Controversy Over Crosses on Proposed Villanova Bridge

Bridge with crosses at each end

A design of the Lancaster Avenue pedestrian bridge submitted to the Radnor Township Design Review Board.

Radnor Township last night approved a controversial pedestrian bridge planned for Villanova’s campus.

At first, it seems like there’s no reason for the bridge to be controversial. It’s part of a $285 million expansion project for the University, and will be built over Lancaster Avenue. It’s scheduled to finish in 2018.

But it’s what’s on the bridge that caused an uproar. Designs for the bridge submitted to the Radnor Township Design Review Board show two four-foot, seven-inch crosses on each side of the bridge.

The crosses would be on Villanova property, and so despite the project’s detractors Radnor officials said the township would have to approve the project. But some people are not happy. “I think they are overstepping their sense of ecumenism to shove these crosses in our faces,” Sara Piling told the Inquirer. “This bridge really disturbs me,” Susan Smith told the Delaware County Times. “The size of it and the safety of it concern me first. The crosses disturb me second. I don’t think if we had Beth Hillel University down the street in the next block that we would like to see the Star of David on that.”

There’s more! The Times also quoted Rick Leonardi, who called the crosses unconstitutional: “There is a reason drivers on I-476 are not subjected to Bible verses painted on the sound walls lining the roadway or that there is no crescent moon next to the griffin on the Blue Route, that the overpasses are not emblazoned with Stars of David.”

But it was the Inquirer who got the best quote, from League of Women Voters of Radnor Township president Roberta Winters: “While we recognize the importance of Villanova to our community and the notoriety it brings to Radnor, are there less ostentatious ways to reflect a Catholic institution?” (Um, not really. Have you seen Catholic churches?!)

Despite their complaints, the bridge has been approved and Lancaster Avenue will one day have two five-foot crosses towering over it.

Villanova Plans $60 Million Makeover of Pavilion

Villanova’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a $60 million makeover of the Pavilion, the team’s basketball gym. After the renovation, it will be rechristened the Finneran Pavilion, after 1963 grad William Finneran. He donated $22.6 million to the renovation efforts last year.

“With the renovation and opening of the Finneran Pavilion, Villanova will have an on-campus home that embraces the incredible tradition of our University and its basketball programs,” Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright said in a release. “The Finneran Pavilion will be a gathering place in which the Nova Nation can take great pride, and its impact will be felt on our program for years to come. I am grateful for the leadership of the Board of Trustees and President Donohue and the generosity of the donors, led by Bill Finneran. We can’t wait to get started!” Read more »

Philly’s Biggest Winners of 2016

Clockwise: Outgoing U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger, Villanova Wildcats coach Jay Wright, Mayor Jim Kenney, state Rep. Martina White and actor Sylvester Stallone.

Clockwise: Mayor Jim Kenney, Villanova Wildcats coach Jay Wright, Olympian Nia Ali, actor Sylvester Stallone and outgoing U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.

Believe it or not, a few people actually succeeded in the otherwise godforsaken 2016. Here’s to all the do-gooders, overachievers, strivers, thrivers, and folks who won so much they got tired of the winning. Read more »

Villanova Could Win Another National Title This Season

Josh Hart

Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports Images

It looked like Temple might make a game of it.

Four minutes into the second half on Tuesday night, the Owls trailed by 10. But they were hanging with Villanova — the second straight city team to do so, after La Salle did the same a week previously. Perhaps they’d make a run.

Spoiler: They didn’t. A 10-point Villanova lead four minutes into the second half quickly became a 22-point Villanova lead eight minutes in. By the end of the night, the number-one team in the country had won its 17th-straight game overall and finished 4-0 in the Big 5 for the fourth straight season. The final score was 78-57. Villanova’s seniors are the first-ever in Philadelphia history to go 16-0 in the Big 5.

Villanova is good again. The Wildcats are now 11-0, ranked number one in the country, and sit at first or second in most ranking systems. They might actually win the national championship again this season. Read more »

Main Line Monday: An All-New Old House in Villanova, $1.5M

120 Ashwood Rd., Villanova, Pa. 19085 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

120 Ashwood Rd., Villanova, Pa. 19085 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Today’s Main Line builders produce modern homes that look like they’ve been around for decades — but you can usually tell they haven’t by examining the details.

