Work on replacing the leaded casement windows in the Manor building lobby is under way. All of the windows in the complex will be replaced by its end. |Photos: Sandy Smith
The three buildings that together comprise the Alden Park apartment complex are without a doubt the most photogenic apartment buildings in the city. Begun in 1926 on the former estate of department store founder Justus C. Strawbridge, they began life as the city’s first cooperative residences, attracting an exclusive community of residents during the Depression.
Sometime between World War II and the 1980s, the original cooperative dissolved and the complex became a trio of rental buildings. But their parklike setting and their picturesque English Tudor Revival architecture, the work of architect Edwin Rorke, has kept the buildings among the most popular apartments in the city. The Manor building, which terminates the view down Chelten Avenue, may well be Germantown’s most iconic apartment building. Read more »
The Avalon home of John and Jana Scarpa is an updated take on the neoclassical wood-shingle style of the early 20th-century Jersey Shore. “I’ve always loved the Mantoloking-style home,” John says. | Photos: Halkin Mason Photography
John and Jana Scarpa spend much of the year in Palm Beach, but their hearts are at the Jersey Shore: “It’s so relaxing compared to the Palm Beach scene,” Jana says. The couple, both Jersey natives, had a home in Avalon for more than a decade. Three years ago, tired of spending money on maintenance, they decided it was time to replace their 1970s beach house with something that would take full advantage of its dune-side site.
But what would it look like? John and Jana have divergent tastes. He loves the classical elegance of their Florida home and wanted something traditional here, too. Her aesthetic leans towards the modern — clean lines, open informality. So they decided to split the difference: John got the outside, and Jana got the inside. The result is a striking marriage of classic Seven Mile Island architecture and relaxed modern style. Read more »
What becomes a legend most? Post Brothers answered the question with stylish modern accents for the Roosevelt Apartments’ classically styled lobby. |Photos: Post Brothers
For decades, the Roosevelt Apartments at 23rd and Walnut streets has had a reputation as a decent, low-rent (for Rittenhouse) place to live with a great pub on the street floor.
Now that it’s in the hands of Post Brothers, it’s become a stylish place to live at modest (for Rittenhouse) rents. (The pub, however, is long gone.) And for three tenants, it will be even more than that.
This week, the Pestronk brothers took the wraps off the Roosevelt Edition, three super-sleek, ultra-stylish apartments inserted among the merely stylish units that make up the rest of the building. These deluxe units are equipped with many high-end fixtures, fittings and appliances, including showers lined with Travertine tile and equipped with thermostatic shower columns with hand-held sprays and rain shower heads, Miele multifunction glass-front speed ovens, custom European acrylic cabinetry, floating Italian vanities with storage, and more. Read more »
100 Maple Hill Rd., Gladwyne, Pa. 19035 | TREND images via Redfin
When you live in a place like Philadelphia, there’s no shortage of opportunities to experience art. Whether they’re creations made by local artists or pieces in world-renowned collections, it’s hard not to fall in love with the scene.
In a true demonstration of artistry and architectural wizardry, The Estate at Maple Hill is a fitting match for those who’d like to bring the gallery-tour experience to their homes. Imagine: what if your own home was a work of art? Architect Peter Zimmerman’s unique creation, brought to vivid life by Cherokee Construction, combines Gothic Revival on the outside with a blend of French-inspired classicism, the modern and the Moderne on the inside.
Completed in 2009 and sitting on 32 acres of stately, beautifully landscaped grounds, this estate boasts a full stone exterior with limestone accents, a graduated multi-colored slate roof and sweeping terraces on three of the home’s exposures. The views are enhanced by a perimeter of mature flowering and evergreen trees, a nature/ATV trail that’s perfect for those sweet morning walks and a rolling wildflower meadow. Read more »
The “sealing room” in the temple, where Mormon couples are joined together for eternity. | Photos: © 2016 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. unless otherwise noted
“Like Solomon’s Temple, we seek to use the finest materials and the highest quality craftsmanship in our construction,” Elder Larry Y. Wilson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said as he welcomed the news media to this morning’s tour of the new Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple, the first Mormon temple in the Keystone State and the 152nd to be completed worldwide.
