Hard Hat Tour: The Rebirth of Alden Park

Work on replacing the leaded casement windows in the Manor building lobby is under way. All of the windows in the complex will be replaced by its end. |Photos: Sandy Smith

Work on replacing the leaded casement windows in the Manor building lobby is under way. All of the windows in the complex will be replaced by its end. |Photos: Sandy Smith

The three buildings that together comprise the Alden Park apartment complex are without a doubt the most photogenic apartment buildings in the city. Begun in 1926 on the former estate of department store founder Justus C. Strawbridge, they began life as the city’s first cooperative residences, attracting an exclusive community of residents during the Depression.

Sometime between World War II and the 1980s, the original cooperative dissolved and the complex became a trio of rental buildings. But their parklike setting and their picturesque English Tudor Revival architecture, the work of architect Edwin Rorke, has kept the buildings among the most popular apartments in the city. The Manor building, which terminates the view down Chelten Avenue, may well be Germantown’s most iconic apartment building. Read more »

Bella Vista Ranked “Best Place to Live in Philadelphia”

 

Bella Vista, home to the Italian Market, received the highest grade in Niche.com's first-ever ranking of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia. | Photo: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Bella Vista, home to the Italian Market, received the highest grade in Niche.com’s first-ever ranking of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia. | Photo: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Thanks to the “open data” movement, it’s now possible for those outfits that rank the best of everything to turn their gaze to individual city neighborhoods. Niche.com, which produces annual rankings of the best schools and best communities to live in in the country, has now added new rankings of the “Best Places to Live” in American cities.

And in its first ranking of Philadelphia neighborhoods, Bella Vista took top honors. Read more »

Black Bear Spotted in the Wissahickon

Does a bear swim in the Wissahickon?

Apparently so. According to a Facebook post from the Friends of the Wissahickon, a black bear was spotted on Forbidden Drive in Wissahickon Valley Park. It was last seen heading toward Devil’s Pool.

Devil’s Pool is a swimming hole with a strong pull on ursine as well as human Philadelphians, it seems.

Read more »

A Modern Metallic Marvel in the Wissahickon

Photos by Sam Oberter

Photos by Sam Oberter

The wait was over.

After raising their family in a traditional residence in Northwest Philadelphia for many years, Leslie and Curt Pontz decided the time was right to follow their hearts and design their dream home, especially after they found the perfect site in the Wissahickon Valley. “I had always wanted to build a contemporary home,” says Leslie. And to make up for lost time, they wanted the process to go quickly. Read more »

5 Best Running Routes in the Wissahickon (With Maps!)

Photo via Flickr

Photo via Flickr

Here at Be Well Philly, we love running in the Wissahickon but, we have to admit, running on Forbidden Drive can get a little old after awhile. To make sure we never get bored of our trail-running routes again, we got five Philly running pros to spill the details (maps included!) on their absolute favorite trail runs in the Wissahickon.

So, next time you’re looking for a change of scenery, give one of these runners’ go-to trail-running routes a try! Note: To see a map of each route, just click on the name of it. Read more »

Worst Idea Ever: They Want to Fill Devil’s Pool with Rocks

Photo by Kara Milstein

Photo by Kara Milstein

On Sunday, I read with great interest Claire Sasko‘s feature on Devil’s Pool, the legendary swimming hole along Wissahickon Creek. I’ve been known to jump off of 80-foot cliffs in the Bahamas, but somehow, in my 41 years in the Philadelphia area, I’ve never made it to Devil’s Pool. Well, it sounds like I’d better hurry if I want to take the plunge. Read more »

The Eternal Lure of Devil’s Pool

IN THE WOODS OF Valley Green, just minutes off Livezey Lane in Northwest Philadelphia, the small, bubbling Cresheim Creek cascades into a basin that swells between mossy, fern-covered cliffs before emptying into the Wissahickon Creek. Twentysomethings clad in swim trunks, neon bikinis and muscle tanks linger on the boulders, congregating in groups.

Welcome to Philly’s notorious Devil’s Pool. Read more »

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