Schuylkill Yards Project To Include Major Community Engagement Component

A new community engagement initiative from Brandywine Realty Trust aims to make Schuylkill Yards an engine for community renewal even before the first shovel of dirt is turned.

Brandywine Realty Trust today unveiled another development to rise during Phase One of the Schuylkill Yards project.

This $5.6 million project will build a stronger West Philadelphia through job creation, education and training, small business development, affordable housing, housing preservation and strengthening community organizations.

Brandywine’s community engagement program will include the following major components: Read more »

A Railroad Baron’s Castle Goes on the Market in Powelton Village: $2.899M

3512 Baring St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 | TREND images via Philadelphia Realty Exchange

3512 Baring St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 | TREND images via Philadelphia Realty Exchange

The magnificent medieval-style home at 3512 Baring St. has served as a “multi-family” residence for most of its existence, but it didn’t begin life that way.

According to Powelton Historical Society records, it was built in 1892, and its original occupant was the family of Patricius McManus, a street and railroad contractor whose father had emigrated from Ireland. His work included the Pennsylvania Railroad lines that fed the Centennial Exposition.

McManus was clearly a successful contractor, for he built and owned this home without a mortgage. You probably won’t be so lucky if you buy it, but it will be worth every penny whether you keep it as an investment or convert it back to a residence once the leases on its eight apartments run out. Read more »

Philly to Say Goodbye to Late Art Legend Joseph Tiberino on Tuesday

Artist Joseph Tiberino outside of The Ellen Powell Tiberino

Artist Joseph Tiberino outside of The Ellen Powell Tiberino Memorial Museum. Photo courtesy of Phil Sumpter.

Philadelphia artist Joseph Tiberino passed away on Friday, February 19, 2016 in his Powelton Village compound, an oasis of artistry nestled in West Philadelphia. He was 77.

The local art legend was born to Ernest and Cecelia Tiberino on July 8, 1938, in the Kensington area of Philadelphia.

After attending Saint Boniface Parish School and Saint Joseph’s Prep, Tiberino entered the Philadelphia Museum School of Art (now the University of the Arts), where he cultivated a passion for mural painting, studying the works of Michelangelo to Diego Rivera.

On a fateful evening in the early 1960s, Joe’s artistic fervor further prospered when he met fellow artist Ellen Powell at her going away party after finishing her studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

“My father decided that night that was the woman he wanted to spend his life with,” said the couple’s eldest son, artist Raphael Tiberino. Read more »

Jaw Dropper of the Week: Beautifully Touched Up Victorian in Powelton Village

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Art Museum

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Art Museum

Surprised this week’s Jaw Dropper is in West Philly? Don’t be. (This house is a prize, we assure you.) Nestled on the leafy 3400 block of Baring Street, the three-story Victorian blends its pristine original features with a slew of newer details and a lush English country garden that extends a little further than you might first imagine.

Of course, being that it’s in old Powelton Village, a neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places, let’s start with its historical notes. According to, the home was built circa 1875 in the Second Empire style along with an attached twin. Inside are elaborate wainscoting, mantles, and shutters. Of those gorgeous light fixtures, which you can take a look at in the gallery below, it appears only the one in the dining room might be original, listing agent Mary McCartan tells us. And that staircase? Made of mahogany, friends.

Read more »

3201 Race Street Plans Apartments, Homes and Childcare

3201 Race Street, looking west | Rendering via Erdy McHenry Architecture/Radnor Property Group

3201 Race Street, looking west | Rendering via Erdy McHenry Architecture/Radnor Property Group

A Drexel-owned lot at 3201 Race Street looks to have a new life in its not-too-distant future. Radnor Property Group plans for a glassy 16-story apartment tower designed by Philly-based Erdy McHenry Architecture. 164 market rate apartment units will rise above a mixed-use platform that will contain a large childcare facility and a public green space that looks over the train tracks towards Center City.

David Yeager, president of Radnor Property Group, said the project was born out of a request for proposal from Drexel University for projects geared towards market rate housing and childcare for their staff and the nearby community.  Yeager described it as another “cog” in the wheel of Drexel president John Fry’s vision for the Innovation Neighborhood and beyond.

