently renovated and vaunting a newly added family room, encloses a walled and gated courtyard.

But it’s been some time since we last featured the property hasn’t it? Given that and the fact that it’s got an interesting history, here’s a refresher for you:

  • The site originally housed Cheswold, an estate home parked on 54 acres belonging to Alexander J. Cassatt, seventh president of the Pennsylvania Railroad and brother to painter Mary Cassatt.
  • A.J. commissioned the notable Furness & Evans firm to make additions to the mansion, which at the time vaunted stained glass windows, a paneled walnut hall, and a growing collection of Read more »

Plans for Parker Spruce Hotel, Broad & Washington to be Presented This Week

The Parker Spruce Hotel | via Google Street View

The Parker Spruce Hotel | via Google Street View

Temperatures have firmly shifted into sweatshirt and jeans weather, and you know that what means: development presentation season at our local civic associations!

This week is a doozy, especially for those of you who live near the Parker Spruce Hotel and the intersection of Broad and Washington (and a lot of you do), as the local Registered Community Organizations will hear the latest details and provide updates about each of the neighborhood-changing projects.

Here’s more:

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Property’s Photo of the Week: We Can’t Stop Replaying This Passyunk Avenue Time-Lapse

A video posted by Chubs (@shaynemalcolm) on

Today is Philly Photo Day, which means people of all ages and skill levels will be snapping pics of Philly’s cityscape and inhabitants and sending them to the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. The submitted images – all of which must be taken today only, but which shall be accepted until October 14th – will be featured in a November exhibit, with the best three destined to go up at SEPTA platforms for your viewing pleasure. Ticket has the details here.

With this in mind, we’ve browsed through the #Phillyscape hashtag on Instagram (#PhillyPhotoDay is a tag too, check it out) in the hopes of spotting a shot that embodies what the Philly Photo Day mission seeks out. There were some great ones, but this time-lapse of Passyunk Avenue conquered our hearts. Maybe it was a little unfair, given that a time-lapse by its nature tends to be mesmerizing, but you’ve got to admit this clip is striking, especially when viewed while listening to a catchy tune  – in this case we watched and re-watched it several times to a song by Philly’s own Kurt Vile.

Any photos you saw under the aforementioned hashtags that struck your fancy? Share the links with us! (Imaginary bonus points to those who include a song.)

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Groundbreaking: Another LEED Certified Building Coming to The Navy Yard

A rendering of 31 Rouse Blvd. in the Navy Yard | Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc

A rendering of 351 Rouse Blvd. in the Navy Yard | Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc

The boom at the Navy Yard continues to thunder on, as Liberty Property Trust, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and Synterra Partners officially unveiled their plans for the 16th development inside the dynamic, and ever-growing urban office park.

Adaptimmune, a clincial stage biopharmaceutical company that specializes on the use T-cell therapy to treat cancer, will use the new 47,400-square-foot facility located at 351 Rouse Boulevard as its U.S. headquarters. The LEED certified building will overlook the new Central Green fun/exercise park and is expected to be delivered sometime in late 2016.

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Farmhouse Friday: Keep This Rustic “Village” in Bucks County For Yourself

pheasant hill farm carversville pa

Images via

One of the cool things about having to write about remarkable properties in the Greater Philadelphia region is that we’re always discovering neat places we might have never otherwise known existed. Pheasant Hill Farm, a verdant 47-acre estate in Bucks County, is one such property that’s got us a feeling a teensy tiny bit like Hiram Bingham.

Situated just above the historic Carversville village in Solebury Township, the bucolic residence wows from the get-go by way of its dramatic (and woods-enclosed) fence-lined drive. At its end, the lane reaches Pheasant Hill, which resembles, as the listing puts it, “a small English village” thanks to a series of gardens, lawns, and a cluster of rustic outbuildings. Actually, one of these frame and stone buildings dates as far back as 1704, as public records show this to be one of the earliest settlements in the community

The main house, a stone country residence built in the 18th century and expanded over time in five sections, is home to open beams, pine flooring, and hand-forged hardware. Deep-set windows and hand stenciling decorate almost every room and the current owners, who restored the property’s fieldstone barn, have a museum-like collection of early Americana in the home, including colonial baskets, china, kitchen utensils, and toys.

