Archives: architecture

A chat with Neil Kugelman, Realtor

Posted on: September 22, 2017

What do you like to do in your free time – besides sell real estate?

Spend time with our family (brother, children, grandchildren, niece’s & nephews’ families); hang with our friends; listen to music; attend concerts; visit new places; plan vacations; attend Mason’s meetings; walk in the Wissahickon; do most anything outdoors in nice weather.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Ocracoke NC. You get there by driving down the Outer Banks and onto the ferry boat: INSTANT TRANQUILITY. I am both anxious and relaxed as the ferry pulls us onto Ocracoke Island. I can always close my eyes and imagine the beach in front of me; walking far into the water, yet my knees remain dry (enormous sandbar). This is my Beach Heaven.

What is your favorite dessert?

A good cannoli; crisp shell, gritty cheese filling…

What is your favorite style of house?

Queen Anne houses, with its mishmosh myriad of construction textures & colors, accents & appendages.

Why did you decide to become a realtor?

I had been commuting from our home in Germantown to my job as a store manager on Penn’s campus. It seems whenever the family went anywhere, I would point out the styles and architectural features of neighborhood housing to the wife and children. Finally my wife said, “Instead of selling five and dime s—, why don’t you sell something of big value – like houses?” The rest is history, 30+ years and counting.

To contact Neil, call 215-431-5095 or email
Visit Neil’s Homepage here!

A chat with Jessica Gliwa, Realtor

Posted on: August 22, 2017

What do you like to do in your free time – besides sell real estate?

Spend time with my family and dogs, and go to the beach.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Going to the beach until the sun sets.

iPhone or Android?

iPhone of course!

What is your favorite dessert?

Crème brûlée

Tea or coffee?


What is your favorite style of house?

I would say an old turn of the century brick row home because that is what I grew up in, and I really learned to appreciate the detail and craftsmanship since my father was a carpenter.

Vacation Type: Adventurous or relaxing?

A little bit of both.

What is your favorite season of the year?

Summer of course! I am a beach person.

Why did you decide to become a realtor?

I became a realtor while attending Temple University for communications. It seemed like a great career path for me. I love working with people and I love architecture and interior decorating so it just seemed right for me.

What is your favorite part of being a realtor?

I would say the fact that you never feel like you are doing the same thing every day.  You are constantly meeting new people and seeing different houses and learning something new every day.

To contact Jessica, call 215-913-3678 or email
Check out Jessica’s Facebook page here! Visit Jessica’s Homepage here!

A chat with Aileen Pasquel, Realtor

Posted on: August 4, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

I have been working in various neighborhoods throughout the city, from Market East, Graduate Hospital, Art Museum Area, South Philly, and North East. Society Hill will be coming soon. I focus on the areas that will match my buyers needs. Certain neighborhoods have specific amenities to satisfy needs. Also, certain architecture only exist in certain areas. Then consider close to transportation and always price. With investors, there are other parts of the city to work within, depending on their end use.

What is your favorite on-the-go lunch choice?

Slice and a soda

iPhone or Android?


Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Algarve, or any Mediterranean town. Love being in cities and beach towns.

Aileen strolling through the streets of Algarve.

What is your favorite dessert?


Tea or coffee?

Coffee in am, tea during the day

Vacation Type: Adventurous or relaxing?

I like to have a mix. A little beach or pool, something sporty and always a touch of art/culture

To contact Aileen, call 215-915-0044 or email

A chat with Marissa Brooks, Realtor

Posted on: January 20, 2017

Where are you working today / where are your appointments?

All over! I spent the morning in West Philly, quick stop in Mt Airy, the afternoon in Port Richmond, and happy home to my fam in South Kensington.

What is your favorite on-the-go lunch choice?

Reading terminal all the way. So many great stalls to choose from! Some days a piece of cheese from Downtown Cheese and a baguette from Metropolitan OR Four Seasons Juice Bar (next to Market Blooms) and a pretzel from Miller’s twist.

Do you have a favorite new local restaurant or business that you are really excited about?

PlayArts at Front and Thompson opened in September and it is a wonderful business! It is a beautifully rehabbed old municipal pool building turned into a spectacular play space complete with sensory, art, music, and dance classes. From infants on up, it is a great addition to the neighborhood.


What do you like to do in your free time – besides sell real estate?

When I’m not showing houses or chasing a toddler around, I love to cook!!

iPhone or Android? 


What is your favorite dessert?

Pizza 🍕

Tea or coffee?

Coffee – I’m very spoiled since the flagship La Colombe is just a few blocks from my home.


La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia

What is your favorite part of being a realtor?

Helping people take the next step in their lives. In my experience, physically moving is usually a manifestation of change in life, and it isn’t always young people starting fresh or growing into a “dream home”(though that is really fun!). Sometimes it’s because of death, divorce, retirement, or downsizing. A house can come to symbolize so many very personal things for people; a loved one that resided in it, a relationship that may not have worked out, a space that whole generations of a family have been raised in… It isn’t always an easy thing to do, but it is extremely rewarding. The purchase or sale of real estate is a very empowering experience.

Visit Marissa’s Facebook page here!

Marissa Brooks




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. 





What's a Cape Cod?

Posted on: August 12, 2011

We’ll focus every so often on a style of architecture found in the greater Philadelphia area – this week, it’s the Cape Cod.

The Cape Cod style house  (or “Cape”) originated in the 17th century as a mostly symmetrical 1.5 story house build by early settlers to New England.  The term “Cape Cod House” was seen as early as 1821.  The style we see more commonly today is considered a “Colonial Revival Cape” and still has the front door in the center of the house, flanked generally by two windows.  Terms like Half-Cape or Three-Quarter Cape refer to smaller versions of the same facade, with the Half-Cape having windows only on one side of the front door, and the Three-Quarter Cape having one window on one side of the front door, and two on the other.

courtesy of Wikipedia

Over the years, Capes have gotten bigger and smaller, depending on the financial climate in the country.  Many have additional wings, garages, roof dormers for more finished space upstairs, or have a doubled-up front with four windows on either side of the front door.  The smaller Capes enjoyed a resurgence in the Depression era as demand for affordable housing grew.

918 Brown St, Huntingdon Valley Cape Cod


Above is one of our listings that shows the traditional Cape Cod facade with (more) modern improvements in Huntingdon Valley, currently listed with Sean Ryan at $385,000 (click the photo for a full virtual tour).  You can see the roof dormer indicating finished space above and a front porch, rather than a picket fence.


Have any other styles you’d like to learn more about?  Let us know in the comments.

Things we like . . .

Posted on: July 26, 2011

Via New Book Takes A Look At West Philadelphia Architecture.

Philadelphia Rowhouses

Posted on: June 13, 2008

The city planning commission developed this incredible resource and fascinating history of the Philadelphia Rowhouse, available here.  It’s a great guide for the row-home-owner and an interesting read for anyone with an appreciation of architectural or Philadelphia history.


Posted by Paul Walsh

Paul Walsh


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