Today the American Planning Association announces their selections for their annual “10 Great Public Spaces in America” list. As the title suggests, the catalog includes places from all corners of the country that “represent the gold standard” when it comes to having “a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow.”
This year, Reading Terminal Market was included in the list.
According to Philly.com’s Bob Fernandez, the market’s general manager said APA picked the market because of “its history and function in Philadelphia, and the diversity of its food stores and customer base.”
Reading Terminal Market is a Top 10 public space [Philly.com]
In other news…
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That’s right — if you register today for Property’s event at DesignPhiladelphia, you can get a front-row seat for FREE. Let me explain.
For the event, I decided to bring together a bunch of really funny, creative folks in and around the design world — people who develop properties, or write fiction about architects, or design urban farms, or photograph designs in progress, or do interior design on the Main Line for clients who think they’re too young and naive. Many people who have stories. Participants include Nathaniel Popkin, Khara Cartagena, Bradley Maule, Gretchen Kubiak, Nic Esposito, GroJLart, and more!
These people will be sharing their experiences during a storytelling hootenanny with an audience — that’s YOU! — at the AIA Bookstore and Design Center at 12th and Arch on October 9th. All the event info is below, and if you register now, or tomorrow, or, like, anytime before the event, YOU WILL GET IN FOR FREE.
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Tylenol heir Henry McNeil (who sold the famed “McIlhenney Mansion” at 1914 Rittenhouse Square to developer Bart Blatstein) was featured in a Wall Street Journal article about Philadelphia-area homes that have historic facades but modern interiors. The WSJ slideshow indeed demonstrates the contrast, which may or may not appeal to every buyer. But at the high end, the initial $8 million asking price was too hot to handle, it seems.
Since that time, McNeill has reduced the price to $6.85 million and now to $5.9 million. Below, there are new photos of the home since the last time it was listed.
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515 W Gravers Ln, Philadelphia, PA, 19118
A stream runs through the meadows surrounding Boxly, which, to give you an idea of its pedigree, was designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, the famed landscape architect who was involved in planning Central Park in New York.
The home itself is a 1903 Georgian Rival with high ceilings, crown moldings, and custom casework throughout. In 2005 and 2008, the home got some restoration done, but it wasn’t until 2012 that it got a three-story addition with family room, in-law suite, and a library with two-story windows.
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Market Street side of Mellon Independence Center.
Photo credit: Google Street View
Construction making way for video billboards set to line the roof of the former Lit Bros. building on Market Street has begun. Philly.com’s Maria Panaritis reports $10 million went into the project with an additional $10 million going to updating nearby public amenities.
Investors and other involved parties are aiming for a New Year’s Eve light up as the area has long been a ghost of its retail past. The “stadiumlike, wraparound, LED signs” are expected to encourage redevelopment and bring in revenue, something it has already started doing:
Indeed, advertising contracts for billboards of this nature can be very lucrative. Merlini estimated that annual revenues from the signs to be installed atop the Lits building would be in the “seven figures.”
“We didn’t know what a revenue source it would be until we got into it,” he said, adding that advertisement contracts were already in place.
Here are other unfolding projects…
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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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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.
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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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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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