Main Line Monday: Villanova’s Harriton Manor House Is a Blend of Past and Present

TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

Interspersing historic buildings with new constructions, open space with sensitive site planning, not to mention an innovative stormwater management system atop a 55-acre site, it’s no wonder the Harriton Farm development earned the Montgomery County Planning Commission‘s 2007 Land Development Award.

Developed by Pohlig Builders, LLC, and designed by Michael Visich Architects and Glackin Thomas Panzak, Inc., Harriton Farm is unique in that 7 of the 35 homes that reside within it are preserved structures, such as an 1860 gothic cottage, an 1880 Victorian barn and Queen Anne stable, and Lane’s End, an 18th-century farmhouse. There’s also the Harriton Manor House, which we’ve chosen as our Main Line Monday home for today.

Originally built in 1842, the Harriton Manor House sits on a lush plot overlooking a pond. It’s a country-style residence and as such offers features like plantation shutters and a breakfast room with fireplace and wood-stove insert. It’s newer details are likely to have come about during an extensive renovation in 2003. It was then that it had flagstone decking, a lower-level wine cellar and wet bar, and an apartment above the 3-car detached garage added to its repertoire. (FYI, its terrace is two stories and comes with massive columns.)

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Radnor Barn Transformed Into Luxury Mansion

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rosemont

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rosemont

We’re filing this one under Jaw Dropper – though it would have undoubtedly fit our Main Line and Farmhouse features too – because, well, it’s incredible. Formerly a barn nestled in Radnor Township, the renovated and restored property now functions as a residential piece of eye-candy overlooking “The Willows,” a lush 47-acre township park.

Inside, the home flaunts striking original stone walls accented with distinct millwork and gas fireplaces. Beautiful woodwork is spread throughout, making appearances in the wood-paneled executive office and the wood-ceilinged (and window-surrounded) breakfast room. Other rooms of note include a fitness space, bar, second caterer’s kitchen, gender-segregated bathrooms, billiard area, and in-law suite with office. The kitchen, too, is vaunted as exceptional what with its custom finishes and double Subzero refrigerators and freezers.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: French Country Estate-Style Dream on the Main Line

TREND images via

TREND images via

If this week’s Main Line Monday home seemed fitting as the setting for a Sabrina remake, then this Villanova residence would work great in a period film. Stylized in the character of French Colonial country estates, the three-acre property vaunts superb outdoor spaces by award-winning landscape architect Chuck Hess, while the home itself was designed by Peter Zimmerman Architects, a local firm noted for their historic preservation and residential projects on the Main Line. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Built in 2002, the house at 1113 Brynlawn Road offers elegant rooms with accents that include coffered and latticework ceilings, fireplaces (there are seven total), reclaimed antique pecan floors, and custom millwork. Floor-t0-ceiling windows and French doors are also throughout, with a pair in the garden room leading out to a flagstone patio overlooking the multi-garden grounds (which, for the record, was the Association of Professional Landscape Designers “Residential Best of Show” award winner in 2007). The garden room also connects to a a gallery with access to the study and open family kitchen. Specs and photos below.

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One Direction’s Harry Styles Visits Villanova Pizza Shop

In case the screaming teenage girls in the distance didn’t tip you off, One Direction is officially in Philadelphia. They’ll appear at Lincoln Financial Field tonight in their international On the Road Again Tour.

Somehow 1D frontman Harry Styles made it over to Villanova University last night to stop at a pizza shop near campus called Campus Corner. Naturally, the young clientele went wild, and Twitter blew up with evidence of his arrival:

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Main Line Monday: Refined Villanova Manse Perfect Setting for Sabrina Remake

TREND images via

TREND images via

With Hollywood’s occasional remake frenzy in mind, we propose this Villanova home as one of the settings for a modern-day version of Sabrina, a 1954 rom-com starring Audrey Hepburn. (Let’s pretend the Harrison Ford* one never happened.) Without giving too much away, there’s an early scene in the film where a young, heartbroken Sabrina locks herself in the multi-car garage after seeing her crush, the spoiled younger son of her father’s rich employer, with another woman. She blacks out from car exhaust poisoning, but is saved at the last minute by Humphrey Bogart, the more together, mature elder son. You can imagine how this is going to end, right?

Anyway, the point is this residence has an expanded four-door garage that would be an excellent backdrop for that scene. It doesn’t hurt that it can actually hold up to seven vehicles, what with its three commercial parking lifts, thereby driving the point that Sabrina, the daughter of the family chauffeur, is considered a less than suitable match for either of the young men of the house and vice-versa (the house staff wants to protect her good name).

