About Philadelphia Apartments

Welcome to the Philadelphia Pennsylvania blog. This blog contains a wealth of information about Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Apartment living, and housing opportunities in our great city and other metro areas of the U.S.. Learn about efforts at restoring architectural relics of the past - former factories, warehouses, schools, hotels, hospitals, train stations - into first-class houses and apartments, and in preserving these distinguished residential communities for future generations. Please enjoy your stay on our Philadelphia apartments blog and feel free to share your stories on life in Philly and the city of brotherly love. In addition, we welcome all commentaries regarding building remodeling, home remodeling, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and house hunting. Thank You!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Convention Center Opens Bidding for Major Expansion

Convention Center Opens Bidding For Major Expansion
Philadelphia - The bidding war is now open for as many as six contractors to lay the steel and concrete foundation of the massive expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, state officials announced Thursday.

The announcement came from the governor, who has been pushing for the $700 million undertaking to make headway.

Convention center chairman Buck Riley told the board of directors Wednesday he hopes to be able to break ground by late spring.

Read Entire Story Here

Monday, March 24, 2008

Lawyers for the Arts in Philly

Volunteer Lawyers, Business Council Combine For Culture
By: Sally Friedman, For The Bulletin

Philadelphia - There was a wedding of sorts last week in the elegant upstairs galleries of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' Historic Landmark Building.

The event marked the happy union of two of Philadelphia's cultural institutions, and the "wedding gifts" will be distributed not just to the region's artists and arts organizations, but to its populace as well.

And therein lies a tale.

Back in 1978, Michael Coleman, then a lawyer who would become a partner at Philadelphia's Pepper Hamilton, became a unique matchmaker. Committed to helping individuals and organizations working - and sometimes struggling - in the arts, Mr. Coleman appealed to his fellow lawyers to volunteer their services and expertise at no cost to the arts community. It turned out to be a match made in heaven.

Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts was an instant success.

Read More Here

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Vesper Aquires Historic 1619 Walnut Property

Former Westinghouse Broadcasting Studio in Philadelphia Trades for $7.1M

Vesper Property Group purchased the historic former broadcasting and recording studio at 1619 Walnut St. in Philadelphia from the City of Philadelphia, acting as trustee for the Girard Estate. The property traded for $7.1 million, or $180 per square foot.

The six-story 39,305-square-foot office and retail building was constructed in 1937 and previously housed Westinghouse Broadcasting and later, CBS affiliate KYW-TV. The building's lower level, which was used to tape "The Mike Douglas Show," is now occupied by tenants such as the Brasserie Perrier restaurant and architecture firm Claflen Associates.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

Vesper is planning renovations to the common area and mechanical upgrades within the next several months. Gary Silvi, president of Vesper Property Group, stated, "The acquisition of 1619 Walnut Street provided us with the opportunity to acquire exceptional retail and office space in the heart of Center City Philadelphia's booming retail sector."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Old Quaker Apartments

These unique 19th century buildings originally housed a quaker mission and a working home for the blind.
Today they are landmarks for luxury apartment living.

Philadelphia Apartment Rental Leasing Office: 215.222.2233

Imagine living in Philadelphia during the Industrial Revolution of the post-Civil War in late 19th century America. The downtown area was thriving as the center of commerce expanded. Manufacturers flourished in old city and along the banks of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. As the business core of the city grew, the population moved westward, building around the lush rolling greenery of massive Fairmount Park.

West Philadelphia was already home to the esteemed University of Pennsylvania, and rows and rows of elaborate brownstone and brick mansions were being built on the neighboring streets. Old Quaker Building Along Lancaster Avenue, a major thorofare that was well-traveled since colonial times by farmers and merchants who brought goods to Philadelphia from the fertile farms of Chester and Lancaster counties, the Old Order of Quakers decided to build a Mission at 3514 Lancaster Avenue in 1870. The quaint, three-story stucco structure, distinguished by a cubic belvedere on the roof, and intricately carved coping and fluted columns on the porch, had the appearance of a 19th century park house.

In 1880 the Quakers sold the building to a philanthropic organization, The Working Home for the Blind, and the Mission House became the office while an adjoining building was constructed at the corner of 36th & Lancaster to house the dormitories and workshops.

The elaborate Italianate design style of the larger, brick and granite-trimmed building was best characterized by such features as a dramatic rooftop dome, distinctive copper cornices with pressed swags, large arched windows, intricate hand-carved interior moldings and handsome working hearths. While the Mission House was more intimate and "suburban" in style, the Workshop was open and airy and a textbook example of the era's finest institutional/industrial architectural design.

