Common Threads in This Year’s Rouse Award Residential Finalists

Even Folsom Powerhouse, the most residential of this year's Rouse Award finalists, incorporates mixed uses in the form of an updated take on the traditional corner store. | Photo: Postgreen Homes

Even Folsom Powerhouse, the most residential of this year’s Rouse Award finalists, incorporates mixed uses in the form of an updated take on the traditional corner store. | Photo: Postgreen Homes

The Urban Land Institute Philadelphia District Council announced the finalists for this year’s Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence last week, and five of the 14 finalists fall into the residential category, at least in part.

And it’s that “at least in part” part that’s one of the most significant common threads connecting the five projects. The message these projects deliver is one that urbanists, developers and planners have all been hammering home in one way or another for more than a decade now: Single-use is out, multitasking is in. (Toll Brothers, please copy.)

Not even the most residential of the five projects is exclusively residential, and that project has many other features that make it a standout. Read more »

Who’s Building Philly: Alon Seltzer

One of Alon Seltzer's Rittenhouse Savoy studio makeovers. | Apartment photos: Brian Lauer

Alon Seltzer’s own Rittenhouse Savoy studio was one of two makeovers that wowed viewers during Zillow’s “Tiny House Week.” | Apartment photos: Brian Lauer

Before the “tiny house,” there was the Rittenhouse Square efficiency apartment.

These shoeboxes for urban cliff dwellers enabled singles and others whose desire for urban living exceeded their need for space to take advantage of all the city had to offer: parks, cafés, shopping, culture, you name it. When the city was your living room, why bother with one of your own?

That attribute makes these efficiencies and studios popular with a younger set even now. But there’s a hitch: Back in the 1950s, when most of the apartment buildings containing these units were built, they weren’t terribly efficient in the way they used their limited space. And their appearance had likewise become dated.

Enter Alon Seltzer with his repair kit. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Live Like Royalty in Rittenhouse for $4.99M

2004 Delancey St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | Images via Century 21 Veterans

2004 Delancey St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | Images via Century 21 Veterans

It seems that futuristically modern homes are all the buzz lately. So, when we stumbled across this historically exquisite townhome in Rittenhouse Square, we were both refreshed by its rich beauty and taken aback by its enormous size.

Situated on a tree-lined block of the most desirable street in the neighbhorhood, the property boasts six bedrooms, five full bathrooms, two powder rooms, nine fireplaces, a solarium, a gymnasium, a library, an au pair or in-law suite, and a two-car garage, amongst other things. The foyer’s 15-foot ceilings highlight the home’s original woodwork. To your left is a formal front parlor followed by a dining room, which is currently being used as a family room. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Rittenhouse

130 S. 18th St. Unit 606, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND image via Coldwell Banker Preferred

130 S. 18th St. Unit 606, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND image via Coldwell Banker Preferred

It’s no secret that Rittenhouse is one of Philadelphia’s most prestigious neighborhoods. So when we went searching for Rittenhouse properties currently on the market that fall somewhere near the $500,000 range, we weren’t exactly sure what we’d find. Would this budget be enough to live comfortably?

Here’s what we found: while there are several nice options in the neighborhood that are on budget, most of these options are small (and not necessarily suitable for growing families). However, if you don’t need much space to live happily and only plan to live with one or two other people, these options could work and do come with some nice amenities – not to mention their close proximity to just about anywhere in Center City.  We’ll let you be the judge, though. Take a look at what we found below. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: A Rare Gem in Rittenhouse for $330K

403 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

403 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19146 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

If you have champagne taste on a beer-bottle budget, say hello to this completely modernized trinity in the ever-so-desirable neighborhood of Rittenhouse Square.

In traditional trinity fashion, this property rings in at a mere 700 square feet. However, what you get for that square footage is well worth it (if you can bear living modestly, that is).

The first level sports white marble floors, built-in shelving, and recessed lighting. Just off the main room is a tiny kitchen with white appliances, a stainless steel backsplash, and countertops. The second level can act as one of two things: an additional living space (office, den, entertainment area, etc.), or a second bedroom. This level is also home to the trinity’s only full bathroom. With stone-embellished walls and flooring, it’s definitely one of a kind. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Opulence in Rittenhouse Square for $7.3M

1706 Rittenhouse Sq., Unit 2201, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

1706 Rittenhouse Sq., Unit 2201, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

We’ve talked about properties in the luxurious 1706 Rittenhouse building several times over the past few years (like here, or here, or… here), and the time has come to add another one to that list – because let’s face it, these units do not disappoint.

Head up to the 22nd floor (via your private elevator, of course), and enter right into the residence’s grand marble foyer with an aquarium wall. Just beyond the wall is a chic living room with spectacular views of the city. Oh, and the living room isn’t alone either – basically every other room in the unit has an outstanding floor-to-ceiling window view too, and if those views aren’t enough for you, just step out onto one of the two private balconies. Read more »

Habitat: Bespoke Tailoring in Rittenhouse

Master bathroom. Photography by Jason Varney

Master bathroom. Photography by Jason Varney

Moody, masculine style often gets an unfair rap: man caves, blob-like leather recliners, walls dominated by hulking flat-screens. But a local entrepreneur’s Federal-style townhome just off Rittenhouse Square defies convention thanks to a trio of pros who brought his overarching design directive — a European feel, the sort you get when wearing a finely tailored Savile Row suit — to life. Read more »

Should We Give the Stoners a Place to Smoke?

Pot protest

Photo | Dan McQuade

It had been a long week, and it was Friday afternoon. All I wanted was a contact high. I thought it’d make for a pretty funny story.

So I walked over from the Philadelphia magazine offices to Rittenhouse Square at 4:20 to cover the Toke Back the Wall protest. It was organized after the briefly enforced wall-sitting ban in Rittenhouse, which the Friends of Rittenhouse Square said was due in part to constant pot-smoking in the square. Read more »

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