Villanova University swimmer Ryan Murtha opens up to Outsports about his recent decision to come out to his swim team. He shares a speech he prepared for the team, which he had saved on his computer in an inconspicuously named file called “Tax Returns 1994.”
Full disclosure: I only know about the Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball team because my husband is an alum and an
obsessed avid fan. This is also the only reason I know about #SuitWatch, the hilarious thread on a VU Hoops message board where fans dissect and rate what head coach Jay Wright wears to each game.
Wright’s carefully dapper, much-lauded look — he’s been voted the best-dressed men’s basketball coach by the NCAA, GQ and, well, me (but mostly because I don’t know any other ones) — proves the adage spouted by well-dressed people everywhere: Fit is everything.
CBS Sports profiled Jay Wright last Saturday in its NCAA Men of March series, and while the majority of the episode was about the Villanova basketball program and Wright’s coaching techniques (yada yada yada), the real highlight was the quick segment on Wright’s suits and the friendly, white-haired Italian tailor and suit-maker who sparked his rise to sartorial dominance.
This summer, Villanova restaurant Avenue Kitchen will be opening up a new location in Glen Mills. Owner Dana Smith Farrell and her brother, executive chef Gregory Smith‘s new space will seat 80 guests and will be located inside the Glen Eagle Square shopping center at 477 Wilmingon West Chester Pike.
Farrell left her partnership with Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar to focus on the expansion. The sister-brother duo first opened Avenue Kitchen on the Main Line in 2013.
Avenue Kitchen [Official]
Given that this former barn (a structure dating back to the 1800s) is now the site of a stunning residence with an art studio, den, office, and recreation space (and that’s including an indoor basketball court!), it’s no surprise that a national television show has taken interest.
According to listing agent Tom Lowry, the home has been approved for HGTV’s You Live in What? show, and has already had all of its structural work done to make way for the architects, designers, and decorators who will be given a chance to renovate a portion of the property. Its selection on the show is still pending.
In any case, the home, which is soon expected to get a price cut, is already a hit without being in the television spotlight. Gardener/Fox Associates spent over half a million in overhauling the home’s interior, leaving it with the lovely notes like original timber, exposed stone walls, and vaulted ceilings, you see in the gallery below.
At one time, this sprawling Villanova estate used to boast “The Answer” in its elegant halls. However, in 2007, Iverson sold the property to one John Scardapane, the CEO of Saladworks. Now, the home, which was listed in May of last year, has been sold yet again. (Or rather, some weeks ago in mid-December, according to Zillow.)
We’re not sure who purchased the property, but what is for certain is they’ll probably be living the luxe life for sure: two-story reception hall,“restaurant-quality” bar, library, home theatre and a separate apartment that comes with a kitchenette and private entrance. The estate also has a saltwater pool and severeal terraces.
Things seem to be looking up for this formidable Delaware County estate, which at the beginning of the year was listed for $2,349,000 followed by a series of price cuts, delistings, re-listings, price raises, and more cuts. The medieval-style mansion has, as Shannon Rooney noted in January, a distinct Game of Thrones air to it and no one was biting.
That is until now.
Redfin says the home is contingent, which means someone might finally be in the process of sealing the deal on the grand property. And what a home they’ll have! In addition to the lovely particulars inside (hand carved millwork, limestone accents, leaded glass windows, and a 20-foot beamed ceiling), the 2-plus-acre grounds seem to call out from a different time: gardens, stone walls, reflecting pond, and several terraces.
If you hear that a home has a name, chances are you’re in for a treat. This ultra luxe estate has Au Vallon for its title, which is probably an homage to its locale: two green-filled acres of Villanova land.
And so, “to the Valley” we go: the renovated and restored property has a new fence and gate, ensuring privacy for residents who will have a carriage home with a French door-surrounded interior brick courtyard, refinished pool, Juliette balconies and rotating bookcase leading to the private dining room.
This circa-1981 home on a hill is, as we noted before, a study in contrasts: traditional on the outside and much of the interior, contemporary in odd moments. Take the truly unconventional screening room, whose walls, ceiling and seats make us thirsty for grape Kool Aid. Or the entertainment area with its glossy stools, circular bar and instruments that come with the house. But then there is the generously proportioned living room with light streaming in and a wood-burning fireplace to get cozy in the winter.
It went on the market in August at $869,900. As of today, it’s down to $779,900. Gallery below.
William Wonderly Fitler, son of former Philadelphia mayor Edwin H. Fitler for whom Fitler Square is named, lived in this five-acre property once upon a time. The home, completed in 1927, went on to be a convent for many years before being purchased as a private residence in the 1990s. More recently, it was listed on the market for $7.95 million, then $6.95 million, and now $5.49 million. Maybe another price cut will bring in potential buyers?
Interested parties shouldn’t wait too long, however. The home offers attractive amenities aplenty, which might have it off the market before you know it: art studio, gym, stained-paneled library, staff (or guest) apartment with separate entrance, and a 4,000-bottle wine cellar. Additions include a breakfast room (from which one can see the fire pit and pool) and master suite dressing room with marble fireplace. The bedroom was also expanded to make way for individual his and her bathrooms.
This home with pool and tennis court, among other amenities, has almost 9,000 square feet of living space. The land was purchased in 2000 for $1,400,000, according to public record, and then a new house was built on the 2.3 acres by architect Matthew Milan and builder Frank Zadlo. So what makes it worth so much money now? Let’s take a look. Gallery below, after the Fine Print.
THE FINE PRINT
Square feet: 8,798