For most of the next 100 years the buildings served the needs of The Working Home organization, but by the end of the 1970's both properties had outlived their original purposes. In 1985, Historic Landmarks rescued the fading relics and spent over $6 million to develop The Old Quaker Building, a creatively designed apartment community of 76 distinctive residences.

Great care was taken to preserve the significant architectural details of the past and complement them with a host of contemporary amenities. The facades of both properties were restored to their original splendor. The interiors were reconfigured to create innovative floor plans that were generous in space. Brick walls were exposed and re-pointed to add style and texture to each residence. Original timber ceilings were revealed to add height and drama. The oversized windows were revitalized to flood rooms with plenty of natural light. Even the landscaped private courtyard that was created, and the charming Victorian-era lobby with its original woodwork still intact, are elements of style that you just don't see every day.

If you're looking for a residence that is truly unique and private and suits your sense of style, and is well-managed and well-located, you haven't seen anything until you've experienced the qualities of the landmark Old Quaker Building.

Philadelphia Apartment Rental Leasing Office: 215.222.2233

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Swedish Cabin - Drexel Hill, PA

Swedish Cabin 9 Creek Rd., Drexel Hill; 610-237-8064. www.swedishcabin.org. This piece of America's past, located along the banks of Darby Creek, was over 100 years old at the time of the American Revolution & is believed to have been built (sometime between 1638 & 1655) by early Swedish settlers as part of the New Sweden colony. Call for group tours or appointments.

Annual Special Events

Thursday night was pea soup supper night for many early Swedish settlers. Among their descendants, the tradition continues today, particularly during cool months. In 1993, the Friends of the Swedish Cabin held its first Pea Soup Supper as a fund raiser. Each year since then, the number of attendees has grown. This “souper” event sells out quickly and has become the major fund raiser for the Cabin. Following traditional Swedish appetizers, bottomless bowls of rich, hearty yellow pea soup are served with cheese and Swedish breads. After dessert and coffee, a musical program rounds out the evening.

Monday, March 10, 2008

TWIS Promotes Neighborhood Safety in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Operation Town Watch

"Operation Town Watch Integrated Services (TWIS) promotes neighborhood safety through Community Policing and through our Community Support initiative, which provides for intervention and capacity building. The services we provide promote safety in the neighborhood by engaging institutions, community- based organizations, and local leaders to dialogue toward developing an agenda for action. These actions and plans involve pre and post intervention services while developing viable partnerships. TWIS' comprehensive approach to intervention will leave a community better able to identify, prioritize and implement it's own action plan to address their challenges."

Get more information about Philadelphia Operation Town Watch.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Wagner Free Institute of Science

For Visitors to Philadelphia - or for long time residents who have not had the experience - be sure to visit the Wagner Free Institute of Science.

"The Wagner houses a large nucleus for illustration, and where the student can perfect himself in the studies made readily available by the Institution. The collections are the most extensive in the country, and of a superior order, embracing a serried rank of more than half a million of specimens. Every person interested in the natural sciences could further benefit from the enrichment this rich and beautiful collection of specimens offer.”
- A friend of education, c. 1870

The Wagner Free Institute of Science

1700 West Montgomery Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19121
Telephone: 215-763-6529
Email: info@wagnerfreeinstitute.org

Museum Hours are: Tuesday - Friday, 9 AM - 4PM.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Two Doomed Buildings Draw a Last-Ditch Plea

On a day when the Preservation Alliance had expected to be in a Harrisburg courtroom pleading its case for saving two historic buildings on North Broad Street, a crowd of mourners gathered instead to lay flowers at the base of the condemned structures.

. . .Although the alliance decided not to appeal Quigley's ruling, many came out in the freezing weather in the hope of persuading Gov. Rendell to issue a reprieve. Others just wanted a last look at the pair, once home to Philadelphia Life Insurance Co.

Read More Here

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Razing of Historic Buildings on N. Broad St.

By Inga Saffron
Inquirer Architecture Critic

A wrecking ball began taking down two historic Broad Street buildings yesterday as part of the Convention Center's expansion, nine days after a Commonwealth Court judge issued a controversial ruling giving Pennsylvania officials the go-ahead.

. . . Late last year, DGS (Department of General Services) announced it would not honor a 2004 preservation agreement signed by the Convention Center Authority and the state Historical and Museum Commission. That action prompted strong protests from the Preservation Alliance, the Design Advocacy Group, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and others complaining it would make future compromises impossible.

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