Bucks County Woodworker’s Complex Gets National Landmark Designation

chair1 George Nakashima left an internment camp in Idaho and came to Bucks County. There, he created iconic, influential wood furniture — including the straight-backed chair, a modern take on the classic Windsor chair. The U.S. Department of the Interior on Wednesday named Nakashima’s woodworking complex in New Hope a national landmark.

Born in 1909 in Spokane, Washington, Nakashima — who died in 1990 — traveled around the world after earning a masters in architecture from MIT. When World War II began, he returned to the U.S. and married. In 1942 he was sent to an internment camp, the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho. With the sponsorship of Antonin Raymond, a Czech architect who had worked with Nakashima in Japan and India, Nakashima was freed from the camp and settled on Raymond’s farm in Bucks County. He subsequently settled on a farm on Aquetong Road in New Hope and built his studio there.

At his Bucks  studio, Nakashima produced furniture for Widdicomb-Mueller and Knoll — which has re-introduced his straight chair — and became a father of the post-war American craft movement. He received numerous awards for his work, including the Third Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Emperor and Government of Japan in 1983. His foundation is attempting to accomplish his dream of installing “Altars of Peace” — carved from an enormous black walnut tree — on all the continents.

Read more »

New Hope’s Exquisite Gateshead Farm Is an $8 Million BucksCo Fantasy

000000
Workaday life is full of other people: crowded elevators and lines at Wawa and traffic jams and SEPTA buses. So it’s perfectly normal to dream of strolling over a bridge on rolling green hills, passing by friendly horses, stopping at a springhouse, and turning rocks over in a sunlit stream. All of which is possible for the owner of New Hope’s Gateshead Farm.

First, the main residence. The 19th century stone farmhouse offers more than 8,000 square feet for six bedrooms and six full bathrooms. The updated interior manages to blend cozy details like stone walls, fireplaces and exposed beams with modern amenities and finishes. The home evokes the sense that you could take a nap on a window bench and wake up convinced you were at Pemberley.

Read more »

Chester, Montgomery Counties Are Hotbeds for Texting and Driving

texting2

The above chart comes from The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a “legislative agency” of the Pennsylvania General Assembly that produces publications and reports for lawmakers. It recently published this map of texting-while-driving citations in 2013, showing that the 8th and 10th counties with the most texting-while-driving citations in Pennsylvania are Chester and Montgomery, respectively.

Read more »

Remarkable Erwinna Estate Once Owned by Famed Humorist S.J. Perelman

1

It is hard to pick out a single remarkable detail from this home. In addition to the stunning 83-acre lot and the solarium with a living wall of ivy, the estate was once owned by noted humorist and writer, S.J. Perelman. Sidney Joseph Perelman, of course, was the co-writer for Marx Brothers screenplays including Monkey Business and Horse Feathers. He also co-wrote Around the World in Eighty Days, for which he earned an Oscar. His surrealist writing in The New Yorker made him a household name in the 1930s and 1940s.

Read more »

Weekend Open Houses: Counties Edition

1320 Lafayette Road, Gladwyne, PA.

1320 Lafayette Road, Gladwyne, PA.

This weekend we decided to spotlight homes from each of the four counties surrounding Philadelphia. For Delco, we chose a recently renovated house that has a fireplace with a raised hearth and a cute wood stove insert. And with warmer days soon to come, we thought its salt water swimming pool was worth a mention too.

Our Chester County choice might seem familiar, and that’s because it is. We featured Strawberry Hollow Farm a little over a week ago, but now you can go see the farmhouse’s cathedral ceilings in person. The brick Colonial in Montco has a cherry-paneled den, vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors, and in the family room there’s a wood stove insert. Outside, a swimming pool.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Bucks County Is in Development Slump

Bucks County Courthouse. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Bucks County Courthouse.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday’s headline in the Bucks County Courier-Times was not encouraging: “Bucks report shows sluggish development.” James McGinnis’ list of superlatives was no less damning:

Applications for new housing and industry remain at some of the lowest levels recorded in more than a generation.

Proposals for new commercial development are at the lowest levels recorded in 32 years.

The Bucks County Planning Commission estimates builders would “impact” just 368 acres. That’s the lowest amount ever recorded by the county.

There were several communities that had zero development — zilch — including Langhorne, Upper Southampton and Yardley. There is some good news, though.

Read more »

Meet the Olympic Bronze Medalist from Bucks County

Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans (USA) celebrate winning bronze in women's bobsleigh during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Sanki Sliding Center. Photo | Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

Jamie Greubel (left) and Aja Evans celebrate winning bronze in women’s bobsleigh during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Sanki Sliding Center. Photo | Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

There are two native Philly-area athletes competing in the winter Olympics, by my count. One, Chris Creveling, of Easton, is a speed skater. You haven’t heard of him because he finished 10th and 21st in his two events so far.

Read more »

Day In The Life: Vault Brewing Co.’s John Cain

Yardley Vault Brewing Co John Cain

Photography by Courtney Apple

Coffee is the most important part of my morning. I roast my own and hand-grind it. The whole process takes about 25 minutes. It’s the least efficient way to get a cup of coffee. Rojo’s Roastery in Lambertville is the only place outside of Philly where you can get a good cup. // I’m normally in the [1] brewery, which is in an old bank, by 9 or 10 a.m. We only schedule our brewing four weeks out, but we always try to have certain styles: [2] a stout or porter, an IPA, an approachable beer like Belgian blond, and a special seasonal beer like a hefeweizen. // I wear [3] &Work Vocation shirts—you can wear them to nice restaurants, or to move 50-pound bags of grain. There’s always a penholder in the most ridiculous places. // [4] Charcoal in Yardley is the best fine dining in Bucks County. They’re always rotating their menu. It’s more like a local diner for breakfast. I love the blueberry-pistachio pancakes. They’re decadent. // [5] James Lasdun’s The Horned Man; I think he’s an exceptionally talented writer. Not for the faint of heart. // John’s Barber Shop in Newtown is the best place to get a haircut in Bucks. It’s old-school, and you can get a beer during your cut. // We have [6] live jazz at the Vault every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. But in the city, Ortlieb’s Lounge is an old and funky jazz spot. // Everything that Ardmore’s Tired Hands Brewing Company puts out is fantastic. Inventive beers in a comfy atmosphere. // Finch’s Beer Co.’s Secret Stache Stout is full-bodied, chocolaty and inky black. A perfect winter beer.

john-cain-vault-brewing-day-numbers

First appeared in the February, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Modern Bucks Retreat With Stream (and Bidet) of One’s Own

1

New Hope is itself a great respite from the city and some of its more densely populated suburbs. This beautiful modern home is a respite even from New Hope. The three-bedroom home is situated on 12 acres at the end of a winding driveway that spans your very own stream. Lush landscaping conveys the sense of a private escape even though New Hope’s bars and restaurants are a five-minute drive away.

The home’s architecture is spare enough to be modern but still retains warmth – both figurative and literal. A stone fireplace on the first floor towers into the lofted second story before hitting the roof. The master suite is on the ground floor and two additional bedrooms are upstairs. Bonus: the master bath features a bidet, if you’re into that kind of thing. The kitchen has been updated with a Viking stove and a Sub Zero refrigerator.

Read more »

« Older Posts