There’s a Cool Time-Juggling Sculpture Outside of PAFA Right Now

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts building (yes, that iconic Frank Furness designed structure on North Broad) now has a head-turning addition: a 16-foot sculpture called “Young Punch Juggling” by artist Robert Taplin.

According to NewsWorks‘ Peter Crimmins, the installation is “the second in an ongoing series of temporary sculptures” that will be situated on the iconic building’s façade. PAFA’s museum director says the sculpture, which shows Punch juggling objects from different time periods, was designed with the building in mind. From NewsWorks:

[Harry] Philbrick asked Talpin to create a sculpture that responds to the building. Famed architect Frank Furness designed it in 1875 as his own contemporary response to traditional: he made a steel-trussed building with a classic Gothic Revival façade, including a sculpture platform over the front door – a plinth.

Here’s a look at the sculpture going up…

Estate With Must-See Private Backyard Hits the Market in Historic French Village

Photos by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach

Photos by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach–Chestnut Hill

Let’s head out to West Mount Airy to check in on a newly listed estate in the historic French Village development. Architect Robert McGoodwin teamed up to developer Dr. George Woodward back in the 1920’s to create an enclave of houses in the upper northwest, a burgeoning commuter section that was becoming increasingly wealthy due to the construction of new rail stations. Not familiar with this section of the city, check out this amazing “tour” of the homes and a background on the development.

Homes like the ones found in French Village were built in order to cater to this new influx of wealth and, man, they did not disappoint. 7305 Emlen Street rests on one acre of tree-lined land, native trees being a key element of the Wissahickon Style, and fine architectural details are found throughout–most notably the home’s four fireplaces and wrought iron staircase.
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See 60 Years of Urban Change in Philadelphia With a Swipe of the Finger

Image via University of Oklahoma’s Institute for Quality Communities

Image via University of Oklahoma’s Institute for Quality Communities | Click here for the slider.

This is almost too much fun. The Institute for Quality Communities at the University of Oklahoma just did you a solid today: they overlapped two photos of Center City Philadelphia, one from 1965 and another from 2014 and added a simple slider to let you see just how much the core of this city has changed over the last 60 years–it’s incredible.

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Morning Headlines: Building That Houses Spruce Food Market Has Been Sold

There's a parking garage just above that beautiful sign. | Photo: James Jennings

There’s a parking garage just above that beautiful sign. | Photo: James Jennings

Want to know the going rate for a 175-vehicle parking garage that also houses one of the most recognizable signs in Center City? Apparently, it’s “roughly $7.2M,” according to a report in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

An affiliate of Post Bros. purchased the building from CLL Towne Inc. and will be used to supplement the adaptive reuse project at 260 S. Broad St. That project will see the Atlantic Building transformed into a high-end residential building with ground floor retail and, let’s not forget, beautiful designs from starchitecture firm Rafael Viñoly Architects.

As for the sale of Spruce Food Market space and above garage, there’s a interesting note at the bottom of the article:

The structure does have air rights that would allow it to be expanded by about 50,000 square feet but that’s “just an added bonus,” [developer Matt Pestronk of Post Bros.] said and not the long-term play.

Center City parking garage where Spruce Foods is located sells for $7.2M [Philadelphia Business Journal]

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Louis Kahn Alert: The Clever House in Cherry Hill Is on the Market

Photos by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach–Haddonfield

Photos by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach–Haddonfield

Here’s your chance, people. A bona fide piece of architectural history has just hit the market.

Louis Kahn may have designed around two dozen houses in his day (Oh, and this and this and this), but only nine of these modern residences were ever built. While plaudits abound for The Esherick House or The Korman House, it’s The Clever House in Cherry Hill that’s available and could make for one hell of a restoration project. Being sold in “As-Is” condition, the house located at 417 Sherry Way in Cherry Hill is 1,694 square-feet of pure experimental modern that gives a new definition to cathedral ceilings.

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The Crane Is Going Up at 1919 Market Right NOW

Watch out for 1919 Market

Watch out for 1919 Market

Name one thing that gets a development nerd (ourselves wholeheartedly included in that category) more excited than a towering crane being installed at a construction site in the city? While renderings may be a close second, the short answer is probably nothing. It means progress and that something soon will rise from that whole in the ground.

Enter 1919 Market, the looooong vacant lot that will see 321 luxury apartments, a ground floor CVS and, let’s not forget, a golf simulator grace the street at the center of the current development boom we’re seeing from the Delaware River all the way into West Philly.

Here’s what we know and also more crane shots with renderings!

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Property’s Weekend Agenda: The Philadelphia Home Show

Photo of The Painted Home show room at the Philadelphia Home Show, courtesy of Denise Sabia.

