Philadelphia Metro Has 27 of 1,000 Richest U.S. Neighborhoods

vintage villanova ad

Image from a home builders catalog via Flickr user MidCentArc.

The Higley 1,000 — the list of America’s 1,000 wealthiest neighborhoods — has just been released by by geographer Stephen Higley. For those of us on the East Coast, there aren’t too many surprises: We can shrug our collective shoulders at the news that New York and Connecticut are full of moneyed white people. But it’s interesting to see the results for the Philadelphia metro area.

First, let’s listen to Higley talk about how tough it is to define “neighborhood”:

The concept of “neighborhood” in America is to say the least, amorphous. Realtors are notorious at “stretching” ill-defined neighborhood boundaries of wealthy places in the interest of generating higher prices through a halo effect.

Mapping companies vary from identifying virtually every sub-division (ADC Maps) to the grudging vagueness of a few well known neighborhoods (eg. Thomas Brothers Guides, Rand McNally). Google Maps, my main source for updating the Higley 1000 for 2010, has done an excellent job of adding neighborhoods in recent years. Still, there are many areas that are difficult to name as a “neighborhood”. I have used a variety of resources in trying to identify individual neighborhoods including extensive use of the internet.

(That’s cute — “extensive use of the internet.” Well, yes, we all use that thing from time to time.)

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Villanova, St. Joe’s Could Meet in Round of 32 “Holy War” in NCAA Tournament

The NCAA tournament bracket was released yesterday, and two Philadelphia-area schools qualified for the tourney. Even better: There’s a chance for an all-Big 5 matchup in the Round of 32. How exciting! Here are the Round of 64 matchups:

  • 6:55pm Thursday, TBS: (10) Saint Joseph’s vs. (7) Connecticut
  • 9:25pm Thursday, TBS: (2) Villanova vs. (15) Milwaukee

Inclusion in the NCAA tournament capped a great weekend for Saint Joseph’s, who beat Dayton on Friday, St. Bonaventure on Saturday and Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday to win the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the first time since 1997. The Hawks are back in the tournament for the first time since 2008, when they lost to Oklahoma in the Round of 64.

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Top-Seeded Villanova Knocked Out of Big East Tournament on Buzzer Beater


Villanova came into today’s Big East Tournament game against Seton Hall as heavy favorites. The Wildcats were 28-3, ranked No. 3 in the country and were heavily-favored against 16-16 Seton Hall.

The Pirates — yes, there is a university in New Jersey nicknamed this — jumped out to a 30-15 lead. But Villanova went on a 16-0 run in the second half and eventually took the lead on a jumper with 11 seconds left.

Then, this happened.

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SOLD: Unique Japanese-Inspired Home in Villanova Fetches $1.5 Million

asian main line house

This four-bedroom home extends its Japanese design aesthetic from facade to landscaping to 6,300-square-foot interior. With wood and rice paper room dividers and jade-colored floor tiles, among other design notes, it’s remarkably consistent in its Asian approach.

The home includes large open spaces and a vaulted ceiling; a sunroom; multiple access points to the verandas; a private terrace for the master suite; a pool; gardens; and walkways. It all sits on almost three acres.

The home was originally listed for $2.5 million in 2012, but recently sold for a little more than $1.5 million. Gallery below.

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Villanova Estate: All the Style of “Game of Thrones,” None of the Beheadings


Some people like to visit castles on European vacations. Others like to read about them or obsessively follow premium cable programming about them. Then there are people on the Main Line who live in them. This is one such estate.

The home combines the architectural design elements of the medieval era (lots of timbered arches, leaded windows, original stained glass and castle details) with the modern luxury one would expect from a Villanova estate. The immaculte eat-in kitchen is new and includes its own wood-fired oven. The first floor also features a renovated family room and recreation wing. Outside is a flat 3.4 acre lot that has been professionally designed and landscaped. The grounds include a reflecting pond with fountain as well as a pool and several flagstone patios.

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Villanova Law Students Help Russian Gay Man Win Asylum

villanova law

Professor Michele Pistone (far left), Joseph Catuzzi ’14 (fourth from left) and Michelle Majkut ’14 (fourth from right) were part of a team that helped a Russian gay man win asylum in the U.S. Photo courtesy of

A Russian man who fled his homeland after suffering abuse for being gay has won asylum in the United States thanks to a team of law students at Villanova.

The Inquirer reports that the man, called S.R. in court documents, tried to enter America via Mexico when he was arrested as he was walking across the Rio Grande into Texas in July. From there he was sent to immigration detention at York County Prison and ordered to be sent back to Russia, but his fate changed when he met Joseph Catuzzi and Michelle Majkut, members of Villanova’s Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES), a program that supports immigrant detainees in court. The Inky tells the story:

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Now for Sale: Pat Croce’s Exuberantly Decorated Main Line Home


Pat Croce — former president of the 76ers; author of inspirational New York Times bestsellers; self-described pirate; museum founder; and Key West habitué and bar owner — has put his extravagant Lower Merion estate on the market for $7.95 million. The home has six bedrooms and 8 full bathrooms and three half-bathrooms, for a total of more than 10,500 square feet. The house sits on three and a half acres, and was built in 1923. Croce and wife Diane paid 2.35 million for it in 1993.

As befits a man of Croce’s status, the home has a game room, a media room, plenty of garage parking, a pool, tennis courts, a bar, and other perks. It also has a very distinct sense of style, as exuberant as the man himself. Note the pirate-themed chairs.

Gallery below.

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Villanova Property Where Will Smith Stayed Now Comes With Bentley Convertible


Associate broker Robin Gordon is one the top producers on the Main Line, having sold more than $1 billion of real estate in roughly 15 years, according to her marketing manager husband Michael Gordon. Now, Michael tells us, Robin is trying something new: She’s offering a fast-settle incentive of a two-year lease of a Bentley Continental GT convertible. Feel the wind in your hair! In your very well-coiffed hair! Realtor Michael says he thinks this car lease, courtesty FC Kerbeck, could start a new trend in luxury-home promotions, and that doesn’t seem far-fetched. Remember Caryn Black’s extravagant open house? That also featured luxury cars in a prominent role.

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Repurposing Design Trend Writ Large on the Main Line

Last week, Houzz contributor Becky Dietrich wrote about “Dumpster decorating” — taking discarded pieces of homes or furniture and repurposing them in interesting ways. Take, for example, the above old water cistern that’s become a bar in Newtown Square.

Or these old windows used as room dividers in an Atlanta loft:

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