One Liberty Place to Get Observation Deck

Philadelphians and visitors wanting a bird’s-eye view of the city will get their chance: Mayor Nutter on Tuesday announced plans for an observation deck at One Liberty Place. Uwishunu reports:

Today, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced that Montparnasse 56 Group is bringing a brand new observation deck experience to Philadelphia in Summer 2015.

Montparnasse 56 (or M56) — a Parisian-based company that operates observation decks in the John Hancock Tower in Chicago and the Montparnasse 56 Tower in Paris — will be building the observation deck on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place in downtown Philadelphia.

There are currently only a few spots around the city that offer sky-high views of Philadelphia, including the City Hall Tower Observation Deck, R2L and Nineteen.

More details, including the deck’s official name, remain to be revealed.

Moshe Safdie Awarded 2015 AIA Gold Medal

rendering of free library addition

A rendering of the Central Branch with the Moshe Safdie addition. Credit:

The Board of Directors at the American Institute of Architecture has chosen Moshe Safdie, FAIA, as the recipient of the 2015 AIA Gold Medal. The selection of Safdie, whose portfolio includes Montreal’s Habitat ’67 and Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands among others, is certainly a worthy choice, but not without some controversy. He won the prestigious award in a hotly contested vote with Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown of Venturi, Scott Brown. The pair was the first joint nomination in the award’s 68-year history.

There’s an interesting Philly connection here. Safdie’s bold expansion plans at the Free Library were put on hold “indefinitely”  back in April. He was also mentored by the legendary Louis Kahn, an AIA Gold Medal winner in 1971. Philadelphia-based Venturi, Scott Brown are starchitects in their own right, and long fought to have the award include partners in the nominations.

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Artist Transformed South Philly Building Into Incredible Art Space

You know him from his stunning Magic Gardens on South Street, but now you’ll know him for the two-story Watkins Street building that he’s made his personal art project for last eight years.

Of course, whether you or I will get to see Isaiah Zagar’s 10,00-square-foot work in person is a whole other story. From NewsWorks:

About 80 people who bought tickets to a dinner party this week explored the artspace while eating barbacoa, a Mexican-style barbecue by a proprietor of a local food truck. Afterwads the space closed again. Zagar has no immediate plans to make it a public space.

Mosaic master Isaiah Zagar offers small taste of latest art space (photos) [NewsWorks]

Trinity Tuesday: Northern Liberties Home That’s “In Walking Distance to Everything” For Sale

1027 N Hope St, Philadelphia, PA, 19123

All photos by TREND via RE/MAXX ACCESS.

As one would expect from a home smack dab between Northern Liberties and Fishtown, this trinity house is “in walking distance to everything,” to quote the listing. No kidding, WalkScore dubs it a Walker and Biker’s Paradise, which makes sense since it’s within two blocks of the Piazza and is right next to all the goodies both neighborhoods have to offer.

The home itself is a renovated structure that boasts a pristine new bathroom (seriously, check it out in the gallery below) and kitchen with a full wall backsplash. Exposed brick can be found in the living and dining areas, while original features include wood floors and a spiral staircase.

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Move-In Ready Victorian with Coffee Nook and Two-Story Barn

128 W Wayne Ave, Wayne, PA, 19087

All photos by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach.

Movie theater, restaurants, and a slew of shops are all minutes away from this meticulously renovated (but also carefully preserved) Eastlake Victorian in South Wayne, which, for all its location charms, offers its own attractions to potential homeowners.

The living room for one contains a cozy wood-burning fireplace, while the kitchen has a lovely coffee nook with room for larger seating in addition to already having a granite island and DCS and GE Monogram appliances. Outside, a two-story barn, which includes space for two cars, storage, and hayloft, has R5 zoning, which allows for it to be converted into a guest home, office or separate dwelling.

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Morning Headlines: New Luxury Hotel to Replace Four Seasons After Renovation

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center interior.

Rendering of the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center interior.

The Inquirer’s Bob Fernandez reports the Four Seasons Hotel, set to move to the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center when it’s completed in 2018, will shut its doors at One Logan Square this June. Following an extensive renovation, its former site will reopen under a yet to be named luxury hotel (although whispers of a Marriott have been circulating.)

Sage Hospitality, Fernandez adds, will be in charge of the transition and intends to keep as many Four Seasons employees as possible:

Walter Isenberg, chief executive officer and president of Sage Hospitality, said that the Four Seasons in Philadelphia “has earned a spot as one of the city’s most important hospitality assets. While honoring the property’s past, we will make it relevant to today’s traveler as a modern luxury hotel. We are excited to be joining the Philadelphia community and look forward to introducing a new restaurant concept from our Sage Restaurant Group.”

Sage intends to retain as many Four Seasons employees as possible, Isenberg said.

Four Seasons to close for renovations in June [Inquirer]

In other news…

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For Sale: Attractive East Falls French Tudor with Turret Entrance

3306 Warden Dr, Philadelphia, PA, 19129

3306 Warden Dr, Philadelphia, PA, 19129

Less than five minutes from Grace Kelly’s childhood home stands this French Normandy stone beauty.  Built sometime in the 1920s, the home has seen updates over the years but has fortuitously had its original character and architectural detail preserved.

Among its more standout traits are its turret entry, rooster weathervane, casement windows and a Juliet balcony overlooking the front path. (We’re sure anyone would feel like royalty from that vantage point.) Interior highlights include a curved staircase, sunken living room with central fireplace, sizable master suite, new master bathroom and new kitchen with mosaic tile backsplash, granite counters and an adjoining breakfast area.

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Sold: The Perplexing Pine Street Row House in Washington Square West

919 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

919 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

It baffled us when it was first listed and it baffles us now. Not in a negative way, but more like a genuine curiosity about how one would use this multifaceted property.

As Shannon Rooney put it then:

From Pine Street, this home looks like your standard century-old Wash West rowhouse. But inside, it begins to look like something else entirely. There’s a first floor that resembles a hobbit house, upstairs floors with massive skylight access, a fourth-floor master suite with jacuzzi and portico and a basement apartment fit for in-laws or any other people you’d like to charge rent. That’s a lot going on for one property.

Indeed. And yet, it sold a few days ago for $750,000 (a full $145,000 lower than its original asking price.) How the new owners will make use of each floor, we have no idea, but perhaps they’ll take Shannon’s advice and rent out the basement apartment or build a roof deck so that the master suite skylight, which can be reached by ladder, is put to use.

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PHOTOS: The Foundation Mat Concrete Pour for the New Comcast Tower

The largest concrete pour in Philadelphia history thus far (although some would beg to differ, see comment in the linked post) took place Friday night and continued on until Saturday morning. It was riveting stuff and apparently people gathered for the momentous occasion to immortalize it in social media heaven.

Below, some photos from the event:

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Pergolas to Be Installed at the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk

Our sister blog, Be Well Philly, broke the news a few minutes ago that the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk will be temporarily closed in coming days because of upcoming pergola deliveries.

According to the SBB’s website, pergolas will be ” installed between next week and the end of the year,” but the materials are set to arrive tomorrow and Wednesday, which means the Boardwalk must me closed during delivery time “and possibly for several more days while erection of the steel framing is underway.”

More info here.

H/T: Attention Runners: Expect Closures at the Schuylkill Boardwalk This Week [Be Well Philly]

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