Classic Stone Mt. Airy Home with Delightful Playroom and Plenty of Built-Ins

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

There is a lot to love about this stylish Mt. Airy home. The stone facade is classic, the hardwood floors are gleaming, the kitchen is new and there is roof deck potential. But our favorite detail is the third-floor playroom, which has been made over as Mt. Airy’s own private family Småland, replete with all of the Swedish retailer’s most colorful children’s accessories.

Down on the ground floor, the home features a handsome foyer that gives way to a living room with fireplace and built-in cupboards. The brand-new kitchen features a built-in of its own: an island-style gas stovetop range. There is a breakfast room adjacent to the kitchen with richly patterned wallpaper and yet more built-in storage. Upstairs the five bedrooms are split between the second and third floors, most with adjoining bathrooms. The third floor has room for one bedroom, a bath, and the darling playroom.
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Woodward French Village House Is Back on the Market

419 Gate Ln, Philadelphia, PA, 19119

419 Gate Ln, Philadelphia, PA, 19119

In spite of its two-day period back on the market, the home has been attracting attention for much longer. A few years ago, Alan Jaffe included the property on a piece about the French Village in Mt. Airy in PlanPhilly’s “Look Up!” Here’s a snippet talking about the architectural history of the neighborhood:

“The French Village, whose homes are found on Elbow Lane, Gate Lane and Allens Lane, was built in easy walking distance from the Mt. Airy train station, as the area became a railroad suburb for the affluent businessmen and professionals of Philadelphia. The homes were built in the Wissahickon Style, incorporating the local mica schist, generous green landscape and flowing streams.

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Morning Headlines: Flipping the Conventional Wisdom on Renters

Photo by Michelle W. via Flickr.

Photo by Michelle W. via Flickr.

Kellie Patrick Gates parses a hefty city planning commission survey at PlanPhilly this morning. Among the findings that might surprise you if you still subscribe to antiquated notions about renters: they are “highly committed” to their neighborhoods; many choose to rent despite their ability to buy; and the most highly committed renters in Philly appear to live outside Center City.

Among the findings that night not surprise you:

Other factors that respondents said kept them from buying included some Philadelphia-specific criticisms: School quality (31 percent), taxes (29 percent), the feeling they could get more house for less money outside the city (27 percent).

The report also found that Center City renters love exactly what you think they’d love. Restaurants, amenities and walkability. Renters in neighborhoods outside Center City cited closeness to friends and family as behind their decisions to rent where they do.

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Home Built by the Strawbridges Hits the Market for $1.15M

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

Known for founding the beloved (and well-missed!) department store at 8th and Market, the Strawbridge family also constructed three large homes during the last few decades of the 19th century. One of the “Three Sisters” properties – a Queen Anne Victorian landmark in Mt. Airy – hit the market this week after a significant renovation process.

Owner Daniel Cohen reported that he worked with Lawrence McEwan for layout and structural architecture and Jamie Swidler for interior finishes and furnishings. Cohen himself acted as general contractor alongside Dean Coffin and Martin Madden. Renovations included installing ten zones of radiant heat over three hardwood floors as well as smart technology that will enable new owners to control HVAC functions, lighting and security remotely. There is also a sound system wired through most of the house.
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Delightful Century-Old Tudor in Mount Airy

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

TREND photo courtesy Elfant Wissahickon.

There are plenty of homes in Philadelphia that are 110 years old. But it’s rare to find one where details have been thoughtfully preserved but it doesn’t scream This is historic! Look at this hearth! This Mount Airy gem is a best-case scenario. Modern upgrades, charming details, lots of period-related curb appeal.

The home features five bedrooms and two full baths plus a powder room. Built in 1904, the single home is full of character. The entryway is surrounded by leaded stained glass windows and there are multiple rooms with at least one wall of exposed brick. A hallway entry on the second floor is made of exposed stonework and the living room fireplace features an intricately carved wood mantel.

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Brunch Sessions are Back in Mount Airy

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Brunch Sessions are back and better (plus cheaper) than ever. This Saturday, July 12th and Sunday, July 13th seven restaurants will host the summer-themed edition of Brunch Sessions: Four Seasons of Prix Fixe. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., participating restaurants will offer three-courses of seasonally inspired brunch, some of which are prepared just for the event, for just $16. From Latin flavor to Southern comfort and a retro 50s diner to an intimate BYO, Mt. Airy’s Brunch Sessions will surely draw a crowd of food lovers of all kinds.

And this year there’s a new kid on the block: Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange. Not only a newbie to the event, but to Mt. Airy as well, this restaurant at 7152 Germantown Avenue will serve up country classics, like Southern buttermilk fried chicken, cheeseburgers and hand-cut fries for guests to enjoy.

Plus if you’re not too stuffed, the fun continues throughout the day with live music, beer tastings – located at 7401 Germantown Avenue – shopping and much more.

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Enchantment in Mt. Airy: Gardens and a Backyard Wishing Well

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It’s hard to find a home more charming than this 1830 Mt. Airy farmhouse. The wishing well and gardens alone evoke Snow White and the white picket fencing just moves things even more squarely into American iconography.

The home is – of course – listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic places. Its century-plus age means the floors are still the original pumpkin pine. The farmhouse itself has three bedrooms and one full and one half bath. The upstairs has been updated a big, with second-floor laundry and a renovated bathroom. In addition to the farmhouse, there is a carriage house out back. It includes a bedroom and bath of its own.

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There’s Basically a Castle on Allens Lane in Mt. Airy

Exterior of 701 W Allens Lane, Philadelphia, PA.

Exterior of 701 W Allens Lane, Philadelphia, PA.

There’s something stately about this home built in 1894. Maybe it’s the stony exterior or its prominent crenellated turret. Whatever the case, the house is rather conveniently situated: It’s a 12-minute car ride from Wissahickon Valley Park, and 4 minutes from the hum of Germantown Ave.

The home’s merits don’t stop there, however.

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Mt. Airy Residence With Pompeian Brick and Shaded Piazza

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With its wide center hall and looping, broad staircase, it’s easy to imagine this home circa 1907 when it served as a girls’ boarding and day school. There is something to the stained glass in the stairway and the window seat that makes it easy to envision an academic setting where students were enthralled by the all-female, college-educated faculty. But that’s on the inside. From the outside, the property looks more like a fancy Spanish villa than a place where students were likely actually learning French.

Herman Wendell and Walter Bassett Smith developed the entire neighborhood of Pelham by the late 1800s, luring city dwellers to Mt. Airy with modern conveniences like clean water and access to public transportation. Constructed of Pompeian brick, the home stands out in the neighborhood with its golden balustraded piazza and terrace.

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Are the Union Protests at the Trolley Car Diner Legal?

trolley-car-diner

Yesterday we wrote about IBEW Local 98, the electricians’ union, protesting in front of developer Ken Weinstein’s Trolley Car Diner — where, Weinstein alleges, flyers with his photograph and cell phone number were distributed. That may be bad form, and an invasion of privacy, but it’s run-of-the-mill kind of stuff from Philly unions. As far as we know, distributing the phone number is not illegal.

But the protests themselves are more open to question. Weinstein is the developer of a preservation/restoration project at 6000 Wayne Avenue, which — just to be clear — is not the address of the Trolley Car Diner. The building at that location, like many that Weinstein develops, is vacant but historical, with a Frank Furness pedigree. Weinstein is planning to turn that building into a school, and he has hired a general contractor from the area, McCoubrey/Overholser, to do the construction and to hire subcontractors to do specialized work, like the electrical.

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