Archives: June 2013

Take a Guided Video Tour of 32 Summit Street in Chestnut Hill!

Posted on: June 28, 2013

 

Dating back to the mid 1800’s, this Italianate architecture is complete with the front portico flanked by columns, the soaring ceilings and the spectacular sweeping staircase which evokes a time of grandeur and opulence. There are several gracious rooms surrounding the front entry with an ideal flow for entertaining. A lovely living room with fireplace, a large dining room, a great room with doors leading to wisteria adorned flagstone terrace, gourmet eat-in-kitchen featuring an AGA range, copper sinks, gas fire place and butler’s pantry make up the main living spaces on 1st floor. Also on the 1st floor are a home office, laundry and enormous mud room. The master suite is comprised of a sun-saturated sitting room, and a large bedroom with closets. The bright bath with tiled floor, 2 sinks, a huge shower and plenty of storage. There is an additional office, a potential in-law suite, a lounge with a fireplace, 4 additional baths & 5 additional bedrooms. This stunning property is located on one of the most desirable streets in Chestnut Hill and is well sited with a lush lawn and gardens. Contact Karen Regan


Philadelphia Skateboarders Find a Safe Haven in Paine's Park

Posted on: June 27, 2013

(Photo: Elfant Wissahickon Realtor, Christopher Plant and his sons with Mayor Nutter)

On May 22, Philadelphia’s skateboarding community, long at odds with the city, finally received a place of their own in the newly completed Paine’s Park! The park, which incorporates sustainable design and accommodates both pedestrians and skaters, is receiving national attention as the first –and largest — open space in the country designed specifically for skateboarders!

Inga Saffron, Architecture Critic for the Inquirer said in Changing Skyline: “It’s ironic that the skaters, banished from LOVE Park because of conflicts, have built a park that encourages mingling, rather than a charmless concrete bowl where members of the tribe could do their skating tricks in peace. Paine’s Park is not just a top-notch skate park, it is a fine public park. As one of the first purpose-built skate parks designed by an architect, the difference in quality really shows.”

Elfant Wissahickon Realtor, Christopher Plant has been the board Vice President since 2006 and Jamie Elfant, daughter of partner Bob Elfant, was the Executive Director for 2 years. Elfant Wissahickon has been a great supporter of the project since its inception and is proud to see it finally come to fruition. 

 

 

 

 


Before The Move: How To Prepare

Posted on: June 26, 2013

(By: Paul BenjaminDistrict Manager at EZ Storage)

Moving is stressful, but following these simple tips can make it easier. 

One of the most helpful things to do during a move is to make a list. Include in the list not only things that need to be done, but deadlines to have them done by.

At Least Two Months Prior 

  • Take an inventory of your belongings. If you have precious items, be sure to take pictures of them for your records, include any serial numbers if they are present.
  • Begin going through your possessions to determine what you will keep, what will go, and how. This is a perfect time to start throwing out or donating items that you either no longer need or want.
  • Start the process of transferring records and collecting legal documents. Do not forget the records for your pets as well.

One Month Before

  • Make or verify your reservations with your moving company, airlines, hotels, pet boarding, or shipping. If you are driving long distances, plan your route and provide it to family or friends as a safety precaution.
  • Complete your address change information for the post office.
  • Start putting together travel bags for your family and pets. These will need to include copies of important documents such as birth certificates, driver’s license, passport, medical records, prescription information.
  • If your new home does not have appliances, place your orders.

Two Weeks Prior

  • Set up your connect/disconnect for your utilities.
  • Arrange any kennel or babysitting needs you may have for moving day.
  • If you are packing yourself, begin packing room by room. Label boxes with what is inside, the room, and if it is fragile.

Moving Day

  • If you are using a moving company, have them come out at least two days before you are planning to leave. This will make it easier to clean the residence afterward.
  • Keep your pets and young children away while the movers are working, this step allows you to focus on supervising the moving activities and prevents injury or loss.
  • Keep your travel bags separate from your moving boxes. These should have: medication, clothing, hygiene items, copies of legal documents, and any other items that you may need.