Photo of The Painted Home show room at the Philadelphia Home Show, courtesy of Denise Sabia.

Whether you’re  in the midst of giving your home a makeover (or simply considering it), this weekend’s Philadelphia Home Show remains a must-attend event.

This year, the show’s title is “Renew, Refresh and Restore Your Home,” which speaks to the exhibit’s emphasis on splendiferous home design, architecture, and landscaping. Feel free to check out all the design show rooms and ask questions only experts can answer!

The full roster of exhibtors can be found here, but notable designers set to make appearances include Denise Sabia from “The Painted Home” and Jeff Devlin from DIY’s I Hate My Bath and HGTV’s Spice Up My Kitchen.

You can check out more info about the Home Show and work by Bobbie Tilkens-Fisher  (At Home Modern) and Sabia–a resident of the Philadelphia suburbs with three brick and mortar locations in Doylestown, Erdenheim and Ambler–in the gallery below.

(Psst. Here’s how you can park for free for the Home Show.)

Plus, bonus free parking info! Petition: “LOVE PARK SUCKS!” Trade It for an Applebee’s

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

So there’s a bizarre petition that will ruffle some feathers. At the very least, it should cause you to tilt your head and say, what the …? A man named Ryan Wilson of Philadelphia has started a movement that’s kind of difficult to explain. Here are the details, if that’s what they’re called:

LOVE PARK SUCKS! Love park should be rezoned as part of the city of Camden in exchange for Applebee’s in New Jersey to be relocated to Philadelphia

I think he’s calling Camden to take LOVE Park in exchange for Applebee’s in a straight swap of a public landmark park for a chain eatery. Eight people have signed this thing — eight – including one (assumed) parody account named Mayor Michael Nutter, who is in love with the plan. So, why is Wilson on this crusade? Uh, the reasons are interesting:

Like a lot of people im sick of the patriarchy and its time we take control and rid ourselves of the perversion that is “love park” and adopt the more appropriate ideals of applebee’s. i mean just look at the hideous image that plagues our city:ugh. see you tomorrow!

What’s actually interesting, from a real news side of things, is that LOVE Park is very much in the process of, for lack of a better term and in the spirit of the argument, not sucking.

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Lot Next to Future Market Street Collapse Memorial Could Become Parking Lot


The southeast corner of 22nd and Market was forever changed in June 2013 after a building collapsed onto the roof of the one-story Salvation Army next door, killing six people inside. As you know, a memorial park is planned for the corner where the thrift store once stood, but little has been said about the larger lot next to it, the one owned by Richard Basciano. Philadeliquency did some serious sleuthing and what they found is rather interesting–vaguely worded permits issued last week that could see the lot turned into surface parking. Surely, you jest? Sadly, we don’t:

This is probably going to depress you, but it appears that Basciano wants to convert the lots use for 2136-38 Market Street into surface parking.   He’s doing it by arguing that he’s using his other properties next door for parking, so why not this one as well?

Talk about a punch in the gut.

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Morning Headlines: Foster + Partners Will Design $1.5 Billion Penn Health Systems Tower Project


There are a few reasons why the in-progress Comcast Innovation and Technology Center is the most important building to be built in Philadelphia in recent memory. Not only can you point to Comcast firmly planting their corporate flag(ship) into the city’s soil (for a second time) with a skyline redefining tower at a height unseen outside of New York and Chicago, but that “game-changer” moniker was completely reaffirmed once it was announced that Foster + Partners would be in charge of its lofty designs. That brings us to today’s headline.

The University of Pennsylvania is no stranger to the upper stratosphere in pretty much every category, including medical care and facilities and architecture and design. So it may come as no surprise that they’ve retained a star-studded lineup of design and construction companies, anchored by Foster + Partners and L.F. Driscoll, to lead their new $1.5 billion hospital tower project, according to a report from Philadelphia Business Journal.

The project would be done in multiple phases over several years. It’s expected that the health system will begin razing Penn Tower sometime this year in preparation to make way for construction of the new hospital.

Foster + Partners will be joined by HDR, Inc. on the design of the project which, if you’ve seen the works of either firm, should be a gorgeous addition to Philadelphia’s built environment–seriously, the Millau Viaduct is a work of art. L.F. Driscoll and Balfour Beatty are in charge of the construction side of the project–which could be a 700-bed hospital tower with 50 operating rooms and other medical services.

Want some more coolness? Here’s Lord Norman Foster himself narrating a video of some stellar drone footage from the Hearst Tower in New York City, ten years after its opening. Might we see one of these tribute videos to the CITC ten years after its completion?
Penn Health System picks development team, ‘starchitect’ for hospital expansion [Philadelphia Business Journal]

Plans for The Gallery, Huge Sinkhole and More!

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