Farmhouse Friday: A Gladwyne Mansion With Room for 100 (No Joke)

1243 Country Club Rd., Gladwyne, Pa. 19035 | TREND images via BHHS Fox and Roach

1243 Country Club Rd., Gladwyne, Pa. 19035 | TREND images via Coldwell Banker Preferred

This classic stone home in Gladwyne has all of the architectural features and design elements of a classic farmhouse. It even has a name — “Valley View.” And it’s on sale for only the second time in 60 years. But truth to tell, what you’re looking at here is a farmhouse on steroids: this is really a sumptuous mansion with plenty of farmhouse charm.

So if an 8,000-square-foot home with custom fireplaces and a 1,200-plus-bottle wine cellar is your cup of tea, snag it while you can. Last sold in 1992 for $817,500, and built after the area had been largely converted into estate suburbia, this home retains that classic feel of the farmhouse with a modern twist.

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Park Towne Place: A Look Inside Philadelphia’s Newest Art Gallery

This lounge near the Towne Center concierge desk is the closest in appearance to the way the entire community center looked before the renovation; the staircase at right was the original and only access to the lower-level shops, parking garage and pool. Even this space now serves as an art showcase after the renovation project, which sprinkles works by Philadelphia artists throughout the development's public areas. | Photos: Sandy Smith

This lounge near the Towne Center concierge desk is the closest in appearance to the way the entire community center looked before the renovation; the staircase at right was the original and only access to the lower-level shops, parking garage and pool. Even this space now serves as an art showcase after the renovation project, which sprinkles works by Philadelphia artists throughout the development’s public areas. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Park Towne Place, the 959-unit apartment complex on the Ben Franklin Parkway, sits right across the street from the Rodin Museum and just down the block from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A few years ago, it got the Barnes Foundation for a new neighbor.

So when its owner, Aimco, decided it was time to push the reset button on the Midcentury Modern development, it decided to play up its location in the heart of the city’s museum district.

But “when we rebranded this as ‘Museum District Residences,’ we had a problem: We didn’t have any art,” said Patti Schwader, Aimco’s senior vice president, at the June 9th ribbon-cutting for the rebuilt South Tower and Towne Center community center.

Now it does. With more than 100 original works from Philadelphia artists on display throughout its common spaces, Park Towne Place has become an art museum itself. Read more »

A Midcentury Modern Apartment Complex Gets a 21st-Century Redo

The rejuvenated South Tower and amenities complex at Park Towne Place. | Photos: Sandy Smith

The rejuvenated South Tower and amenities complex at Park Towne Place. | Photos: Sandy Smith

I will confess it’s a little unsettling to report on a ribbon-cutting that includes the unveiling of a historic plaque on an apartment complex that was built the year after I was born. But Midcentury Modern architecture is now reaching the point where it’s the subject of historic preservation efforts, and in that sense, the revamped Park Towne Place, which city officials and Aimco executives rechristened June 9, is one helluva preservation project.

Actually, the project not only rehabilitates the 959-unit, four-tower development but upgrades it with new and improved apartments and amenities that bring the complex in line with 21st-century residents’ tastes and desires. Along with the redesign comes a new name: Park Towne Place / Museum District Residences. And in honor of that new moniker, the complex has also become the city’s newest art gallery. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Live Like a Sun King in Rydal

930 Pine Valley Circle, Rydal, Pa. 19046 | Photos by Photography Arena via Global Living Team

930 Pine Valley Circle, Rydal, Pa. 19046 | Photos by Photography Arena via Global Living Team

“La maison, c’est moi.”

This week’s Jawdropper may have you proclaiming that after you move in, for it will definitely make you feel like the ruler of your own domain.

For starters, it’s in the gated community of Rydal Green in Abington Township, so you get to control who may pass into your kingdom.

Then there’s the house itself. On the outside, it’s an attractive contemporary home in the French country estate style. But on the inside, this custom Gigliotti-built home is all Louis XIV. Read more »

First-Time Find: “Location, Location, Location” in Queen Village

336 Pemberton: Living room

336 Pemberton St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images from Weichert Realtors

You love living in the city, but your first child’s on its way, and you need more room than you have in that stylish but small Old City condo.

You’re one of the people this new feature was designed for. And for its debut, we’ve found a home that should meet your needs, especially when that child is ready for school.

This contemporary in Queen Village just had its price cut to one that, while on the upper end of our First-Time Finds range, should fit within the budget of most working couples. It’s on a secluded one-lane street, so you’ll enjoy the tranquility of a gated community, only without the gate.

Inside, you’ll find a comfortable living room with working fireplace and an eat-in kitchen with tile floor and up-to-date appliances, including a gas range and dishwasher, on the main floor. On the other side of the back door from the kitchen is a private rear patio.

