The choices, realistically, were current City Controller Alan Butkovitz and challenger Brett Mandel. They had significant differences of opinion about many things, but they both drew especially stark lines in the sand regarding the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), the city’s property reassessment program meant to correct years of preposterously incorrect property values.
Butkovitz was extremely critical of the plan, and recently paid an outside consultant almost $30,000 to assess the assessments. That consultant found that the process was carried out with good intentions but ultimately ineffective. Butkovitz made great hay out of this result prior to the election, which made some in the media suspicious of his motivations. After all, that almost $30,000 was paid for by the taxpayers.
The view from 5 81st street in Sea Isle.
Why buy a beach house in Sea Isle City Sandwiched between Ocean City and Avalon, Sea Isle City has been a popular summertime destination for families and young professionals since its founding in 1882 by Charles K. Landis (also the founder of Vineland, NJ). While its population explodes in the summer season, Sea Isle offers [...]
This three-bedroom home on 6 acres is the only Frank Lloyd Wright home in Delaware. It’s called the Dudley Spencer House, after its owner, and has many original built-ins designed by Wright himself. It was one of the last homes he designed, and is priced at $1.35 million. The gallery is below.
Photo: K. Clappa for GPTMC
The most famous house not standing in Philadelphia is almost ready to receive visitors again as the reconstruction of Franklin Court in Old City has moved above ground.
Work began on the $21 million restoration of the Independence National Historical Park museum memorializing the only home Ben Franklin ever built in October 2011. We were able to grab some shots of the construction work on a recent stroll down Chestnut Street, where one of the two entrances to Franklin Court is located.
The “ghost houses” – Robert Venturi’s imaginative approach to evoking structures for which no physical evidence save their foundations survive – only need a fresh coat of paint. The real work has largely taken place below ground, where dated 1970s exhibits have been replaced, leaky ceilings have been repaired and the structure brought back to a state of good repair.
Photo: K. Clappa for GPTMC
Photo: Llenrock Group blog
A blog entry from the Llenrock Group, a local real estate advisory/investment banking firm, dubs the Post Bros. company “Schlemiel of the Week.” For those who aren’t up on their Yiddish, here’s the definition from the Yiddish Slang Dictionary:
a clumsy, inept person
This is similar to the word “klutz”, but rather than coming from German, comes from the Hebrew word שלא מועיל (shlemil) meaning “ineffective”.
Malvern Estate for Sale They have lacked radiant heating, surround-sound entertainment systems or his and her sinks in their day, but homes built in the 18th and 19th century can boast an unmatched craftsmanship. Take Bryn Ddeu-Faen (Welsh for Hill with “Two Stones”), a former field-master’s home and farm from the early 19th century that’s [...]
Photo by Julia Rowe via Flickr
Despite the Pennsylvania Convention Center website touting “the superb quality of the design aesthetic, detailed down to custom-designed carpets with 15 different geometric patterns,” the expanded state-owned Convention Center that opened in March 2011 isn’t exactly the Taj Mahal. But the intention wasn’t to create a thing of great beauty; rather, it was to bring in significantly increased convention business, that would, in turn, grow hotel business and retail and restaurant as well. As a preview to the opening, the Philadelphia Inquirer asked a number of salient questions, some of them necessarily contradictory: Would all the taxpayer millions on the expansion be worth it in the end? Would there be enough hotels to fill the demand of increased conventioneers?
As Tom Ferrick points out in today’s column for AxisPhilly, worries about the latter question have turned out to be largely moot. He minces no words: “The newly expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center is turning out to be a dud. With a capital D-U-D.”
This is a unbelievable. This young gent, who studies architecture, lives in Manhattan in 78 square feet. Not only that, but he likes it, is good-natured about it, and with some sweat equity and a few trips to Home Depot, has made it pretty darn livable–even a bit enviable. There’s not really any reason that human beings take up so much space, if you think about it.
On the other hand, it’s shocking to hear how much he pays for the place. Only in New York.
Photo: Art Etchells
If there are folks in Point Breeze who feel slighted by the newcomers to the area, don’t blame John Longacre for the insult. All he was trying to do was shore up the West Passyunk Avenue area the way the folks over on the other side of Broad Street were turning around East Passyunk Avenue.
And if there is anything problematic about what he and other high-profile types, like real estate agent-developer Ori Feibush, are doing in Point Breeze, it has little to do with the usual suspects of race and class. Rather, Longacre says, it boils down to this: Some people out there – a small minority – simply don’t want anything to change. More →