Update: William Penn Inn in Wynnewood Plans Get Conditional Hearing

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William Penn Inn c. 1875 | Image courtesy of the Lower Merion Historical Society

So what ever happened to the William Penn Inn in Wynnewood? Last we heard, it had been saved from the clasps of demolition thanks to an agreement of sale between Rayer Builders and William Inn Partners LLC, a partnership that ensured the new development proposal for the parcel it sits on would, unlike the first one, preserve the historic structure.

Well, readers, we got an update. According to the Main Line Times’ Cheryl Alison, attorneys for the dual developers had a conditional use hearing earlier this week. They presented the developers’ project as having crucial “need for setback and impervious surface relief” if the building is to be preserved. Plans include converting it into three condos, as well as adding new homes on three new lots. Read more »

Morning Headlines: Community Funds Historic Restoration at The Woodlands

Cleaned and numbered 18th century bricks. These will all be put back exactly where they came from. #cryptoconstruction

A photo posted by The Woodlands (@woodlandsphila) on

Last year, we found out that University City District had raised $1.4 million to help realize their grandiose plans to transform the 40th Street Trolley terminal at 40th and Woodland Avenue, right out side of the cemetery gates, into a public amenity that incorporated the hustle and bustle of a transit hub with green space and a cafe.

Last week, the celebratory news came two-fold for the cemetery dating back to 1840. Not only did a number Instagrammers start the Philly iteration of the World Wide Instameet within its hallowed confines, but the The Woodlands announced it had reached its fundraising goals in order to restore the Hamilton Stable. By raising the $218,000, they’ve secured a $612,000 challenge grant to restore the Hamilton Mansion as well, according to West Philly Local. The mansion is a stunner. According to The Woodlands, it’s one of the greatest domestic achievements of the 18th century with “what were likely the best-finished and most sophisticated internal service spaces created at that time in Philadelphia, and perhaps the country as a whole.” Damn.

 More Headlines This Way:

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Property’s Photo(s) of the Week: The Loft District Horse and Miss Divine

We just couldn’t help ourselves. A day after selecting her magnificent shadowy capture of this horse in Callowhill (it was shot somewhere along 13th and Nectarine) for Property’s Photo of the Week, photographer Theresa Stigale posted a new one–and it’s awesome.

But, what else do you expect from an amazing photog whose primary interest is Philadelphia documentary photography? The bonus image in question was taken on Broad, near Brown Street, and has a cameo of the changing Divine Lorraine.

Needless to say we couldn’t choose just one.

Click here to see them

Reduced (Again): Will Someone Please Buy Keewaydin Already?

615 W Mermaid Ln,  Philadelphia, PA, 19118

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Chestnut Hill

Confession time: the jaw dropping Keewaydin ballroom house on Mermaid Lane? Yeah, I’m totally in love with it. Until now, aside from the Gothic dining hall and master bedroom, the rest of the interior has pretty much gone unnoticed by me because–just look at the photo!

Though I shouldn’t say “unnoticed;” more just “never really paid much attention to it” because, while stunning enough, the latter rooms were always my favorite. Now though, $30k has been knocked off the house price and that’s news– but what more could I say about it?

I’ll tell you what I’ll say: Someone needs to buy it already.

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This Is How Much Philly Has Changed In Three Decades–And It Continues to Do So

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Remember that mesmerizing slider that compared the Center City of 1965 with the one from 2014? Well, we stumbled upon an old CityLab post (old meaning two years ago) that highlighted an interactive time-lapse of various satellite images from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat program. It gave us an idea…

According to CityLab, the Timelapse project–which Google has GIFs of!–is a venture between TIME, Google, NASA, USGS, and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. It’s meant as a kind of digital flip book that puts the “stunning change across the earth’s surface, in both our natural environments and our man-made ones” right before our eyes.