Up the spiral staircase on the second floor is a bedroom with decorative French doors, its own fireplace (a dresser blocks it in the photos below), a full bath and laundry facilities. One floor above that is a second bedroom, another full bath and access to the roof deck, a great place for you and yours to relax and soak up the sunshine.

Down the spiral staircase from the kitchen, there’s plenty of storage space in the basement.

What makes this home a great place to start a family is its location, though. Your child will attend the William M. Meredith School, generally considered to be the best public elementary school in Greater Center City, and you will find many of the things you love about city living, including South Street, Head House Square, the Delaware riverfront, Fabric Row and the Italian Market, within comfortable walking distance in this “Walker’s Paradise” location. If you have a car anyway, this place can accommodate you as well, as there’s off-street private parking in front.

THE FINE PRINT

BEDS: 2

BATHS: 2

SQUARE FEET: 680

SALE PRICE: $399,900

OTHER STUFF: This home’s price was reduced by $25,100 on May 31, bringing it just inside our First-Time Finds price range.



336 Pemberton St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 [Karen Dougherty | Weichert Realtors Media]

Trinity Tuesday: A Home for the Wanderluster in Bella Vista

802 S 6th St. #D, Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images via Plumer & Associates, Inc.

Don’t have the budget to explore the world just yet? Enter through the gated European-style courtyard to get to this trinity home and experience the sensation of travel right here in Philadelphia. A wonderful adventure awaits you in the form of a three-story-plus stucco home with curb appeal, nestled on the border of Queen Village and Bella Vista.

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The Gables Goes On the Market

4520 Chester Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19143 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

4520 Chester Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19143 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

University City in the Gilded Age was Philadelphia’s original streetcar suburb. And the people who could afford to build grand homes along the expanding trolley lines did so. One of the grandest of these homes, a landmark in the neighborhood, is now on the market, offering a rare opportunity for a would-be host, an investor or someone looking to live really large today.

The property in question is The Gables, a long-running Victorian bed and breakfast at 46th Street and Chester Avenue. Built in 1889, this home was enormous by the standards of the day and remains exceptionally large now. With 11 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, generous spaces for relaxation and entertaining and a sizable lot surrounding it, this home offers multiple possibilities for a potential buyer. Read more »

Main Line Monday: The Perfect Summer Entertaining Home in Devon

533 S. Waterloo Rd., Devon, Pa. 19333 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

This week’s Main Line Monday home has the ultimate outdoor entertaining space in Devon that will make you never want to go inside.

Tucked away on a secluded cul-de-sac with woods at its back, surrounded by lovely landscaping, a sunny garden area alongside an Armond pool and spa with two waterfall features, and adorned with a large deck overlooking it all, this home is perfect for inviting your friends and family over for a summer evening.

When you do step inside, however, you will find a surprising amount of expansive living space with a fantastic open floor plan surrounding a great hall with grand arches. (The home’s architect, Ann Capron, was a pioneer and champion of modern open-plan houses on the staid Main Line.) Read more »

A Great Start for a Rookie Developer

1705 Pine St., before and after reconstruction. | Photos: Francesco DiCianni

1705 Pine St., before and after reconstruction. | Photos: Francesco DiCianni

It hasn’t been all that long since Frank DiCianni graduated from Drexel University in 2012. But the 26-year-old has his sights set on becoming a serious player in the local development game. His first construction project has gotten him off to a good start down that path.

DiCianni, who lives in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, had been noting with some concern the condition of the former Rittenhouse Cleaners building at 1705 Pine Street.

“A dark cloud hung over that building for eight years,” he said. After the cleaners shut down in 2007, the owner of the building and the business sold the building to a buyer from New York City.

From that point on, the building slowly deteriorated. And that worried DiCianni. One decaying building with boarded-up windows, he said, can set off “a chain reaction of not caring” among other property owners, and if the reaction goes on long enough, pretty soon an entire block becomes blighted.

So DiCianni decided he would launch his career as a developer by breaking the chain before another link could be added to it. Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: A Riverside Retreat in Stockton

80 River Rd., Stockton, NJ 08559 | TREND Images via Addison Wolfe Real Estate

80 River Rd., Stockton, NJ 08559 | TREND Images via Addison Wolfe Real Estate

In the early 1700s, a fellow from Germany named Kugler decided to take his chances on a better life in colonial America. He made it to an area along the Delaware in New Jersey in present-day Hunterdon County and became one of the original founders of the community of Frenchtown.

His extensive landholdings in the area, which extended from Frenchtown into Kingwood and Stockton, were eventually divided among his children. Sometime around 1830, one of Kugler’s great-grandsons built a two-story farmhouse on a riverside plot in Stockton. That structure later became known as Hamish Lodge.

That lodge has been expanded on since. The original home got a newer companion many years later. Together they form a beautiful country retreat amidst the woods along the Delaware. Read more »

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