Farmhouse Friday: A Star-Studded Spread in New Hope

5736 Stoney Hill Rd., New Hope, Pa. 18938 | TREND Images via Addison Wolfe Real Estate

5736 Stoney Hill Rd., New Hope, Pa. 18938 | TREND Images via Addison Wolfe Real Estate

Are you the type that enjoys having guests come by for a spell? What about famous ones?

You can add them to the roster of boldface names that have spent time at Stone Court Farm near New Hope. You’ll be able to accommodate them in style in one of this farm’s two outbuildings.

This 11-acre estate dates to the 1760s, but the land on which it sits was once part of William Penn’s personal landholdings in his new colony, deeded to an heir in 1681, not long after he received Pennsylvania from King Charles II as repayment of a debt the king owed his father.

The main house, cottage and barn all date to 1795, and all three have been updated to accommodate contemporary lifestyles while preserving all of their historic charm. Read more »

Presidential City Gets Its Own Resort

Sora Pool Club

The Sora Pool Club. The Olympic-size lap pool is in the foreground, and the clubhouse is in the back. | Photo: Sandy Smith

Matt and Mike Pestronk, the brains behind Post Brothers Apartments, have a flair for in-your-face public relations, as those who recall the campaign they waged against construction-trades union members who picketed their Goldtex apartment conversion in Callowhill may recall.

They’re also experts at selling sizzle — but they also offer the steak to go with the sizzle.

Post Brothers formally took the wraps off the latest proof of their expertise last night (May 11) at the Presidential City apartment complex on the Philadelphia side of City Avenue in Wynnefield Heights. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: History Now in Society Hill

James and Dolley Madison House, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | TREND Images via RE/MAX Main Line

James and Dolley Madison House, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | TREND Images via RE/MAX Main Line

Our Founders, it turns out, were very forward-thinking people.

At least that’s the impression we get after taking a look at the house James and Dolley Madison once occupied in Society Hill.

Who knew they invented the open plan main floor? We sure didn’t.

Truth to tell, the Madisons have nothing to do with the way this spectacular Federal townhouse looks now. Its inside is the product of a meticulous top-to-bottom renovation that respects the home’s historic heritage while filling it with all the latest in style, comfort, features and amenities. Read more »

The Divine Lorraine, Getting Ready For Its Closeup

The lobby of the Divine Lorraine, outfitted with a "check-in counter" for today's open house. | Photos: Sandy Smith

The lobby of the Divine Lorraine, outfitted with a “check-in counter” for today’s open house. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Around the turn of the last century, when the four buildings developer Eric Blumenfeld is in the process of reconstructing were built, North Broad Street was the address of choice for Philadelphia’s new money. The streetcar magnates and captains of industry who built mansions along this street staked it out after the city’s old-money Establishment around Rittenhouse Square shunned them.

The mansions have all vanished from the scene, but today, North Broad Street is witnessing another influx of new money, this time in the form of millions of dollars being invested in its redevelopment as a live/work/play environment. Four buildings, all owned by Blumenfeld, are serving as the linchpins of that transformation, building on his earlier success with conversion of a factory to loft apartments and a former car dealership into restaurants and a catering hall.

Blumenfeld, his chief financier William Procida of Procida Funding and Advisors, and commercial real estate agents Dominique Casimir and Jackie Balin of CBRE Fameco led a group of about 20 interested parties and two reporters on a tour of the four buildings this morning. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: In Step With the Times in Wash West

1134 Waverly St. #R3, Philadelphia, PA 19147 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

1134 Waverly St. #R3, Philadelphia, PA 19147 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Generally speaking, one of the charms of Philly’s trinities is the whiff of history that hangs about them. They don’t build ’em like this any more, these classic homes that housed the city’s working folk in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

But every once in a while, we run across one where just about the only thing that says “historic” is the trademark tight spiral staircase. These are the updated trinities, whose style cues come from all those new construction homes popping up around them. Read more »

Want to Check Out the Divine Lorraine’s Progress? Stop By Wednesday Afternoon

Photo: James Jennings

Photo: James Jennings

Last September, developer Eric Blumenfeld invited the public to tour the Divine Lorraine Hotel so they could see for themselves that work was actually under way to restore the landmark building to its full glory after years of neglect and decay.

An overflow crowd showed up to take him up on the offer. Now, with interest in the project continuing to run strong — a merchandise collection continues to sell well at both Lapstone & Hammer in Center City and occasional pop-up shops — Blumenfeld is inviting the public in once again to view progress on the restoration.  Read more »

Main Line Monday: A Home for Modern Lovers in Bryn Mawr

802 Brookwood Lane, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

802 Brookwood Lane, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Not everyone who prefers the Main Line lifestyle wants to live in a stone farmhouse, a mock Tudor or a new-construction center-hall Colonial. This week’s featured home is for those looking for something different.

This 1980s contemporary home sits on a 1.5-acre lot at the end of a secluded, tree-lined driveway on Bryn Mawr’s north side. Its steeply pitched roof hides its two-story height and gives it a low-slung feel, and its siting makes it an ideal choice for those who love the outdoors as much as they do the indoors. Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: The Real Deal in Pine Valley

9030 Pine Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19115 | TREND Images via RE/MAX Services

9030 Pine Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19115 | TREND Images via RE/MAX Services

Not everyone who wants to live in a farmhouse wants to farm. Many are simply looking for the ambience and character of a farmhouse. This week’s featured property should satisfy those people as well as anyone else who’s looking for a historic yet spacious property in a quiet corner of Philadelphia.

This 250-year-old, two-story farmhouse was originally part of the Horace Lorimer estate. A park bearing his name was carved out of that estate, which means that there are great recreational opportunities just outside your back yard. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: A Palatial Live/Work Space in Rittenhouse

Reception room, 1905 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19103 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Reception room, 19xx Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19103 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Most of the intact townhomes around Rittenhouse Square remain residences, as they were designed to be. They also retain the elegant detailing that made them such choice properties for Philadelphia’s most respectable citizens in the first place.

This handsome late-1860s Italianate mansion on Spruce Street clears that latter hurdle as well. Its owner, however, split its inside into two distinct spaces: one for work, the other for living. Read more »

Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament To Sell Motherhouse

The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament will sell their motherhouse compound in Bensalem (above) and land it owns in Virginia to support its mission and its aging congregation. Photo | Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament

The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament will sell their motherhouse compound in Bensalem (above) and land it owns in Virginia to support its mission and its aging congregation. Photo | Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament

The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament announced this morning (May 2) that the religious order will sell its motherhouse in Bensalem, a 44-acre property the order’s founder, St. Katharine Drexel, purchased for its home shortly after its founding in 1891.

The sisters will also sell more than 2,200 acres of land it owns in Powhatan, Va., near Richmond, where it ran two schools for black students: St. Francis de Sales for girls and St. Emma Military Academy for boys. Mother Drexel’s brother-in-law, Col. Edward Morrell, purchased this property in the early 1890s and then transferred it to the order. Read more »

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