Other high-end features on the property include a pool and pool house, while inside are three separate recreation areas, plus a walk-in, temperature-controlled wine cellar. What’s more, the grey stone Tudor has several French doors with original leaded glass, as well as a marvelous Downsview kitchen with built-in banquette seating in the breakfast room. Then, there’s the matter of the deluxe master retreat, which has a bathroom encompassing separate baths, hers with seated shower, jetted tub, fireplace, and adjacent walk-in closet; his with steam shower and dressing area. A mirrored gym can be found on the third level.

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Eight Great College Football Games to See (in Person) This Fall

Football is under siege — from parents, doctors, academics, a Kennedy, even from Buzz Bissinger, the guy who wrote the definitive book on football, Friday Night Lights. This makes us sad. Football is a wonderful game perfectly suited to the American spirit, and we’d miss it if it went away. We love us some Eagles, but for true passion — from guys who aren’t making millions a year to take the field — you can’t beat college football. Here are eight upcoming games featuring local college teams that should offer lots of rivalry, fun and excitement, not to mention cheerleaders and marching bands. Catch as many as you can — while you can. Read more »

Main Line Monday: Yep, This Lower Merion Charmer Went For the Floor Layout Switch

TREND images via

TREND images via

Well, looky here! Is this a thing with Main Line homes we weren’t aware of? Sure, we’ve seen new constructions try out this layout switch before, but rarely have we spotted this in an older residence. In any case, we kind of like it: this circa 1900 Lower Merion home has its living area and kitchen on the second level, while three of its four bedrooms on the main floor.

Not to worry, though. Its old and new features have been commingled in such a way that deem it a charmer through and through. For example, though renovated in 2011, the historic home managed to keep its original hardwood floors and its entrance hall boasts Old World wainscoting. Upstairs, the main living area offers cathedral and beamed ceilings, recessed lighting, and a kitchen with concrete counter tops and built-in cabinetry refrigerator.

But the apple of our eye? There’s a plank wood wall made of reclaimed barn wood in the family area and the master suite – also on this level – appears to have a similar feature.

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Headlines: Radnor Township Approves Villanova’s $225M Expansion Plan

villanova_university_logoThe Radnor Township Board of Commissioners approved the long fought expansion plans for Villanova University Monday night. The endorsement means that two new dormitories, more parking, a pedestrian bridge and (eventually) a performing arts center will soon rise around Lancaster Avenue.

Jason Laughlin of The Inquirer reports, “[t]he board voted 4-2, with one abstention, Monday night to approve the $225 million project.”

The dorms are anticipated to open in 2019 and will house nearly 1,200 students. Officials say that the new housing is expected to lessen the number of college kids living off campus in Radnor.

Some neighbors don’t buy that argument and, on top of that, worry that construction will be disruptive to the area.  They’re also miffed that Villanova doesn’t give enough back to the township in the form of taxes or even payments in lieu of taxes.

Work on the dorms and parking is expected to kick off this fall. Funding is still being sought for the performing arts center.

Villanova U. expansion plans approved [The Inquirer]

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Local Study: Having a Thin Boyfriend May Lead to Eating Disorders

Man With Scale

You’re out with your boyfriend and he orders a mini-salad with no dressing and refuses to eat the croutons. You ordered a pizza with extra cheese. Do you chow down on that pizza or just pick at it while your significant other eats like a bird on the other side of the table? According to a new study by Rutgers University—Camden and Villanova researchers, that pizza is going to sit there barely touched.

There’s been little research focused on same-sex couples and the influence of romantic relationships on eating and diet habits, but the study, which appears in the June issue of Journal of Health Psychology, suggests that “a thinner partner may be a problem in a same-sex relationship.” Of particular note, the study suggests that having a thinner partner may lead to restrained eating:

“Restrained eating is defined as the deliberate, long-term restriction of food intake in order to lose, maintain, or avoid gaining weight. It is characterized by alternating episodes of cognitive dietary restraint, uncontrolled eating, and emotional eating. Although exercising some restraint is critical in the current food environment, where supersized portions can be found around every corner…dietary restraint—as the researchers studied it—is considered dysfunctional.”

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Villanova Piccolo Girl Officially Turned Into a Bobblehead

Roxanne Chalifoux is most likely crying again, this time in joy, after a Kickstarter project was fully funded to turn the Villanova Piccolo Girl into a bobblehead.

A rendering of the bobblehead from the project's Kickstarter page.

A rendering of the bobblehead from the project’s Kickstarter page.

The project, which called for $5,000 in funding, already has pledges of $5,754, and as of this publication, there’s still 6 days to go for the Kickstarter. For pledges of $35 or more, you’ll receive a limited edition numbered Piccolo Girl bobblehead. For higher pledges, you can get signed pictures from Chalifoux and a personalized Villanova campus tour. The entire project is being sponsored by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame.

Chalifoux become an overnight “celebrity” of sorts when a television camera caught her crying while playing the piccolo during a March Madness (or, as social media deemed the moment, “March Sadness”) game.

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