For Sale: Adorned Penn Valley Home with Spa Room Attached to Master Suite

44 Fairview Rd, Penn Valley, PA

Where to begin? This house is distinctively outfitted to say the least (hint: see the gallery to catch a glimpse of faux stone walls, pillars, tiger print rug, etc.), but I suppose what caught our eye first was the smiling pig standing in welcome at the entrance.

From the kitchen there’s access to the dining, family, breakfast, and great rooms. This latter area has marble and limestone floors, high beamed ceilings. and sliding pocket doors that lead out to the swimming pool. It’s capable of seating up to 60 guests.

Then there’s the master suite, which opens onto a deck and outdoor pool area and has a his-and-her bathroom that includes a massage area, plus a separate spa room with heated stone floor, “Endless pool”, and what looks to be a sky muraled ceiling.  Other bedrooms and a family room are in the lower level, which has an entry to the tennis court.

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Morning Headlines: Main Line Takes Steps Toward Revitalization

150 monument road bala cynwyd screenshot

Photo credit: Google Street View

A 207-unit apartment has been proposed for 150 Monument Road in Bala Cynwyd, a project to be presented before the Lower Merion Township Planning Commission this Monday.

The Main Line Times’ Cheryl Allison says the planned six-story building would be situated on a seven-acre plot in Bala Cynwyd that currently hosts another six-story building used for office space. Allison also reports the project includes a central courtyard with pool deck, commercial/restaurant space (3,700 square feet), and a four-story parking garage, which is to have 673 parking spaces, 207 of which would be for apartment tenants.

The proposed development is one of many (some of which are already in progress), and the result of revitalization goals for the City Avenue commercial district:
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Midday Headlines: Barker Mill Still Looking For A Buyer

Side view of 1400 Mills Creek Road via Google Street View.

Side view of 1400 Mills Creek Road via Google Street View.

In 2003, developer O’Neill Properties Group bought a two-building property at 1400 Mills Road called Barker Mill. Their intention was to transform the site into luxury condos, while planning a third building to complete the set. Sadly, as tends to be the case in renovation and revitalization projects, things did not going according to plan.

Cheryl Allison at the Main Line Times reports the development went up for auction in 2012 after a suffering economy and condo market hampered plans. The site, which is included in the the National Register of Historic Places Mill Creek Historic District, has been vacant for years and is now the second item on the Lower Merion Conservancy’s 2014 Preservation WatchList.

According to the Conservancy’s website, the mill served as a gun manufactory between 1807 and 1865, and made rifles used in the War of 1812. It later switched to producing carpet yarn after coming under the ownership of William Booth and Thomas Barker, a fact which Rutgers University professor Richard Demirjian cites as an example of the country’s early struggles toward “greater economic independence.”
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From Movie Theater to French Hammered Pewter Countertop, David Magerman’s Gladwyne House Does Not Disappoint

magerman.opener

$3.9 million is the asking price for Main Line Orthodox Jewish community leader David Magerman’s current residence at 1357 Hearthstone Lane in Gladwyne. The occasionally controversial philanthropist, restaurateur, and former hedge fund manager will soon move to his new home on Latches Lane in Merion, which is still under construction.

Some of Magerman’s soon-to-be new neighbors had grown accustomed to looking at the 75-year-old, 12,000-square-foot house that once stood on the 3.57 acre corner lot of Magerman’s new home. Magerman completely demolished that house to make room for his new one. Last year he told Property that the old house “was not very usable.”

The Hearthstone Lane house has five bedrooms that are “squeezed” into 9,629 of living space. That doesn’t include the 2,112 square foot very finished basement that’s home to a 13-seat movie theater. The entertainment center features oversized leather reclining chairs and is powered by a Kaleidescape server. In addition to the home theater, the house comes with five other flat screen TV’s, all 45” or larger.