This home, on the other hand, has been around for decades, and you can tell by its outside appearance.

But on the inside, this classic 1925 Tudor home is completely up to date, with oversized rooms, contemporary classic design and the amenities modern buyers want. Read more »

Main Line Monday: A View-tiful Find in Villanova

22 Villanova Rd., Villanova, Pa., 19085 | TREND images via Kurfiss Sotheby's International Realty

22 Villanova Rd., Villanova, Pa., 19085 | TREND images via Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty

What normally comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Main Line”? Your mind probably goes to the mega-mansions discreetly sitting on tree-lined streets in one of the most sought-after areas in the region. What about “Villanova”? Maybe a picture of basketball fans and Will D. Cat storming the court after the university won the 2016 NCAA title.  Now, what about “converted stable and carriage house”?

You may have some image of rustic stone and wood in your head, but may we suggest you replace it with images of this spectacular home at 22 Villanova Road. Tucked away at the end of a private lane, this sprawling, elegant yet charming stone home with its lush landscaped courtyard and fountain in front is one of the area’s best-kept secrets, and we’re excited to let you in on it. Read more »

Survey: Villanova Tops for Green Homes for Sale

Masonry homes dominate the Main Line the way brick rowhomes dominate Philadelphia. Both are excellent candidates for green retrofitting, which helps explain why this area has such a high number of homes with green features on the market.

Masonry homes dominate the Main Line the way brick rowhomes dominate Philadelphia. Both are excellent candidates for green retrofitting, which helps explain why this area has such a high number of homes with green features on the market.

Maybe homeowners hereabouts want to emulate the Eagles. Or maybe it’s because investments in green features pay off when it’s time to sell. Whatever the reason, Philadelphia-area homeowners love to trim their homes with green.

Especially on the Main Line. When Redfin, the Seattle-based online brokerage, surveyed listings of homes for sale in the markets where it operates across the country, it found that 57 percent of all the homes listed for sale in Villanova touted energy-saving or environmentally friendly features in their listings.

That was enough to earn the community the top spot on Redfin’s list of “The Top 10 Neighborhoods for Green Homes.”

Redfin looked for listings where homes were described using terms such as “LEED,” “Energy Star,” “solar,” “energy-efficient,” “green built,” and the like.

It turns out that these green homes are golden for their owners: the median sale price for homes with green features was $33,894 above the median for all homes in the cities Redfin surveyed.

But what makes Main Line homes greener than others elsewhere? Tom Lewis, Redfin’s Philadelphia market manager, says it’s the way they’re built. Read more »

Villanova Professor Sues CIA Over … Bay of Pigs?!

Villanova professor David Barrett on CNN.

Villanova professor David Barrett on CNN.

Villanova political science professor David Barrett knows more than most about the Central Intelligence Agency. The university boasts that Barrett is actually “one of the country’s leading experts on the critical relationship between the United States Congress and the … CIA,” and Barrett has authored two books about the agency. And now, he’s taking the CIA to court. Read more »

Villanova Moves Forward With Decision to Arm Public Safety Force

University entrance at the corner of Ithan and Lancaster Avenues.

University entrance at the corner of Ithan and Lancaster Avenues.                       Photo via

In an email sent Monday, Villanova University Public Safety Director and Chief of Police David Tedjeske updated students, faculty, and staff with the news that the university’s newly minted police department now has three sworn officers, and counting. According to a report by VUHoops, these officers have completed a 22-week police academy training, have access to law enforcement databases, can directly communicate with law enforcement by radio, and have the power to stop, question, and detain individuals. In addition to a firearm, officers will carry batons, handcuffs, bulletproof vests, pepper spray and body cameras. Officers will continue to be phased in, with a projected total of 19 to be hired over the course of the year.

In October of 2015, the decision to arm 20 percent of the campus public safety was publicized in an email sent by University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D., and was met almost immediately with protest. Students and faculty organized marches and open forums, videos were produced, and various organizations took to social media with the hashtag #OurPublicSafety to encourage a reversal of the decision. In November, Donohue publicly engaged with the community’s concerns at a town hall style meeting, but ultimately announced that the decision would not be overturned.  Read more »

« Older Posts  |  Newer Posts »