The project will also include 12 market rate townhomes to the north, a green roof and an underground parking facility with 26 spaces. There are also 61 bike spots and two car share spaces.

It’s also important to note Read more »

PennDOT to Repair Spring Garden Street Bridges


PennDOT announced today it will soon begin a $6.6 million renovation of the Spring Garden Street bridges, the several spans that take Spring Garden Street over the Schuylkill River, MLK Drive and Interstate 76. One of the two bridges that connect the Art Museum area with Mantua and Powelton Village is structurally deficient.

Construction starts Monday, August 11th.

In a release, PennDOT says crews will resurface the deck, replace expansion joints and other bridge parts, improve drainage and paint it. They will also replace curb ramps. In good news for non-drivers, PennDOT also plans to update signage and markings for pedestrians and bicyclists. (There is already a thin bike lane on the bridge.)

Starting in late August, trucks longer than 30 feet will be prohibited from the Spring Garden Street bridges. In mid-September, the exit ramp from I-76 West will be closed for about 70 days. Lanes will also intermittently be closed during off-peak times. The construction is expected to be completed by next summer.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: SRC Green Lights $37.8 Million Sale of Eight District Properties

uni city high

University City High School, via Austinmurphy at Wikimedia Commons.

Last night the School Reform Commission approved the sale of seven schools and one district administration building to the tune of $37.8 million. After closing costs and bond payments, the district is expected to net $25.8 million, which has already been factored into the current budget.

Drexel purchased a 14.1 acre site comprising University City High, Drew Elementary and Walnut Center. The $25.1 million parcel will be redeveloped for mixed use and will also serve as the new home for Samuel Powel Elementary, which already partners with Drexel. More to come on that front, we expect.

Solomon Leach at the Daily News outlined the other buildings involved in the sale:

Metal Ventures Inc. purchased Childs Elementary School in Point Breeze for $1.2 million.

Maritime Academy Charter purchased Stephen Douglas High in Port Richmond for $2.1 million.

Orens Bros. purchased Alexander Wilson Elementary in West Philly for $4.6 million.

Mastery Charter purchased Anna Shaw Middle School in Kingsessing for $2.7 million.

Independence Mission Schools purchased William Harrison Elementary in North Philly for $1.4 million.

The Powelton Village Civic Association is not pleased.

More headlines this way. Read more »

John Fry to Powelton Village: We’re in Your Corner

Detail from image of UCHS from

What would the residents of Powelton Village like to see Drexel University do with the University City High School site? Top of the list: create a new K-8 public school to augment the highly regarded Samuel Powel School.

What would be the last thing they want to see on the site? More student housing.

What is Drexel University’s top development priority for the UCHS property? Build a new, university-assisted K-8 public school. What won’t it put on the site? New dorms.

Neither Drexel University President John Fry nor the civic leaders, architects and planners who organized a March 5 planning workshop at 38th Street and Lancaster Avenue had spoken to each other before the event, but comments Fry made in a post-workshop interview made it seem as though he had read their minds.

Read more »

Is Architectural Consistency Overrated?

University City High School. Photo via Wikimedia.

University City High School. Photo via Wikimedia.

One of the big concerns many residents of neighborhoods undergoing major change have is preserving the character of their neighborhood. Usually, such discussions focus on the architecture of an area, especially an area where the homes are of a uniform style and have lasted long enough.

Many Philadelphia neighborhoods like Powelton Village are filled with distinctive 19th-century Victorian and neoclassical homes. Some residents of such neighborhoods want to make sure that 19th-century ambience survives intact.

Not everyone agrees with this view, however.

Read more »

New Project in Powelton Village Gives Dorms a Run for Their Money

A few years ago, Todd Potter says he realized there was a big void in the Philadelphia real estate market. Students looking to live off-campus had two options, he said. There was university-sponsored housing or local landlords renting out the same old properties. Four years later, his University Realty is expanding further into Powelton Village at about a 100% occupancy rate.

Read more »