Moving does not have to be stressful or disorganized. With a little planning and the diligent use of a checklist you can keep on track and limit any problems from occurring.


Neighborhood Profile: EAST FALLS

Posted on: June 24, 2013

History: East Falls is a neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia. The neighborhood runs along a stretch of Ridge Avenue that is only a few miles long, along the banks of the Schuylkill River then extends northeast to Wissahickon Avenue. East Falls overlooks the multi-use recreational path of Fairmount Park along Kelly Drive, and is desirable for its central location, an easy commute to Center City.  East Falls continues to develop, with new housing, retail space and recreation centers in production. It features two train stations, a number of bars and restaurants, illustrious mansions and some recently renovated housing.

East Falls is best known as the childhood home of Grace Kelly, actress and Princess of Monaco who grew up in a house at 3901 Henry Avenue. East Falls takes its name from its location on the east side of the Schuylkill River at the original line of waterfalls where the river descends from the elevation of the Pennsylvania piedmont to the coastal plain occupied by the main part of the City of Philadelphia, thus East Falls was in colonial times the highest point on the river navigable by boat and transfer point to the Indian path/colonial roadways which later became Ridge Avenue and Germantown Avenue. The falls disappeared when the river level was raised by the construction of the dam at the Fairmount Water Works, four miles downstream, but rocks still visible above the water show the location of the natural fall-line.

Before the arrival of European settlers, the Lenni Lenape Indians considered the lower Schuylkill River their home. The Wissahickon Creek runs into the Schuylkill here and today is included as a part of Fairmount Park, providing walking and bike paths along its banks. Wissahickon is a merging of two Lenape words: “Wisaucksickan” meaning “yellow-colored creek”, and “Wisamickan” meaning “catfish creek”. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries “catfish and waffles” was a favorite food at the many inns and taverns that ran through the valley, and a catfish still serves as the weathervane atop the Free Library of Philadelphia Falls of Schuylkill Branch. East Falls, so named in the nineteenth century, had earlier been known as Falls of the Schuylkill or Falls Village. In the 19th century, the Dobson Mills textile factory thrived there. (Wikipedia)

Boundaries: East Falls is located adjacent to Roxborough, Manayunk, Germantown and Fairmount Park.

Zip Codes:  19129.

What to See / Do: Laurel Hill Cemetery, East Falls Glassworks, East Falls Historical Society, East Falls Heritage TourSchuylkill River Banks.

More Information: East Falls Development Corp.

Schools: Thomas Mifflin School, William Penn Charter School, Agora Cyber Charter School, Elwyn Seedlings, Philadelphia University, Drexel University College of Medicine.

Public Transportation: SEPTA’s East Falls Station

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Elfant Wissahickon Realtor Cathy Davis honored by the Anna Crusis Women's Choir as an 'Everyday Hero'!

Posted on: June 20, 2013

As a parishioner at  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, Cathy tirelessly leads an outreach ministry on behalf of those who struggle at the margins of society.  Face to Face of Germantown–a non-profit that helps individuals and families with daily food, legal and counseling needs– thanks Cathy daily for all that she does on behalf of their mission. In addition, within the walls of  St. Paul’s, Cathy supports children and families as she leads a Sunday morning Parents Exchange group in which parents give and gain knowledge and experience from one another in the small and large challenges of parenting.  Cathy must go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning with the same thought: What more can I do to make life better for others? Anna has rarely known anyone who does more for those who have less. For more information, visit: annacrusis.com


Neighborhood Profile: NORTHERN LIBERTIES

Posted on: June 17, 2013

History:  In 1682, William Penn referred to the area north of Philadelphia as the “Liberties” because it consisted “Liberty Land or Free Lots”– additional land that was given away for free with a land purchase. The subsequent Northern Liberties township, which once contained the areas of Northern Liberties, Spring Garden, Kensington, Bridesburg, Penn, Richmond, and Aramingo before being whittled down to its current size, became one of America’s largest cities.

