Main Line Monday: Eccentric Elegance in Penn Valley

612 Manor Rd., Penn Valley, Pa. 19072 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

612 Manor Rd., Penn Valley, Pa. 19072 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

Many Main Line homes are certainly grand but sorely lack in the creative department.

A wonderful deviation comes in the form of this Penn Valley home. With its soaring interior spaces, modern features and open-plan elements,  this just-slightly-off-center-hall Colonial displays a lot of imagination with its updated take on traditional luxury. Read more »

Main Line Monday: A Real Sanctuary in Narberth

200 Price Ave. # ELM 5, Narberth, Pa. 19072 | TREND Images from BHHS Fox & Roach

200 Price Ave. # ELM 5, Narberth, Pa. 19072 | TREND Images from BHHS Fox & Roach

One of the most sensitively executed adaptive reuse projects on the Main Line is now complete, and as a result, you now have the opportunity to live in a condo like no other in one of the Main Line’s most walkable, family-friendly communities.

This top-of-the-line unit at is the result of Main Line reBuild’s conversion of Alexander Mackie Adams’ 1929 United Methodist Church of Narberth into Elm Hall at Narberth Place, with six distinctive condominium units. This one, Unit 5, occupies part of the church sanctuary, which means you get some fabulous architectural elements built right in along with the modern conveniences you might expect. Read more »

Panic at the Narberth Parklet!


Here in Philadelphia, we have to deal with things like stop-and-frisk, the tax abatement, and the sinister soda tax. But a few miles away in the Borough of Narberth, residents find themselves confronting a whole new species of evil: the parklet. Read more »

Main Line Monday: A Narberth Home With An Inviting Exterior

Not our usual MLM fare, this home offers some unique amenities.

Not our usual MLM fare, this home has some unique aspects.

Main Line Monday often features huge mansions and estates that are common in some of the Philly area’s wealthiest neighborhoods. At 3,207 square feet, this week’s house isn’t quite that. But it does have something that many of the most luxurious houses don’t—a wraparound porch.

A house could be 10,000 square feet and have four stories, but if it has a wraparound porch, you can bet we are going to lead with that. Every. Single. Time. They’re perfect for spending bright mornings with a book or warm evenings with a drink, and when we saw this house, there was no doubt we were writing about it. The stone exterior around the lower level just adds to the feels we get seeing this place.

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Main Line Monday: Adorable Starter Home in Narberth Asks Under $400,000

TREND Images via Duffy Real Estate Inc

We’re switching gears for this edition of Main Line Monday. Sure, we often feature palatial estates that offer all kinds of amenities, but there’s a decidedly different home in Narberth that caught our house-huntin’ eyes. We’ll blame it on the fire-engine-red shutters.

For just under $400,000, the picturesque starer home has a lot to offer, including a great location that’s just a short walk to nearby Narberth Playground and the Narberth regional rail station.

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New Narberth Avenue Bridge to Feature Site-Specific Art Installations

The artistic element will be installed in the long yellow strip | Design: VSBA/Narberth Borough

The artistic element will be installed in the long yellow strip | Design: VSBA/Narberth Borough

Narberth Borough has put out a request for qualification (RFQ) for “an artist to create a site-specific, integrated artistic enhancement in conjunction with the construction of the new Narberth Avenue bridge,” according to its website.

The bridge has reached the end of its useful life and to show how important the look of this span is to the borough, they’ve brought in Venturi Scott Brown (VSBA) to assist Pennoni Engineers in its design. “We envisioned the bridge both as a connector between the downtown and residential neighborhood and as a gateway between them — as well as an opportunity to enhance the borough’s identity,” according to the project description on VSBA’s website.

On top of that, Narberth wants this project to stand out and harken back to a time when infrastructure projects were a big deal:

“The hope is that the project can draw inspiration from the time when infrastructure was a matter of civic pride and when ornamentation was considered an integral part of building projects, to commemorate or communicate important civic concepts or narratives.”

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Narberth’s Oldest (and Long-Vacant) Church Could See a Mixed-Use Revival

Image via Google Street View

Image via Google Street View

Sitting right across from Narberth Train Station and just minutes from the borough’s downtown on foot, the former Baptist Church of the Evangel awaits a potential mixed-use revival that would include 4,500 square feet of office space and four two-bedroom apartments.

According to the Main Line Times’ Cheryl Allison, Bala Cynwyd-based Speciality Audit Services is eyeing up the landmark structure (its original section was built circa 1891) for its offices, with plans to keep the existing basketball court as “recreational space for the office employees,” while converting other sections of the stone building into residential units.

During its time as a church, the building claimed two rows of twelve pews able to hold 200 people, stained glass windows, slate flooring, carved wooden doors, and a cathedral wood ceiling, according to the property’s LoopNet listing. Additionally, the structure contained a Sunday School wing with classrooms on two floors, two pastor’s offices, and a social room.

Per Allison, SAS principal Jason Gordon says there are plans to renovate the interior, which has deteriorated over time, and leave the exterior as is. However, the stained glass, a detail noted as “likely of little value,” would be replaced. During last week’s informational presentation before Narberth’s planning commission and local residents, architect Dave  Brawer said the apartments would range “from just under 900 to 1,500 square feet.”

Still, the question of parking looms large…

Head Scratcher Rankings: Forget Beverly Hills, Narberth Is the Place to Live

Downtown Narberth | Photo: Dan Groff/Facebook

Downtown Narberth | Photo: Don Groff

Ahhh, Narberth, we often find ourselves longing to bask in your wonderland of sunshine, streets lined with palm trees, (good) Eddie Murphy cop movies and Hillbillies shows, iconic shopping and bevy of stars living in mega-exclusive compounds. Wait, that’s Beverly Hills. Sorry, we often get the two mixed up. How is that possible, you ask? Well, Niche, a website that says its goal is to transform “the way people make big life decisions,” has ranked the Montgomery County locale as the tenth best suburb in the nation, ahead of places like Beverly Hills (12), Manhattan Beach, California (11) and even Lower Merion Township (25).  Are we proud of this? Yes, and Narberth Online’s Facebook page summed it up for pretty much everyone in the region with a simple, “In your face, Beverly Hills!” Read more »

Headlines: PennDesign Named Among Top Schools in the World for Architecture

The School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, was recently named as one of the top universities in the world for “architecture & built environment” in the World University Ranking for 2015 report released by QS. Arch Daily has the easy-to-read list right here. PennDesign was ultimately ranked at 35, with MIT ranked in the top spot.

Penn wasn’t the lone university from the region on the list. Princeton came in at 38 and Penn State’s Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture ranked in the 51-100 area. According to QS, the “rankings highlight the world’s top universities in 36 individual subjects, based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact.”

For what it’s worth, Architectural Record ranked the top schools in the nation and broke it out by undergraduate and graduate programs, which is helpful and something QS doesn’t do. You can find those lists here.

More Headlines:

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Before & After: The Main Line Conversion You Have to See

Photo credit: Betsy Barron Fine Art Photography LLC

Photo credit: Betsy Barron Fine Art Photography LLC

Around this time last year we informed you of a special project taking shape in Narberth. If it’s not ringing bell, here’s the jist of it: Main Line reBUILD developers had the idea of turning the former United Methodist Church of Narberth and its parsonage into condos. A new townhouse construction was also in their plans.

The name of this proposed residential site? Narberth Place, which now lays claim to a pristine building called the Barrie House (i.e., the former parsonage) at its site. It’s the before and after photos of the one the Barrie House units that we have here now, and goodness gracious are they worth a look: by golly are they worth a look:

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