Society Hill Playhouse to Close

Society Hill Playhouse

Society Hill Playhouse

Society Hill Playhouse, a fixture on the Philadelphia theater scene since 1959, will close on April 1.

The theater company made the announcement on its website last Thursday; it sent out a press release on Tuesday.

In more than 50 years, the company “has produced hundreds of American and European premieres; developed many notable programs; trained countless artists and technicians and true to its mission, (and) remained unique in its dedication to contemporary theatre and the community,” the company said in a statement announcing the closure. Read more »

Jaw Dropper of the Week: Stained Glass Skylight Residence in Society Hill

TREND images via Zillow/Coldwell Banker Preferred.

TREND images via Zillow/Coldwell Banker Preferred.

Entering this c.1865 Society Hill townhouse (figuratively speaking – we used the gallery below), one is met with a foyer leading into the formal living and dining rooms, where intricate crown molding, original pine floors, and 12-foot high ceilings festoon the spaces.

Add to that marble fireplaces and built-in cabinets, the four-bedroom manse is one of those fierce golden oldies rivaling even its younger, hipper brethren.

It keeps up with the times thanks to a slew of meticulous updates, some of which are clearly seen in the kitchen. Here, a marble island and 6 burner Viking gas stove and griddle reside alongside an over-sized fridge and built-in stainless steel dishwasher and microwave. What’s more, it has garden access via sliding glass doors.

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Short Sale in Society Hill: Former “City House of the Week” Gets Sizable Price Cut

Photos by Mike Mackintosh; Joe Staehly, Home Jab via TREND,Re/Max

It looks like a lot has happened to this gorgeous home in Society Hill since we featured it in March. Back then, it was our City House of the Week, mainly for its charming original details and the 360-degree roof deck.

Between then and now, it’s taken a few price cuts and now Redfin has it listed at $650,000. That’s a $200,000 price chop since the early spring. “This property is a Short Sale and the bank is looking for an offer; all offers will be considered,” according to the meat and potatoes from the listing.

Want a refresher on what this place has to offer? Right this way, friends.
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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Art Collector’s Society Hill Home Listed For $5.775M

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Rittenhouse Hotel /

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Rittenhouse Hotel /

Much like the museum-like Delancey Place residence we featured last week, today’s jaw-dropper is a home with a unique relationship to art: the Society Hill dwelling was originally owned by an art collector who took great care to incorporate his collection into his home’s appearance.

Situated on four combined lots (they total to roughly 10,000 square feet), late Penn Jersey Subaru founder Robert S. Lee actually commissioned the construction of his Pine Street house back in the early 1990s. Although officially designed by Stephen Varenhorst Architects, the R. Lee Residence was heavily shaped by Lee and his wife Gabriele, an interior architect. “They happened to have a large art collection and wanted a lot of light and a lot of walls, so it was kind of a balancing act to work it out,” Varenhorst said of the couple’s vision in a 1999 Inquirer article.

Indeed, listing agent Laurie Phillips says that another layer of wood was added along the walls of the first floor “to accommodate the paintings.”  This accommodation has been great for the similarly art-inclined, it seems, because, as Phillips told Property, the second owners also happened to be avid art collectors, particularly of the modern variety.

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Trinity Tuesday: Snuggle Up on Philly’s Secluded South Hancock Street

TREND images via

TREND images via

If ever there were a season during which the trinity house shines brightest, it’s likely to come down to autumn or winter. Face it: they’re snug, usually hidden on some tucked away street, and make for wonderful dwellings during months where being outside is a drag. This residence, parked in a cloistered section of Society Hill, fits that description.

Quite literally just off Headhouse Square, you’ll find this home by wandering onto a skinny-mini portion of Naudain Street. There, an iron gate encloses a private courtyard where this expanded trinity is nestled there among other homes. The property consists of hardwood floors, washer & dryer, and two bedrooms and a den. Moreover, the current owners say it’s most recent updates include energy efficient windows and an updated electrical system.

And yes, the painted address tiles on the exterior were there long before the owners moved in, so they’ll be staying with the home. Specs and photos below.

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Deeded Parking, Bonus Guest House Included in Society Hill Townhome Sale

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Rittenhouse Hotel

Whether it’s guests, your kids who recently graduated from college, or that distant niece / nephew looking for a decent place to rent in the city, this Society Hill home will allow you to play host or landlord to them. See, in addition to the stately main residence, the property has a private two-bedroom back house with its own entrance from Lawrence Court Walkway. Per the listing, it’s viable as guest quarters or for leasing.

But let’s get back to the part you’re dying to hear about.

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Newly Renovated Residence in Society Hill Shows Off Restored Facade

TREND images via

TREND images via

Someone once asked me what my favorite part of the city was and, I’m assuming to their and now your surprise, I gave the anticlimactic answer of Society Hill. It’s heavily residential, to be sure, with commercial amenities slowly emerging as you near Old City or South Street, but that’s precisely why I like it. It calls to mind that old Thomas Mann quote that goes “Thoughts come clearly as one walks,” and Society Hill is my personal (I’m usually the only one taking a stroll there for the sake of it) walker’s paradise.

Part of what makes those occasional promenades so great are the home eye-candy, especially the historic ones with beautifully restored facades. This newly renovated home at 528 Spruce Street, listed for more than $2 million, finds itself in such a position. (Psst, you can see at an open house this Sunday, deets and photos below.)

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Underground Fire Knocks Out Power in Society Hill

An underground fire left about a hundred PECO customers in Center City without power on Thursday.

The transformer fire started near 2nd and Walnut Streets on the border between Old City and Society Hill. The first call, about smoking manholes, came in at 10:45 a.m. Most of the customers without power are in the Society Hill Towers. Read more »

Jaw Dropper of the Week: Historical Double-Lot Residence in Society Hill

Photo credit: Kate Devlin

UPDATE: Listing agent Jared Carrell cleared up the two address misunderstanding. The lot holding the house with the blue shutters is the home listed, while the second lot mentioned is not the home with the green shutters on the right. Rather, it’s the lush garden that was formerly the site of an apartment building, which was demolished in the 50s or 60s during Society Hill’s revival. “The house was then fully rehabbed and added on to,” he adds.

Either of these two houses strike your fancy? If you said both, have we got news for you: they’re counted as a single property and are on the market as such for under $1.1 million. Doesn’t hurt that the Society Hill home was built circa 1792, boasts historical certification, and counts a number of Philadelphia’s most well-known structural heirlooms as its neighbors.

Here’s what the double-lot residence offers:

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Headlines: Apartments Planned for Superfresh Society Hill Site?

Superfresh Society Hill

Image via Google Street View

The Superfresh in Society Hill is near and dear to the hearts of nearby residents. So, it’s probably a safe bet that near-neighbors will be paying close attention to whatever the future holds for the current site near 5th and Pine. Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal reports, “Alterra Property Group is in the preliminary stages of a proposal to construct a mixed-use development on a Society Hill property that now houses a Superfresh.”

It’s still early in the process (Alterra has the property under agreement), but Kostelni says that preliminary plans are to demolish the single-story building in favor for a larger, mixed-use apartment complex with “between 12,000 and 18,000 square feet of retail space.” Superfresh has a lease at the site until 2018. Lee Addimando, co-owner of Alterra, tells Kostelni, “we would love to try to bring back a grocery store.”

In Other News:

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