Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll Update

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll.

Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll.

Tonight is the first of two Baltimore Avenue Dollar Strolls for this summer (the next is September 24th). We told you the details on vendors and attractions last week, but here’s an update on what exactly will be offered to eat tonight as you stroll west on Baltimore Avenue.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Beautifully Touched Up Victorian in Powelton Village

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Art Museum

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Art Museum

Surprised this week’s Jaw Dropper is in West Philly? Don’t be. (This house is a prize, we assure you.) Nestled on the leafy 3400 block of Baring Street, the three-story Victorian blends its pristine original features with a slew of newer details and a lush English country garden that extends a little further than you might first imagine.

Of course, being that it’s in old Powelton Village, a neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places, let’s start with its historical notes. According to PoweltonVillage.org, the home was built circa 1875 in the Second Empire style along with an attached twin. Inside are elaborate wainscoting, mantles, and shutters. Of those gorgeous light fixtures, which you can take a look at in the gallery below, it appears only the one in the dining room might be original, listing agent Mary McCartan tells us. And that staircase? Made of mahogany, friends.

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Neighbors Await Church to Preschools Conversion In West Philly

Former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ (right) and its parish house (left) | Image via Google Street View

Former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ (right) and its parish house (left) | Image via Google Street View

The former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ building at 4700 Kingsessing Avenue has already started to see renovation work, as previously reported, but the property still requires a zoning variance if its to become a permanent community fixture. And it looks like its well on its way, according to developer Guy Laren: “The ZBA asked very positive questions,” he says in summation of his Monday meeting with the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment. He says he expects to hear an answer from them as early as the end of this week.

Laren’s plans for repurposing the old church and its parish house into a commercial space with two preschools, in this case the Children’s Community School and a Little Learners branch has been well-received by area residents, with the few worries aired coming from a community group called the Southwest Philadelphia District Services and “near neighbors concerned with traffic.”

Support, however, has been the predominant response. “Lights would be on,” on the relatively unfrequented corner, he says, and locals “generally liked it.” Among the project’s most vocal supporters were the parents of children enrolled at the Little Learners daycare at 46th and Woodland, as many hope the second location will help stall kids enrolled at the Woodland branch from being “graduated out” for lack of space. “This is not a chain that changes managers every three months,” Laren added. They would “both be amenities to the community.”

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Furness-Designed Church In Philadelphia Closer to Preschool Conversion?

Former parish house (left) and former Saint Peter's Church of Christ (right) at 47th and Kingsessing | Image via Google Street View

Former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ (right) and its parish house (left) | Image via Google Street View

Developer Guy Laren and his band of neighborhood supporters are a zoning change away from moving forward on a project that would see the former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ building at 47th and Kingsessing converted into two preschools. Plans will be heard at a community zoning meeting today at 2pm, according to West Philly Local.

If granted approval, tots would be closer to having a superbly special place to spend their days, wouldn’t they? For not only does the property, Read more »

University City District Report Says Parklets Enhance Neighborhoods

Photo credit: Dan Reed via Flickr

Photo credit: Dan Reed via Flickr

The elimination of parking space–even if it’s the loss of one or two spots–in a low-density neighborhood is not something drivers are likely to enjoy hearing, especially if their removal is for the purposes of a temporary Parklet. Unfortunately for them, a recently published report by the University City District reveals Parklets, a form of tactical urbanism, to be quite the improvement to most neighborhoods and businesses.

UCD case for parklets report 2015

Click to enlarge. | Chart screenshot from UCD’s report.

Using data gathered from six West Philly Parklets during the 2013 season, the report, called The Case for Parklets: Measuring the Impact on Sidewalk Vitality and Neighborhood Businesses, found them to bring “life to public spaces and more feet to neighborhood businesses,” as seen in their tendency for bringing in a sizable amount of users (including both patrons of nearby businesses and non-patrons), creating a “spillover” effect to sidewalks and other spaces (i.e. people stopping by to chat with parklet users), and boosting business sales for neighboring establishments (an average 20% increase in sales was seen for places near parklets). Furthermore, the report argues that because “it has been widely observed” that women are more discriminating when it comes to public spaces, the even number of female and male persons putting them to use shows that a sense of safety grows in the presence of a Parklet.

And those aren’t the only advantages neighborhoods get with their seasonal arrival…

The Bar(n) Is Open and People Don’t Like the Sign

the-barn-940A recent Reddit thread tilted “Terribly-named bar gets horrible sign” has gained some notoriety. The thread refers to Bar(n) which has recently opened at 49th and Baltimore in West Philadelphia (the former Third World Lounge). The bar is owned by the same group that is behind Farmacy at 45th and Spruce. The Bar(n)’s Facebook page recently changed its profile pic to a screenshot of the Reddit photo. Ross Scofield, who is behind Bar(n) and Farmacy, has since taken to defending the sign that was attacked in the Facebook comments. 

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We Just Found a Snug (And Sled-Friendly!) Home in West Philly

TREND photos via the City Block Team.

TREND photos via the City Block Team.

If you’re not getting a half day off like some of the city’s younger residents as a result of the big snow engulfing us today, then, surely, you can take a moment to eye up this cozy Walnut Hill residence for, you know, future consideration.

The pristine townhome has been updated and contains five bedrooms, an office (or potential nursery?), separate dining room, and a sun porch with light-generous windows and exposed brick. Features of note include hardwood floors, original moldings, leaded glass windows, and both a front and rear yard, the latter of which has natural stone pavers.

But what makes it especially relevant today is its proximity to Clark Park, one of the city’s green spaces included in Philly Mag’s Ultimate Guide to Sledding in Philadelphia list! And even if the classic winter activity isn’t your thing, it’s still wonderfully situated: the El is just three short blocks up and restaurants dot nearby Spruce Street like snowflakes.

Click here to view the must-see gallery.

Late February Demolition Anticipated for University City High School Building

After reaching out to a Drexel University’s Director of Media Relations, we’ve received word that the former University City High School building is facing a possible late February demolition.

The news comes after the above photo, which is that of the former Charles Drew Elementary School, surfaced on Instagram. Charles Drew, along with the now demolished Walnut Center, is on the 14-acre property comprising the UCHS site, which Drexel and Wexford Science & Technology purchased last year.

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The Fat Ham Adds Lunch and Happy Hour

lunch the fat ham

Lunch is back at the Fat Ham | Pimento cheese with grilled country bread

Beginning today, the Fat Ham is offering lunch and happy hour. Kevin Sbraga’s Southern restaurant in University City is offering lunch weekdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Lunch includes the Fat Ham burger, shrimp and grits, pork belly and a hot chicken sandwich.

Happy hour consists of $4 snacks, discounted beers, wines and cocktails.

Check out the Fat Ham’s lunch and happy hour menus »

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