Author: Liz Spikol

Property Has a New Address!

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Hey, y’all! It’s time to change those bookmarks. Property has moved, and we think you’re going to like our new digs.

We’ve got a spiffier look, much better galleries, mobile optimization, and all kinds of other fun stuff that you’re going to love, whether you’re into architecture, neighborhood news, new development, or real estate porn. We’ll have new editorial features for you too. If there’s a topic you’d like to see more of, contact your friendly editor, Liz Spikol, via email: lspikol@phillymag.com.

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New Hope’s Famously Haunted Logan Inn Is on the Market for $6.7M

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Photo by Laura Kicey

Talk about historic properties. The Logan Inn was once built as a humble tavern, but became an inn around 1727. It’s the oldest running inn in Bucks County, and the fifth oldest in the U.S., one manager said. But the more important fact? Its vaunted paranormal reputation. The New Hope building has regular visits from [...]

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Weekend Pick: Pearl Street Arts Festival Celebrates Chinatown North’s Revitalization

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Pearl Street rendering by Walter Hood.

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 28, the Asian Arts Initiative is throwing a party — well, an arts festival whose participants perfectly embody the growing artistic importance of this neighborhood. The visual art installations include work by Marginal Utility, Practice, Vox Populi and Fleisher Art Memorial, while live performance will include Art in Motion, EgoPo Classic Theatre, Hip Hop Fundamentals and Philadelphia Taiko Center, among many others.

In the offbeat category, there’ll be a mobile tea cart with free drinks, a community feast and and interactive furniture build with landscape architect Walter Hood.

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Explosion at Extremely Historic Firehouse in Old City Does “Extensive Damage”

  Either an ambulance or a firetruck exploded at the Engine 8, Ladder 2 firehouse at Fourth and Arch. Details are scarce right now, but CBS 3 reports that the damage to the building is “extensive.” While it’s always troubling when a historic building is compromised, it’s particularly devastating in this case because the firehouse [...]

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Mid-Century Master Jules Gregory’s “Butterfly House” Now on the Market for Less Than $300K

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Architect Jules Gregory is probably best known in this area at the moment for the Lambertville house on the market that he designed for himself and that features a double conoid roof and interior work by George Nakashima. It’s truly a masterpiece of mid-century modern design. But it’s not the only Gregory house for sale in this area.

In fact, Gregory’s Butterfly House in Delaware Township, NJ, is also on the market. Built in 1955, it has, according to the listing, hardly been touched since then — and it looks it. It’s kind of in rough shape, but a new septic system is being installed. For someone inclined toward preservation and renovation of an important architect’s work, it’s remarkably priced: $299,000.

See the gallery below:

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Philadelphia’s Hotel Monaco Is One of Fodor’s Top 100 for 2013

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Photo by Laura Kicey

The Fodor’s 100 Hotel Awards is pretty much what it sounds like: a contest honoring the best 100 hotels around the world. And Philly’s own Hotel Monaco, in operation for just one year, has made the cut in the Sleek City Addresses category, which acknowledges “glossy city hotels that offer high style and first rate amenities.”

In case you haven’t seen the glorious Monaco, here’s a gallery of photos by Laura Kicey:

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Morning Headlines: The Woodlands Serve As the Setting for Elizabeth Gilbert’s New Novel

Photo by Liz Spikol

Photo of the Woodlands by Liz Spikol

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote the memoir Eat, Pray, Love, which zoomed up the bestseller charts and was made into a movie with Julia Roberts. Her new book is something different — a novel, The Signature of All Things, spanning the 18th and 19th centuries that’s anchored by life at a vast estate. That estate, it turns out, was modeled on the Woodlands, the beautiful cemetery and old mansion at 40th and Woodland in West Philadelphia. (The cemetery once was the home of a herd of deer but then they disappeared, rumored to have been exterminated by the former ownership. But that is just been a rumor.)

“It was so obvious as soon as we drove up. That’s it! Everything about the Woodlands was right,” Gilbert told the Inquirer. And historically, given the novel’s focus on botany, it made sense to the plot:

In real life, the Federal-style Woodlands, built in 1788, was the country home of William Hamilton, a gentleman intensely interested in architecture, landscape design, and botany. He traded seeds with Thomas Jefferson, another talented plantsman, and William Bartram, son of John, the noted Philadelphia botanist.

The Woodlands is getting a renovation now, but we hope not too much changes. It’s one of the city’s most beautiful spots as is.

Earthy pleasures in Gilbert’s new novel

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Public Meeting Announced for Next Phase of Penn’s Landing Development

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has announced a meeting during which the next conceptual phase of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware River waterfront will be presented. Here’s the blurb about the event:

The Master Plan for the Central Delaware River waterfront proposed a new vision for Penn’s Landing: a spacious green park, sloping gently towards the river, connecting Chestnut and Walnut Streets from Front Street, over I-95, and across Columbus Blvd.

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Waterfront Condo Has Two Private Terraces, 24/7 Valet, and a Vodka Bar Pre-Stocked With Vodka

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This Waterfront Square condo on the Delaware is actually two units put together, which may explain why it has four deeded parking spots and three storage units (on the same floor as the condo). There are plus d’amenities at the gated community: Aside from the expected — 24-hour security, a fitness center — there’s also a putting green, a dog walk, a shuttle bus and an indoor pool.

As for the condo itself, appealing features include a walk-in closet “that will make any girl swoon,” according to the listing. Well, not any girl, surely. And do fashionable men not swoon? At any rate, gender politics aside, what may be most exciting is the vodka bar that is already stocked with vodka. Skol!

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