Art Deco Downashore: Margate 5BR on a Beach Block with Pool

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Rounded decks and deco, arched windows are not your standard Jersey Shore fare. But this contemporary home – just four properties back from the beach – is not your standard vacation house. Standard vacation houses generally don’t come with quite so many upgrades.

The five-bedroom home features more windows than we can count, coupled with vaulted ceilings and an open floorplan, resulting in a wash of sunshine throughout the first floor. There are four full baths and one powder room, meaning most of the guest rooms are en-suite. The kitchen has a granite island and dual ovens plus built-in cabinets. The bedroom at the very top of the house features nearly floor-to-ceiling arched windows on several walls as well as an en-suite bathroom with dual sinks.

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Morning Headlines: Penn’s Landing Redevelopment Plans Still Being Perfected

Penn's Landing Master Plan rendering via PlanPhilly.

Penn’s Landing Master Plan rendering via PlanPhilly.

As of now, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) has more of what project manager Karen Thompson calls “a conceptual framework.” But in a little over a week — April 25th, to be exact — the DRWC aims to showcase stronger renderings of Penn’s Landing redevelopment.

According to PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates, the current framework elaborates on certain points in the Master Plan and tests the project’s feasibility “in terms of logistics and engineering.”

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Art Museum Stunner With Four-Car Parking for $1.6M

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Pretty sure I’m not the only one who would have loved to grow up here! This completely redone home (renovated in 2011) is a century-old, looks fantastic, and is within walking distance of the Barnes and various restaurants and coffee shops. But for some reason, although maybe some of you will appreciate this, it includes private 4-car parking (I much prefer public trans).
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Look Into the Puppies’ Eyes: You Will Buy This Dentist’s House

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Listing photos usually focus on views and landscaping and professional staging. Not this Collegeville home. Here the owners go straight for the literal puppy-dog eyes. Please buy this house, they say. Look at that lush lawn out backThere is even a stream. We like to chase squirrels there.

The home hardly needs the hard sell. Built in 1962 by “Dentist Dr. Larson,” the home has been fully renovated. Since 2003! The kitchen especially boasts gourmet upgrades: cherry cabinets, Viking and Bosch appliances and a breakfast nook with built-in benches. So comfythey say. Very warm. The main level also features three bedrooms and two full baths.

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Morning Headlines: Lit Brothers Tower Gets Civic Design Approval

Rendering by Stantec Architecture.

Rendering by Stantec Architecture.

The new Comcast tower wasn’t the only project given the go-ahead by the Civic Design Review committee. It also approved revised plans from developer Brickstone Realty for the “Lit Brothers Tower,” a 30-story residential “growth” (as Curbed Philly put it) on top of the historic department store building.

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Interview: Pulitzer Winner Inga Saffron Watches Philly Grow

Inga Saffron. Photo: Bradley Maule

Inga Saffron. Photo: Bradley Maule

Truth be told, Inga Saffron seemed a little embarrassed about appearing on Philly Mag’s list of the city’s 75 most-powerful people. (The issue is on newsstands now.) “So far I have not succeeded in bending anybody to my will,” she emailed when we requested this interview.

But then Saffron on Monday won a Pulitzer Prize for her writing as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s architecture critic. The award citation said she “blends expertise, civic passion and sheer readability into arguments that consistently stimulate and surprise,” and that sounds about right, even if she hasn’t bent anybody to her will.

Saffron talked with Philly Mag last week about architecture criticism, the late-arriving triumph of urbanism, and her fondness for Philadelphia. Some excerpts:

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Brownstone vs. Brownstone: Rittenhouse Edition

Google Street View of the lovely and desirable 2000 block of Spruce Street.

Google Street View of the lovely and desirable 2000 block of Spruce Street.

Here we have two single-family homes on the same block near Rittenhouse Square. They are, in fact, only about five houses apart from each other. They have roughly the same amount of square footage, and many similarities in style, both inside and out. But one is above $2 million and the other is not. That’s a significant dividing line.

Let’s take a look at slideshows of each.

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Saffron Wins Pulitzer for Architecture Criticism

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Saffron has been a finalist before, but this is her first Pulitzer win for architecture criticism. In fact, we hope the win celebrates the very idea of architecture criticism, which isn’t, you’d admit, quite as popular as other kinds. (Is there a Rotten Tomatoes of buildings? There should be.)

Between 1970 and 2014, only four winners of a Criticism Pulitzer have been architecture writers: the Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin, the Boston Globe’s Robert Campbell, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Allan Temko, and the New York Times’ Paul Goldberger.

Make that five!

Inga Saffron Wins a Pulitzer Prize

Adventures in Home Buying: Here Is the House That We Own

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We’d spent months traipsing through strangers’ houses. We’d navigated enough of East Falls to count off the cozy street names by memory (some day, someone will explain to me how a true Fallser is meant to pronounce “Vaux”). In aggregate we’d probably spent entire days with our mortgage advisor. But even with a settlement date in sight — even after the appraisal was worked out — it hardly felt real.

Our closing was scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m. The night before — mindful of having only two weeks between settlement and move to do things like clean, paint and furniture shop — we found ourselves at a suburban Home Depot, standing in front of a wall of interior paint samples. In a sea of technicolor options, we were united on French Silver and Caribe. Still, as the sales associate was having the colors mixed and we were choosing paint rollers, it did not feel real.

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