WSJ: Philly Is Perfect Case Study for the Latest Twist in Home Design

Hank McNeil, who just sold Rittenhouse Square’s legendary McIlhenney Mansion to Bart Blatstein, is suddenly having a serious 15 minutes of fame. After a flurry of press about the mansion, McNeil gets highlighted in the Wall Street Journal for a piece about the mansion he actually lives in. The 13,000-square-foot residence at 19th and Delancey represents a new design trend: preserving a historic facade but transforming the interior into a contemporary design showcase. “Faced with strict codes and steep construction costs,” says the Journal, “more homeowners are installing modern interiors in old homes.”

McNeil’s home is “filled with one of the leading collections of minimalist modern art in the country,” says the Journal, but also has a basketball hoop on the fourth floor for his young son. Other homes in the slideshow were seen on the inaugural Philadelphia Modern Homes Tour, including Michael and Amy Cohen’s West Mt. Airy stone Colonial, made modern by Metcalfe Architecture & Design and McCoubrey/Overholser.

As for the trend, Philadelphia appears to be an ideal case study, for a few reasons:

In Philadelphia, it makes sense to buy an old house: The city’s housing stock is venerable, with a median year of construction of 1925. Besides, people love the way the old houses look….Philadelphia has also experienced an urban revitalization that is spurring greater interest in modern design….Philadelphia also has a strong contemporary-design community, with seven college-level design programs as well as a number of new design-company startups and stores, that has influenced the type of interiors people want.

Yet, writes Nancy Keates:

Philadelphia loathes showiness, reflecting its Quaker heritage. The contrast between the staid exteriors and the vibrant interiors of homes is a metaphor for the city, says Val Nehez, an interior designer who works both out of Philadelphia and New York. “Philadelphia doesn’t wear its style on its sleeve. It’s behind closed doors. You have to be in the fabric of society—to enter into peoples’ lives—to see it.”

Meanwhile, here’s a video.

The House With a Surprise Inside [Wall Street Journal]

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  • So Greg Cossell of NFL Films has told us that Marty has changed the offense. WOW. So Greg Cossell of NFL films has told us that “Eagles transitioned to an offense where they run the ball out of running formations,” he said. “It helped Foles because it dictates defensive fronts and coverages and they become a little more predictable. Most sophisticated blitzes come from sub-packages. If you are throwing out of base personnel, defenses will be in base personnel, and the large majority of NFL defenses do much less in terms of pressures and blitzing from base personnel than they do from their sub packages.” So why didnt Marty do this 6 weeks ago? Well atleast Foles looks like a NFL QB finally.

    • LOL. The more folk talk the more you want to go up MM and Andy Redi’s head. If you KNOW that running “the ball out of running formations” will take pressure off your QB AND by default the struggling line you don’t do it because? SMH. Like you said at least Foles looks like an NFL QB now. SMH

    • LostInChiTown

      Agreed and frustrated right with you. It feels like every year we have a stretch of bad games offensively and nothing changes until there’s an injury. Then we make an adjustment and Foles, Garcia, Feeley, etc. look like pro-bowlers and we discover a dominant running game. The next year, it’s right back to what didn’t work until Reid and Marty are forced to change again. I’ve really enjoyed the success of the Andy era, but that has to be one of my top complaints and frustrations. If we had this type of offense all year, Juan the scapegoat would still be here and we might be talking playoffs.

  • aub32

    Ha! I called it during the game chat that he determines his throw before coming out of the huddle. Hopefully this will quell some of the Folesmania talk. I hope he continues to develop, but I get so tired of some fans believing he is the anti-Vick and the offense performed so well solely due to his play.

  • KeithPetres

    And, for those interested, The Onion chimes in with their commentary:,30646/

  • Run Eagles Run

    so if he continues to play like he did against a crappy dallas team, we’re all good

    • Mike

      Dallas had a pretty good defense, no?

      • Run Eagles Run

        on paper, yeah. but look how many points theyve given up. a little bit like the eagles, they have some great talent over there, but the results arent there. only difference is dallas’s d has gotten sacks. they’re stats are better. they’re pass d is ok, but nothing special. when a RB is rushing for 150+ yards, foles, vick, mcnabb, doug pederson, bobby hoying, rodney peete, bubby brister… any of those guys is gonna look good.

  • atlvickfan

    The run/pass ratio was actually a lot closer to 50/50 until the final drive, when they were playing catch up down by 2 scores.