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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Could This Be the Dark Knight of Philadelphia Houses?

TREND images via

Is the Bruce Wayne of houses in Bella Vista?

To be clear, the comparison between this 7th and Wharton home and Bruce Wayne/Batman applies solely to the home’s exterior. From the front, the Scott Larkin-redesigned residence appears as your average South Philly row house. But past the airy interior rooms and out the glass garage door exposure is something none of us expected: a sleek, black façade that might just beat out that Dark Knight-esque Wawa in Princeton.

It’s a close call, but this Loft District home warrants some consideration for the title, too. What do you think?

The property is a winner regardless, though. Exposed brick and frosted glass doors are throughout, with American walnut, steel stairs and built-in wall pockets laying claim to space as well. The master suite, located on the third level, vaunts desk space, a walk-in closet with washer & dryer hook up, plus, a mini fridge pocket. “Originally selected in part for its southern exposure,” adds the listing, “the home takes advantage of the sun’s natural path.”

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American Bible Society to Open New Philly Headquarters Next Week

The American Bible Society will relocate to 401 Market Street. | Via Google Street View

The American Bible Society will relocate to 401 Market Street. | Via Google Street View

Droves of pilgrims recently packed Independence Mall to hear Pope Francis speak, now it looks like those holy vibes will have a more permanent presence around the intersection of 5th and Market Street. The American Bible Society has announced that the company will open their new Philly digs at 401 Market Street at a ceremony planned for the morning of Wednesday, October 14.

The company has been in existence since 1816 and will lease space on the 8th and 9th floors of 401 Market Street. It will also open a retail space on the ground floor of the building dedicated to a Bible Discovery Center.

“The city of Philadelphia has welcomed American Bible Society with open arms, and we are thrilled to call this city home,” said Roy Peterson, American Bible Society’s president and CEO, in the announcement. “This new headquarters was designed to serve as the hub of our operations as we enter our third century of ministry and pursue a vision to see 100 million Americans engaging the Bible and 100 percent of the world’s languages translated for Bible engagement.”

Interestingly enough, the American Bible Society’s long-time headquarters was located at a prime piece of real estate at 1865 Broadway at 61st Street near Central Park in New York City, which they sold for $300 million in February in order to fund the move and further their mission.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Elkins Park Manse with Trompe L’Oeil, “Hand” Rail

TREND images via

TREND images via

It’s one thing for fancy estates in the Greater Philadelphia region to enamor us with their luxe features and history, but it’s quite another when one of these gorgeous homes has a whole other layer of charm by way of distinctive detailing. Behold Fox Muir, one such residence in Elkins Park – designed by native son Robert McGoodwin, mind you – with more than a few charming quirks.

Let’s begin shall we?

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SS United States Conservancy Exploring Sale of Ship for Scrap

SS United States

The SS United States, docked in South Philadelphia in September 2015. (Photo | Dan McQuade)

“The Conservancy has never been closer to saving the SS United States, nor so close to losing her.”

That is the message from the SS United States Conservancy today, as it announced it has partnered with a broker to explore the sale of the ship to a “responsible, U.S.-based metals recycler.”

Sound familiar? It should. In 2010, the ship was about to be sold for scrap when Gerry Lenfest donated millions to help the Conservancy buy the ship from Norwegian Cruise Line. In November 2013, the Conservancy warned that if plans did not come together quickly, the ship could be sold for scrap.

Last summer, the Conservancy again warned of the scrap heap as others floated plans to save the ship and move it to Brooklyn (or Chester). The Conservancy made a final push to save the ship, which was extended when it entered into a preliminary agreement for redevelopment in December.

Today, announced with a New York Times story, comes this “Last S.O.S.” (per a cheeky NYT headline). The Conservancy is exploring a sale for scrap, with a strong deadline of October 31st. “We will have no choice but to negotiate the sale of the ship to a responsible recycler,” the Conservancy said in a statement. Susan Gibbs, the Conservancy’s director, is the granddaughter of ship architect William Francis Gibbs. Read more »

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