Category: Architecture & Design

The Superb Listings Architecture of a Luxury Rental at 16th and Locust

lanesborough

Adjectives used in real estate listings are not used as they are in the dictionary or even in common parlance. They are shadow words–reflective of their real selves, but distorted. These words are brilliantly deconstructed by Curbed New York’s Brokerbabble Glossary, but if that’s too much lit crit for you, here are some overarching rules of thumb:

- The more adjectives, the better, especially those synonymous with “spectacular.”
- Proper nouns are very important, particularly in the kitchen. Namedrop with abandon.
- Concerns about capitalization are for losers.
- It’s best not to use periods or punctuation because WHO HAS TIME FOR PERIODS THIS HOUSE IS GOING TO SELL ANY MINUTE OH MY GOD
- Hyphens are acceptable because they are adjectives joined together, and the more adjectives the better
- When life gives you an eat-in kitchen, make it a “chef’s eat-in kitchen.”

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Property’s Morning Obsession: Roots Mural Gets a Dedication Date!

roots mural

The Roots mural via muralarts.org

How long have we been waiting for the Roots mural? It seems like forever ago that we started pining for Philly’s biggest hometown hip-hop stars to be enshrined on some wall, somewhere. Well, it’s finally happening, and the wall is at 512 S. Broad Street, on the side of the World Communications Charter School. Seems like a more fitting idea than Sixth and South, which was pitched some time ago.

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For Sale: Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Wilmington, Delaware

l6f712544-m0o

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.

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Makeover Nearly Complete for Nonexistent Old City Home

venturi ghost house

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: K. Clappa for GPTMC

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Convention Center Expansion: A Dud and Embarrassment

pa convention center

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.”

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Property’s Morning Obsession: Video Profile of a 78-Square-Foot Rental in Manhattan

shoebox apt

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.

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Union League Gets a New Look

Photo: Union League

Photo: Union League

That august institution founded in 1862 by President Lincoln, Broad Street’s French Renaissance Union League of Philadelphia is getting an interior makeover. A new demonstration kitchen and wine cellar is being constructed, and the Lincoln Hall (often known as the Lincoln Ballroom), dedicated in 1913, is getting a renovation. The Hall’s ceiling is being restored to its original contours, and its the renovations are meant to be done by June. In the meantime, visitors get to take a look at renderings in the hallway.

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Whatever Happened to…Northern National Bank?

The building in its last days. Image by Susan Babbitt (Creative Commons License)

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

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Getting Better With Age: Buying Older Homes

Buying older homes includes this 250-year-old West Chester house, which exudes unique character and charm.

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 [...]

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Seeing Design in Black and White: Ideas for Your Home

Design ideas in black and white

Design in Black and White Sometimes the simplest elements make the biggest impact when it comes to decor. Take, for example, interior design in black and white.  These two basic colors when used in decorating a room make a big visual statement. The palette is appealing for a number of different reasons, starting with the [...]

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