Situated on the waterfront, Northern Liberties was a thriving hub of trade, featuring lumber yards, farmer’s markets, mills, breweries, leather tanneries, paints and chemical works, tool making factories, and iron and stove foundries and other wholesale and retail shops. It also holds the status as a famous red-light district in the United States. Prior to annexation, the township was created as a less densely populated alternative to nearby Philadelphia. Because of this, it was later known colloquially as “Philadelphia’s first suburb.” In 1854, the Township officially became part of Philadelphia.

Today Northern Liberties is a beautiful neighborhood home to some 4,500 people and known for its vibrant community, outdoor spaces, and ever-growing collection of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and bars. In recent years, Northern Liberties has become a major enclave of young professionals, students, artists, and design professionals. Large improvement and revitalization projects have also been undertaken recently, causing a large jump in property values. The neighborhood’s proximity to Center City has made it one of the city’s most desirable development districts, both for commercial and residential real estate. Like most Philadelphia neighborhoods, the housing stock is primarily made up of row houses, although new development in recent times has brought apartment and condominium complexes. (About.com/ Wikipedia)

Boundaries: 6th Street to the West, Front Street to the East, Callowhill Street to the South and Girard Ave to the North.

Zip Codes:  19123

What to See / Do: The Edgar Allan Poe Historic Site, Yards Brewing Company, Liberty Lands Park, Northern Liberties Historic District, The Piazza at Schmidt’s / Liberties Walk, Many Bars and Restaurants.

More Information: NorthernLiberties.Org.

Schools: General Philip Kearny SchoolJames R. Ludlow SchoolLaboratory Charter School, Walter D. Palmer Leadership Academy, Bodine High School For International Affairs, Kensington High School, Benjamin Franklin High School.

Public Transportation: SEPTA’s 43 and 57 buses or SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line.

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Elfant Wissahickon Sponsored 20th Century House Tour in Chestnut Hill a Success!

Posted on: June 14, 2013

On June 1st, Elfant Wissahickon sponsored the 20th Century House Tour in Chestnut Hill. The sold out guided tour included Kahn’s “Esherick House,” Venturi’s “Mother’s House.” A separate self-guided tour included five other houses designed by Stonorov, Montgomery & Bishop, Nolen/Runyan and Ueland.

Chas Hendricksen, Elfant Wissahickon Realtor, said the event was a great success: “Architecture enthusiasts from up and down the east coast came to Chestnut Hill to see the collection of unique homes. Over 250 participants made this event a great success.”

All proceeds from the event went to benefit the Chestnut Hill Historical Society. Elfant Wissahickon Realtors are proud to have been the presenting sponsor of such a wonderful event!


Ask The Experts: What Should Home Sellers do to Prepare for a Home Inspection?

Posted on: June 13, 2013

(Taken From RISMedia.com,  By: David R. Leopold)


We see it every day. Sellers who don’t take the time to ensure a smooth home inspection and who pay for it in the long run. The spring market is upon us. A little preparation can ensure sellers have great home inspections.

Home inspectors typically arrive 30-45 minutes early to the home inspection appointment so that they are professionally set up and ready to go when you arrive. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been greeted at the door a half hour before everyone is set to arrive by a person who looks as if they’re freshly out of bed.

If a seller does this, he’s about two hours late for his presentation. On inspection day, the house should be empty of the owners and their presence. In fact, everything should be just like it was on the initial viewing day. Be ready for inspection day by getting up and out of the house an hour before the appointment. The home should also be clean and pets should be removed or crated.

If something isn’t working properly, don’t try to hide it. We will find it. Buyers get very suspicious when sellers deliberately try to conceal defects. They immediately see you as dishonest and wonder what else you’re hiding. It’s not worth losing their confidence over a trivial defect. Just leave a note: “We know about it and we’re getting it fixed.”

In addition, make sure the location of attic and crawlspace hatches are identified and are easily accessible, as home inspectors hate moving your stuff.

If the hatch is in a closet, remove any clothing that is hanging directly under the hatch as well as anything on the floor. Your home inspector doesn’t want to move your smelly sneakers.

It’s also important to check every area of the house for blown light bulbs. This includes the crawlspace, attic, garage and furnace room. We don’t want to waste time determining if a fixture is inoperable or simply has a blown bulb.