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Lower Merion Historic English Village Home Has Koi Pond and Artist Studio

626 Loves Lane, Wynnewood, PA

626 Loves Lane, Wynnewood, PA

Architects are lucky in that they get to design their dream home. This particular Tudor house is located in Lower Merion’s English Village historical district, and was originally built by an architect for his own private use.

Inside, historic touches emerge in the form of exposed beams, and a paneled living room with built-ins and a fireplace. Upstairs, the master bedroom has a dressing room and windows overlooking the street.

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Philadelphia Metro Has 27 of 1,000 Richest U.S. Neighborhoods

vintage villanova ad

Image from a home builders catalog via Flickr user MidCentArc.

The Higley 1,000 — the list of America’s 1,000 wealthiest neighborhoods — has just been released by by geographer Stephen Higley. For those of us on the East Coast, there aren’t too many surprises: We can shrug our collective shoulders at the news that New York and Connecticut are full of moneyed white people. But it’s interesting to see the results for the Philadelphia metro area.

First, let’s listen to Higley talk about how tough it is to define “neighborhood”:

The concept of “neighborhood” in America is to say the least, amorphous. Realtors are notorious at “stretching” ill-defined neighborhood boundaries of wealthy places in the interest of generating higher prices through a halo effect.

Mapping companies vary from identifying virtually every sub-division (ADC Maps) to the grudging vagueness of a few well known neighborhoods (eg. Thomas Brothers Guides, Rand McNally). Google Maps, my main source for updating the Higley 1000 for 2010, has done an excellent job of adding neighborhoods in recent years. Still, there are many areas that are difficult to name as a “neighborhood”. I have used a variety of resources in trying to identify individual neighborhoods including extensive use of the internet.

(That’s cute — “extensive use of the internet.” Well, yes, we all use that thing from time to time.)

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Lower Merion Okie Farmhouse Gets a Price Cut

Exterior of 825 Chauncey Road, Penn Valley, PA

Exterior of 825 Chauncey Road, Penn Valley, PA

Known for his precise hand at recreating and restoring historical buildings, architect R. Brognard Okie was commissioned to refurbish the Betsy Ross House in 1937. Three years later, the Colonial-Revivalist directed the design of this Penn Valley farmhouse on a little over two acres of land.

Singular features include iron hinges, wide-planked floors, and three “extraordinary” fireplaces. One room has a mural depicting sailing ships and rolling hills.

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Morning Headlines: A Rise in Lower Merion Crime

Surely even the most brazen burglar wouldn't dare to steal from Woodmont.

Surely even the most brazen burglar wouldn’t dare to steal from Woodmont.

Perhaps the only good to come out of these freezing days is that burglars feel it too. That’s what police superintendent Michael J. McGrath surmises given that the upswing in Lower Merion break-ins took place in July last year.

It’s the third consecutive year, according to statistics made public by Lower Merion police, to see a rise in burglaries in that area. Break-ins typically occurred during daytime hours and police believe they’re the result of drug prices going up.

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Big Turnout for Merion Meeting to Talk About St. Charles Seminary Redevelopment

seminary

At the Merion Tribute House on Wednesday night, Susan Guthrie began by telling her larger than expected audience, “We believe it’s better to be prepared and not needed, than needed and unprepared.” Guthrie is one of the founding members of the recently formed Coalition for Neighborhood Character and Quality (CNCQ), a community group which hopes to minimize the negative impacts as St. Charles Seminary moves ahead with its plan to sell more than half of the 80 acres it currently occupies in Wynnewood.

Earlier this week Property reported that the Pittsburgh-based HHF LP announced
last week that “it has been exclusively retained for the disposition of the St. Charles
Borromeo Seminary Development Site.”

Before the meeting began, CNCQ members had neatly arranged about 50 chairs in the front room of the Tribute House (the room that’s usually used for serving cocktails to wedding and Bar/Bat Mitzvah guests before they’re ushered into “the big room” for dinner and dancing).

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