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Tower Proposal Looks to Continue the Boom on Chestnut Street

Tower at 709 Chestnut Street | via Roseland Property

Tower at 709 Chestnut Street | via Roseland Property

Chestnut Street is in the middle of quite the renaissance. While some are looking to protect the future of its architectural gems of yesteryear, others are working to re-imagine the identity of the Chestnut Street corridor as a live-work environment that’s near everything Philly has to offer. Look no further than this week’s announcement that the partnership of Roseland–a subsidiary of Mack-Cali Realty Corp.–and Parkway Corporation, wants to bring a 32-story residential tower to the parking lot at 709 Chestnut Street, adjacent to Union Trust, which is currently a catering facility.

“We’re seeing a tremendous move back into Center City,” said Marshall Tycher, president of Roseland. Plans call for a 32-story tower consisting of 304 luxury rental units to be built on the parking lot. Read more »

POLL: Which LOVE Park Redesign Do You Prefer?

After several meetings wherein officials heard out Philadelphians about what they envisioned for the new JFK Plaza / LOVE Park, the folks over at Hargreaves Associates sat down and incorporated the ideas into the soon-to-be redesigned space. Here are the four design concepts they came up with– what do you think?:



Images: Hargreaves Associates via phila.gov

Yes, no, maybe so? Perhaps you should take a look at the more in-depth JFK PLAZA/LOVE PARK Improvement Project presentation before voting on either the Square 1, Square 2, Bow-tie 1, or Bow-tie 2 plans. Make an informed decision, yah know? However, should none of the concepts be to your liking, feel free to leave a comment telling us why! (Although for the love of Ben Franklin, please don’t suggest an Applebee’s take its place.)

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Demo Watch: Here’s a Short Video of an Excavator Eating a Building

Welp, it looks like demolition at the future home of the SLS International Hotel & Residences is officially underway at Broad and Cypress Street (Spruce). That’s not at all surprising, considering developer Carl Dranoff along with the rest of his “Dream Team” – sbe’s Sam Nazarian, hit-makers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and star interior designer Philippe Starck – held a flashy press conference recently to officially welcome Starck and celebrate the history of the site. Dranoff called the project a “new gold standard” for the site, Read more »

Pics Inside PATCO’s ‘Ghost’ Station,
Plus Poll Results

Photo credit: Mike Williams / Delaware River Port Authority

Photo credit: Mike Williams / Delaware River Port Authority

Early last week it was reported that if the Delaware River Port Authority decided to reopen their Franklin Square PATCO Station at 6th and Race, it would cost an estimated $18.5 million. Whether or not such a project will ever come to fruition is too soon to tell, but we did ask you, our smart readers, your thoughts on the matter: In the wake of the Franklin Square’s somewhat recent stretch of success as a social space, do you think it should reopen?

Below, the results of our poll, which asked if you would use Franklin Square Station. (Note: 526 readers participated.) Additionally, scroll down and you’ll find we’ve included photos of the ghost station, two of which were taken last week.

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Morning Headlines: SEPTA Talks Makeover at 15th Street Station

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SEPTA news has been coming in fast and furious these past few weeks. You may remember that our super-cool sister blog Citified brought you the news that they’re looking at bringing sexy new trolleys with easier access into the fold. SEPTA’s director of strategic planning and analysis, Byron Comati, called it a “once in a generation type move.” Now, Sandy Smith reports that SEPTA has unveiled the designs of the overhaul at 15th Street Station.

Unfortunately, the work won’t take place until after the “Democrats decamp” next summer, but, rest assured, this is a major project for the city. The work will be done in phases and, due to the complexity of the efforts at City Hall Station, crews will redo 15th Street Station first:

The engineering to be done there is simpler, consisting mainly of inserting five elevator shafts: two from the west side of the 15th and Market streets intersection to the station mezzanine and one from the mezzanine to each of the Market-Frankford Line platforms and the eastbound trolley platform at 15th Street.

For more info about the “daunting” task crews have at City Hall Station, check out Smith’s piece in our News section.

• SEPTA Unveils Renderings of 15th Street Station Renovations [Philly Mag News]

More amazing headlines this way…

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