Do you have a septic system or a well buried in your yard? If so, make sure you leave a sketch of the locations. There’s nothing worse than a group of contractors, home inspector, buyers and their REALTOR® wandering around a yard needlessly, searching for something you know the exact location of.

Lastly, please don’t leave your dirty laundry in the washing machine or dryer. We have to test these appliances and we don’t want to pull your dirty underwear out of the washer in front of everybody. Also, make sure your oven and stovetop are clear and clean so that we can easily test them without setting off the smoke alarm.

Some of these items may seem like REALTOR® 101, but I’ve noticed over thousands and thousands of home inspections that only the most successful REALTORS® pay attention to these details. Help your seller help themselves—and you—get ready for inspection day.

David R. Leopold is the owner of Pillar To Post Home Inspection located in Fairfield County, Conn. For more information, visit pillartopost.com


Despite the rain, last weekend's Fun Fit Fest was a success!

Posted on: June 12, 2013

Last weekend, C.W. Henry School  and its Parent Teacher Organization launched the first of an annual festival to help promote healthy living in the student body as well as the community.

Organizers dubbed the event the First Annual Fun Fit Fest, and proceeds from the annual event will help fund school programs including PlayworksPlayworks is a national program that provides structured and safe play time that promotes teamwork, problem solving, leadership and inclusiveness.

There were non-stop exercise classes – tai chi, interval training, nature yoga, body attack, body combat, core power, line dancing, and more! 

Elfant Wissahickon takes so much pleasure in sponsoring such wonderful community events! We look forward to the next one!

 

 

 

 


Neighborhood Profile: BREWERYTOWN

Posted on: June 10, 2013

History:  Brewerytown is a neighborhood in North Philadelphia. An unofficial region, Brewerytown got its name because of the numerous breweries that were located along the Schuylkill during the late 19th century and early 20th century. It is now primarily a residential neighborhood, with an active commercial sector along Girard Avenue. Despite struggling with poverty in recent decades, Brewerytown has seen a recent influx of young professionals, and it is considered a neighborhood on the rise.

The earliest indications of this legacy can be seen on maps from the 1860s, which list several minor brewers and distillation facilities in this region. Proximity to the river and nearby farmland allowed these establishments to flourish, and as demands increased, so did development in Brewerytown. Much of the expansion into the early 20th century was handled by architect Otto Wolf, who oversaw the construction of over 60 buildings in the area, bringing a distinct German texture to the houses, saloons, and breweries of the area.

Some of his buildings are still standing, including the Bergdoll Brewing complex, and F.A. Poth Brewing. Columbia Park, former home of the Philadelphia Athletics major league baseball team, was located at 30th and Oxford Streets in the neighborhood.

At its peak, 700 breweries operated across Philadelphia, several in a ten-block area of Brewerytown. Unfortunately, with the collapse of local industry later in the 20th century, originally started by the implementation of Prohibition in the United States, and beer production moving primarily to the Midwest, every single brewer had vanished by 1987. The industry has slowly returned to the city, but at nowhere near the capacity of its heyday. Ironically, there are currently no operating breweries in Brewerytown. 

During this late 20th-century slump, the entirety of North Philadelphia, Brewerytown included, was hit hard by economic depression. Much of the area was deemed blighted by the city government. For the last few decades, Brewerytown has been a predominantly poor, African-American neighborhood.

In 1991, the Brewerytown Historic District was certified by the National Register of Historic Places. The district contains 380 buildings and is roughly bounded by 30th St., Girard Ave., 32nd St. and Glenwood Ave. (Wikipedia)

Boundaries: The Schuylkill River’s eastern bank and 25th Street, Cecil B. Moore Avenue to the north and Parrish Street to the south.

Zip Codes:  19121, 19130.

What To See / Do: Brewerytown Historic District, North Star Bar, Mugshots Coffee House, Michael Connelly Pottery, Marathon Farm, Chloris Lowe Design Studio.

More Information: Brewerytown Living.

Schools: Morris School, William D. Kelley School.

Public Transportation: SEPTA’s 32 and 48 buses or SEPTA’s 15 trolley

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