Midday Headlines: Rittenhouse Club Horror Story

home for sale

New projects in and around the city are thriving (even if approvals can be cumbersome), but not all developments are created equal. Case in point: the Rittenhouse Club condo apartments in Norristown.

In an an article written for the Inquirer, Carolyn Davis tells the home buyer horror story that unfolded with a Norristown condo complex at its center.

The 26-unit project by developer R. Bruce Fazio cropped up with issues from the start. And not just cliché, annoying-leaky-pipes type of issues. No, more like scary naked wiring and wooden fire-escape staircase (what?!) issues. And it doesn’t stop there:

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Guild Hall Brewing Company Launches a Kickstarter

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Guild Hall Brewing Company, a brewpub opening in Jenkintown, has launched a kickstarter. Set to open in Fall 2014, the brewery is looking for your help to complete their vision.

Without impairing the beer, food, sustainable operations and wages for the staff, head brewer Owen Hutchins had to make some budget cuts. “We had to cut something. We had to cut the design,” Hutchins said.

And this is where you come in. The brewery is looking for donations to make the transformation complete. Donations will go towards the design elements of the brewery. With a goal of $25,000 and 29 days to go, there’s still time for you to make an impact. And depending on how much you donate, expect some prizes – have you ever wanted to name your own beer? – to come your way.

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Brittingham’s Father’s Day Food Truck Block Party

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What better way to say thank you to dad than with a few food trucks? Brittingham’s is hosting a Father’s Day Food Truck Block Party on Sunday, June 15th. The featured trucks will be Poi Dog, which serves up a variety of Hawaiian Tacos, Spot, known for its handcrafted burgers, The Whirly Pig, you can get a basket of bacon… need I say more? And finally, for dessert, Sweet Box Cupcakes, where you’ll have to choose between flavors like Dulce de Leche, Chocolate Ganache and Lime Coconut. Or you can just get all three because hey, it is Father’s Day after all. And to wash everything down? Beer by Brittingham’s will be there. So make this Father’s Day count by stuffing your and your dad’s face with good food and beer.

Brittingham’s [Foobooz]

Louis Kahn’s Roche House Is on the Market

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TREND photo via BHHS Fox & Roach – Blue Bell

Well, this is exciting! The Philip and Jocelyn Roche House in Whitemarsh Township is on the market. Though it’s definitely considered a Kahn home — one of several residential commissions in our area — it may be that Oscar Stonorov had some involvement here. In The Houses of Louis Kahn, co-authors George H. Marcus and William Whitaker say note that the construction drawings from 1948 are marked Stonorov & Kahn, though the job’s start date has been listed as 1945. The home’s origin story is muddied because the home was on a parcel of land that was being considered as the location of the United Nations Headquarters.

We’ll take a minute for you to laugh at that notion.

Now. Onward. As you’d expect from a Kahn home, engagement with nature is in evidence, from specimen plants and private walking trail to hidden grotto and Japanese garden. The listing notes Kahn’s hallmark touches here, like the living room’s brick wall, and the way the living room light changes colors as the sky does.

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Montgomery County Gay Couples Get Green Light To Marry

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Last week, I reported on a loophole that prevented Montgomery County gay couples from getting married, despite the landmark overturn of Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban.  Luckily, that all has changed.

As of 8:30AM on Wednesday, May 28, officials in Montgomery County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. A ruling on Tuesday evening lifted the court order from a year ago which banned the county Register of Wills, Bruce Hanes, from marrying gay couples after he issued over 170 licenses to same-sex couples in 2013, defying the then law.

PA Marriage Equality Update: Two Different Counties, Two Different Stories

Gay Cake Toppers

Despite Tuesday’s landmark decision to overturn Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage, Montgomery County gay couples essentially can be denied marriage licenses based on one simple factor: where they live.

Last year, the county’s Register of Wills, Bruce Hanes, issued dozens of same-sex couples marriage licenses–that is, until he was given an order to cease the issuing of the licenses.  The problem is that the order is still in place, despite the ruling on Tuesday.  In order for Montgomery County to issue same-sex marriage licenses, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would need to take action; so far, they have not done so.  Gay couples who live in the county and wish to be married are being sent elsewhere by government offices.

Meanwhile, in Bucks County, officials claimed that more than 20 gay couples received marriage licenses on the first full day after the ruling; the Register of Wills office had rainbow cookies and other refreshments to celebrate.  This is quite a stark difference given the proximity of the two counties!

We will keep you updated as more information develops.

Montgomery County Pays $1.6 Million to Contractor, District Attorney Apologizes

Walter Logan, a Radnor contractor who was arrested on theft charges five years ago, received a $1.6 million settlement from Montgomery County. He also got an apology from Montco district attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Flash back to 2009, when Logan was charged with defrauding the Salem Baptist Church in Jenkintown out of $300,000. At the time, Furman said the alleged crimes were “particularly despicable” and “really very low.”

Logan’s company had been hired to do work for the Salem church, and told NBC 10 at the time the charges stemmed from a contract dispute. But the charges were dropped a year later — eight months after a civil arbiter ruled the church actually owed Logan money.

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Boil Water Advisory Still in Effect in Parts of Montgomery County

The townships of East and West Norriton, Lower Providence, Whitpain, Worcester, and Whitemarsh in Montgomery County remain under a boil water advisory, KYW 1060 reports.

Pennsylvania-American Water — a subsidiary of American Water, a Voorhees-based water utility company — says that the recent heavy rains are the reason for the boil water advisory: The Norristown Water Treatment Plant was unable to meet its usual production capacity as a result.

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