Somehow, you feel a little more noble waiting in line in a lobby like this. | Photo by Leah Kauffman from Philly Love Notes
Chances are you’ve gotten impatient waiting in what seems like interminable lines at the William Penn Annex post office at 9th and Market streets.
Doing business there probably ranks up there with a visit to a PennDOT license center as an example of bureaucratic soul-crushing.
But the William Penn Annex has a saving grace, and that’s the space in which you wait in line. With its black-glass writing counters, its granite columns and walls, and its high ceilings with golden metallic light surrounds, the post office lobby has a dignity and elegance that rubs off on the patrons who use it.
Thanks to the United States Postal Service’s announcement that it is proceeding with plans released last month to move the William Penn Annex to a 19th-century commercial building in the 700 block of Arch Street, that saving grace will disappear. Read more »
706 S. Schell St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | Images via Solo Real Estate
Recall that yesterday, we said we usually don’t feature trinities as First-Time Finds?
Today, we’re making an exception to that rule, for there’s a trinity on the market that is so well-suited for the first-time home buyer that it would be a crime not to feature it here.
It’s especially well suited for someone who’s finally ready to move out from under his or her parents and experience the joys of living solo. Read more »
1023-A E. Moyamensing Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images via Houwzer Team
We could feature many of the trinities in this weekly feature in our First-Time Finds department as well, as they are usually very reasonably priced. But if we did, we’d soon run out of trinities to feature. So, as usual, we’re offering for your consideration this week a beautifully maintained, up-to-date and surprisingly roomy trinity at a price that should fit almost any budget.
Like most trinities, this home near Queen Village’s border with Pennsport dates to the 19th century. But thanks to a complete rebuild in 1960 plus subsequent remodeling and upgrades, it feels almost like new. The remodeling jobs were sensitively carried out, however, so that much of this home’s original charm shines through. Read more »
Three central common spaces form the “hub” of the “neighborhood” where EPIC@Jeff employees work. The cafe space hosts a wide range of activities, not all of them related to eating.| Photo from KSS Architects
This tale of creative space-shaping in the field of medicine begins at Home Depot.
That’s where Praveen Chopra, Thomas Jefferson University’s chief information and transformative innovative environment officer (there’s a mouthful of a title for you), was working before he entered the world of electronic medical records, which ultimately led Jefferson to choose him to implement a new patient information and records system for its sprawling health system.
Chopra was Home Depot’s product merchant and supply chain manager. “That was around the time that 9/11 happened,” he said. In the wake of that attack, “people started staying home where they used to travel before. And when they started staying home, they would look around and say, ‘My home’s a mess. I need to organize my home.’
“They wanted to turn their houses into homes. They wanted spaces they could connect to.” Read more »
100 Grays Lane #505, Haverford, Pa. 19041 | TREND Images via RE/MAX Executive Realty
Say “Main Line” to a house-hunter, and quite likely, a certain image forms in their head. It probably looks like a center-hall Colonial or French Provincial-style home with wainscoting, crown moldings, patterned wallpaper, built-in bookcases, fireplaces, and lavish kitchens and bathrooms.
This week’s featured home has all that. But you can’t tell from looking at the outside. That’s because this roomy home in Haverford is a unit in a contemporary condominium building that was built in the 1970s and looks like it.
Inside, however, it’s traditional Main Line style through and through, only minus the center entrance hall and fireplaces.
Everything else is in place: Classic crown moldings in every room of the unit, plus chair rails in the living room, dining room and hallway. Built-in bookcases in the living room and den, and traditional cabinetry and fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms. Read more »
Pleasant Valley Farm, 1765 State Rd., Quakertown, Pa. 18951 | Photos courtesy Carol C. Dorey Real Estate, Inc.
If you’re looking to move to the country, it doesn’t get more country than this, for this week’s featured farmhouse still has its rural farm character intact.
And that includes a living link to its past.
Pleasant Valley Farm in Quakertown features all the requisite structures a farm needs: two barns, two silos, a garage that can hold two vehicles (if you’re a farmer, they won’t both be cars), and even fields and pasture land encompassing five and a half of the farm’s 27 acres.
So if you have a hankering to take up farming, this is the perfect place to do it. But the home itself has plenty of charms that make it stand out. Read more »
1830 Rittenhouse Sq. #6AB, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach
If you’ve been to Newport, R.I., you’ve probably done the famous Cliff Walk and toured some of the “cottages” the Robber Barons built as summer getaways at the height of the Gilded Age. These were homes built for show and entertaining as much as they were for living: huge ballrooms that could accomodate hundreds, dozens of bedrooms, grand lawns, opulent decor.
This extra-large condominium overlooking Rittenhouse Square looks like the pied-a-terre version of one of those places. Occupying the entire sixth floor of the first and (in many ways still) finest of the Rittenhouse Square high-rises, this home offers lots of room for entertaining, loads of windows offering gorgeous views of the square, and opulence almost beyond belief, though in a restrained Philadelphia fashion.
All that, and all the latest in kitchen and bathroom furnishings to boot. And it’s comfortable enough that you’ll enjoy living in it every day. Read more »
A mortgage holder is forcing the vacant Greylock mansion at 209 W. Chestnut Hill Ave. into sheriff’s sale. Conservation and preservation easements attached to the property may prove a stumbling block to a successful transaction, however. | TREND Image via Estately.com
Greylock, the English Jacobean Revival-style mansion Pittsburgh steel magnate Henry Laughlin built as his retirement home in Chestnut Hill in 1909, is being auctioned off to pay back taxes and at least one foreclosed mortgage at a sheriff’s sale scheduled for Nov. 1.
The home, located at 209 W. Chestnut Hill Ave., has been vacant for “a number of years,” according to Lori Salganicoff, executive director of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society (CHHS). Its last occupant was a nonprofit organization that used the mansion as its office.
The sale has as its goal paying off $90,000 in back taxes plus the arrears on a mortgage held by a limited liability company that acquired the loan from its originator, Nova Bank. The stated opening bid for the property is $237,300. Read more »
7814 Devon St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19119 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach
Chestnut Hill’s fans and defenders take great pains to point out that the neighborhood doesn’t really deserve its reputation as Pennsylvania’s answer to Greenwich, Conn. They point to the social-reformist impulses of one of its primary developers, George Woodward, and note that there’s actually a wide range of fine homes at various price points available in the neighborhood.
Critics scoff. Then a resident comes along to drop evidence in our lap.
The evidence is this handsome updated 1920s rowhome on Devon Street at the base of the hill. Located on a quiet residential street not far from Cresheim Valley Drive, this end-of-row unit boasts many features you’ll find on homes listing for much more than this one does. Read more »
The good news: you can still afford to buy a home in Philadelphia if you’re a middle-income earner. The bad news: It got just a little bit harder to do so in the second quarter of 2016.
According to the latest quarterly survey of housing affordability conducted by mortgage search site HSH.com, a local household needs to make $53,421.87 a year before taxes in order to afford the mortgage on a median-priced home in the 11-county Philadelphia Metropolitan Statistical Area.*
That’s about $3,000 per year less than is required to afford the mortgage on a median-priced home in Baltimore, and well below the metropolitan median household income of $62,171 in 2014, the latest year for which Census Bureau figures are available. Read more »