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Demo Watch: Exterior Demolition at Mt. Sinai to Begin Soon

Image via Google Street View

Crews will demolish the newer portion first and work their way back to the original building (background). | Image via Google Street View

The discovery of a wooden street isn’t the only thing that’s happening on the 400 block of Reed Street these days.

There’s also a bit of news regarding the progress at Mt. Sinai Hospital, the hulking building that sits on the edge of Pennsport and Dickinson Square West at 400 Reed Street.

Concordia Group has plans to demolish the building in favor of a new setup involving 95 townhomes and four rain gardens. According to  William Collins, Concordia’s principal, interior demolition has already begun on the building built in 1987, and they’re currently removing asbestos from the building that fronts South 5th Street.

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The Occupations That Could Easily Make You a Philly Homeowner

Affordable rowhomes in West Philadelphia. | Google Streetview

Row homes in West Philadelphia. | Google Street View

It’s a question all of us were undoubtedly asked as kids and one some of us likely blanked at around the time high school neared its end: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Our guess is “anything that will help me buy a house” was probably not your first answer.  That being said, Zillow‘s latest report might help us rethink our current occupations and where we decide to settle. According to the report press release, home affordability by occupation (Census data was used to find medium incomes) is not the same in every city. Or put another way, “markets with the cheapest homes aren’t necessarily the most affordable for every worker.”

As an example, those in education earning a medium income will find they can more easily afford a home in parts of California, than say, in Salt Lake City, Utah:

In Bakersfield, Calif., the median home value is $166,300, and the average annual teacher salary is $61,000 a year . Since people in Bakersfield are accustomed to spending 22 percent of their income on a house payment, a Bakersfield teacher could afford a $310,000 home. In today’s market, that includes about 86 percent of the homes on the market – more than anywhere else in the country. 

Meanwhile, a medium income-earning teacher in Salt Lake City ($38,000/year), where homeowners also happen to spend 22 percent of their incomes on mortgage payments, will find they’re able to to purchase a $195,000 home – meaning, as Zillow notes, “only about a quarter of the homes on the Salt Lake City market would fall within their budget.”

But we’re in Philadelphia and we want to know what professions are living it up here, right? Okay, then. Below some occupations and what they can afford, from great to least, within the Philadelphia metro region:

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Urban Archaeology: Wooden Street Unearthed in South Philly

A closer look at newly discovered wooden street in Philadelphia | Photo: Ted Savage

A closer look at newly discovered wooden street in Philadelphia | Photo: Ted Savage

As it turns out, the 200 block of Camac Street isn’t the only wooden street in Philadelphia.

According to the most recent newsletter from the Dickinson Square West Civic Association (DSWCA), repaving efforts from the Streets Department unearthed a stretch of what is believed to be original wooden blocks in the parking lanes that flank the 400 block of Reed Street (map), adjacent to the former Mt. Sinai Hospital site.

The newsletter details the conversations between DSWCA and David Perri, Street Commissioner: “’The paving work is stopped until an appropriate course of action is determined.  We will evaluate the situation and report findings.  Unlike Camac Street which was replaced many times over at least some of these wood blocks could be original. I would advise folks to be careful handling the blocks as they were likely coated in creosote.’”

Visibly, some of the “bricks” appear well-worn and splintered, while others are neatly packed into tight rows.

“These blocks were so dirty, you wouldn’t know that they were wood. One of the neighbors noticed it, cleaned it up and later confirmed it,” Perri later told Property, while strongly advising not to pick up the Creosote-soaked blocks. “It’s not a material you want to expose yourself to.” Creosote is toxic preservative historically used as a pesticide and to treat wood, and the Coal-Tar variety is commonly found in railroad ties, utility poles and, most likely, these (potentially century-old) wood pavers.

Unlike the square blocks on Camac Street, the newly discovered blocks are 4-in by 8-in and give the illusion of being a piece of traditional cobblestone, according to a neighbor. Perri said that they were thinking that those were the common dimensions used to build wooden streets in the early 1900s when they restored Camac Street, and that, for the first time, the Reed Street find gives them “positive confirmation” of this method. “We’re excited because this is the first one that we’ve found that has the orginal wood blocks in place,” said Perri, “We believe they’re original.”

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