Image via Brewerytown Spring Festival's Facebook page
On Hidden City today, Bradley Maule writes in great depth about West Girard Avenue, in particular, the blocks between 2500 and 3100. The neighborhood was vibrant even into the 1980s, but in the ’90s the area was hit hard–like so many American urban neighborhoods–by the drug trade. Yet in the last 10 years, Maule writes, there’s been a remarkable turnaround–one that sounds surprisingly uninflected by classic new arrival-vs.-old-timer tensions that are seen all too commonly in neighborhoods like Point Breeze.
One of the reasons for relative peace seems to be the delicacy of area developers, like MM Partners’ Jacob Roller, who told Maule, “We’ve been very sensitive to the idea of gentrification. We’re not coming in to change the neighborhood. We want to add to its core, and forming relationships is key.”
Tom Knox announced in April that he was planning to run for mayor of Philadelphia in 2015. He’s run before for mayor and also ran for governor, so these are muscles he knows how to flex. And money is no object, so he can spend whatever he needs to on the campaign. In his 2007 mayoral run, according to the DN’s Chris Brennan, he spent in excess of $10 million–his own money, mind you, not donations. What’s another $10 million, give or take? Brennan writes:
Knox now says he will bank his money until late in the game and focus on fundraising early.
“At the very end, if needed, I’ll do whatever I need to do to win,” Knox said.
Translation: spend as much money as he has to.
Given the fact that money isn’t an issue, maybe it’s time for Knox to knock (ahem) off some dollars from the asking price of Meadowbrook, his spectacular estate that includes several buildings–including a main house, a stone carriage house, a guest house and a spring house. The three-car garage is also a separate building, and as it’s unfinished, could be another something-house if that’s preferable.
Stop by 212 Avon Road in Haverford for an open house this weekend.
Whether you’re looking for a spacious country estate, a chic beach house, or a charming city row home, you’ll want to hit up one (or more!) of these weekend open houses. 2537 Flowing Springs Rd., Spring City, PA Open house: 5/19, 1 p.m. A 6.7 acre French country estate original built in 1769. Price: $2,999,999 [...]
Photo via visitphilly.com
Talk about the end of an era: It’s hard to believe this day would come. Le Bec Fin, long known as Philadelphia’s flagship fine dining establishment, is through. For longtime residents and natives, it’s almost impossible to imagine the city without Le Bec, which Georges Perrier opened in the early 1970s. At that time, Philadelphia’s restaurant scene was nothing like the one we know today–nothing–and the restaurant’s splendor, haute cuisine, superb reviews and five-star rating brought a luster to the food scene that was sorely lacking.
At the same time, other establishments, big and small, opened within an atmosphere of burgeoning credibility and energy. Frog. The Commissary. The Garden. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Knave of Hearts. Les Amis. Judy’s. But Le Bec Fin always remained the gold standard for exclusive fine dining, oft cited as “the most expensive restaurant in town”–and thus off-limits to many.
Looking for a beach home that will stand out from the neighbors? This Bay front property for sale in Stone Harbor not only offers four boat slips and plenty of deck space, but a cool, exposed stone wall indoors. The stone wall separates the living area and master bedroom, creating a unique feature in both [...]
The building in its last days. Image by Susan Babbitt (Creative Commons License)
We welcome to these digital pages GroJLart, author and editor of the blog Philaphilia, who chronicles Philadelphia history and development in a spicy way. In this ongoing series, GroJLart writes about buildings that have been lost to the wrecking ball or otherwise suffered ignominious fates. — Ed
Of course you already know about the Free Library’s virtual installation at Suburban Station (we are somewhere toward the bottom on the hold list for the Tenth of December). But have you seen the library’s new subway ads lately?
The Free Library is already on top of its Facebook and Twitter game, sharing interesting trivia and answering readers’ questions. Now they are featuring local librarians and other staff in a series of snarky subway station ads.
Buying older homes includes this 250-year-old West Chester house, which exudes unique character and charm.
Buying Older Homes When in the midst of the home-buying process, some shoppers avoid older homes for fear of the maintenance and updates that could be required. While that concern is certainly valid, older homes, especially ones built between the 18th century and the early 20th century, possess a certain charm and unique character that [...]
Poor Stephen Starr. Successful, wealthy, well-regarded–but inevitably misspelled, particularly in real estate listings. Take the most recent sales and marketing of 234 Market Street, once Starr’s inventive restaurant Tangerine. It’s now up on Craigslist (via LoopNet) as “Former Steven Star Restaurant”–which lessens the glow of association somewhat. That listing is especially impressive because it’s a double mistake, while other ads simply do one or the other name incorrectly. (Click on images below to see sample errors.)
Apparently, Starr’s name is exceedingly bedeviling, so it seems important to acknowledge achievement. Hence the inaugural Stephen Starr Real Estate Spelling Awards, which recognize agents, brokers or their lackeys who drop Starr’s name in real estate listings but spell it correctly. And the winners are…
One of University Realty's existing properties at 3337 Spring Garden Street. Photo courtesy University Realty.
A few years ago, Todd Potter says he realized there was a big void in the Philadelphia real estate market. Students looking to live off-campus had two options, he said. There was university-sponsored housing or local landlords renting out the same old properties. Four years later, his University Realty is expanding further into Powelton Village at about a 100% occupancy rate.