That commitment to quality showed in ways large and small throughout the four-story, 208-foot-high structure, the most unabashedly historical of the LDS Church’s recent efforts. This, Wilson explained, was because “the church has tried to interpret the history and the architecture of this city in the construction of the temple.” Read more »
This illustration shows what a typical block with a bioswale in part of its median would look like. | Image from Gilmore & Associates for the City of Philadelphia
As Philadelphia went through its industrial revolution that made it “The Workshop of the World,” one of its greatest industrial districts was the one that arose along American Street in Kensington thanks to a Reading Railroad branch line.
Most of that industry is now gone, and what remains is on a much smaller scale. But the street remains huge — and foreboding to some, thanks to its desolate appearance, a byproduct of that deindustrialization. This has led to an unusual partnership between three city agencies aimed at both remaking the street for a mixed-use future and turning it into a showcase for green infrastructure.
At a public open house on July 26, representatives of the Streets Department, the Water Department and the City Planning Commission invited residents of South Kensington (Old Kensington), West Kensington and Norris Square to give their opinions about what issues the city should address first when rebuilding the street. Read more »
148 Freedom Rider Trail, West Chester, Pa. 19382 (Thornbury Township) | Images from Keller Williams Luxury Homes International
What you see above is a common, if unusually large, Pennsylvania farmhouse whose oldest portion dates to circa 1797. What makes it special, besides the care and attention that went into its restoration, is the person who built it.
That person was Squire Thomas Cheyney, a relatively unsung hero of the Battle of the Brandywine on Sept. 11, 1777. (You may recognize the name because of the historically black university a few miles up the road, but that was named for a different member of the family who lived later.) Cheyney delivered crucial intelligence to Gen. George Washington about the direction from which British forces were advancing. That intelligence allowed Washington to shift his troops, saving his army from total annihilation in this early Revolutionary War defeat for the Americans.
“Had it not been for the Squire’s actions on Sept. 11, Washington would have lost the war and we would be sending our tax dollars to Great Britain,” said the house’s owner and restorer, John Murphy. Read more »
The future home of the area’s second, and Center City’s first, MOM’s Organic Market is almost complete. | Photos: Sandy Smith except where indicated
MOM is getting ready to welcome her neighbors to East Market come this fall.
That’s MOM as in “MOM’s Organic Market,” the first tenant signed for the mixed-use development that will, when complete, occupy the entire block bounded by 11th, 12th, Market and Chestnut streets. Its space on the street level of 34 S. 11th St. is closing in on completion, and work is well under way on getting the insides of the building ready for two more tenants, including a new one developer National Real Estate Development (NRED) announced yesterday (July 13): Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), a national architectural firm with Pennsylvania roots whose Philadelphia office is currently at 123 South Broad.
NRED used the occasion of the BCJ announcement to invite the media in to take a look around and see how construction is progressing on the first building to be completed as part of the multiphase project. The building, which was once an annex of Snellenburg’s department store and was most recently home to the Philadelphia Family Court, has been given a Modernist factory-like treatment by project architect BLT Architects. Read more »
Image via Oregon State University
Back in 2009, a group of scientists at Oregon State University were testing new materials to be used in tech advancements. What they found instead was a surprising, brand-new shade of blue when they heated manganese oxide and a cocktail of chemicals in a furnace to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aside from its obviously gorgeous, vibrant hue, the color compound contains properties that make it energy-efficient, super safe, and long-lasting. Why should you be excited about this now? Licensing agreements have only just come to terms, meaning the new shade of blue will hit marketplaces soon. Read more »
Biovid’s new Bristol headquarters takes advantage of its building’s historic charm and accommodates both social interaction and spaces for solitary concentration, like the “phone booths” at right in this photo. | Photos: Halkin Mason Photography for KSS Architects
“New ideas need old buildings,” the celebrated urbanist author Jane Jacobs once wrote.
And in his search for a place where his firm could meet the demands of a changing marketplace while making his employees happier and more productive, BioVid President Andrew Aprill wound up settling on an old industrial building in the heart of Bristol.
With the help of a team of employees and the services of KSS Architects, Aprill took the strong bones of the old factory and changed it from a place for making things to one for making ideas. In the process, he and the architects came up with a solution to one of the most vexing problems of the contemporary workplace: making room for heads-down, focused work in an environment designed to encourage collaboration and the generation of new ideas.
Behold the office with a “quiet car,” the solution KSS proposed for the problem. Read more »