Inqlings: Green a theme for the Luries

Tennis, anyone? A building that will house an indoor tennis courtand bowling alley is going up at the former Annenberg estate in Lower Merion, bought by Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and wife Christina.
Tennis, anyone? A building that will house an indoor tennis courtand bowling alley is going up at the former Annenberg estate in Lower Merion, bought by Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and wife Christina.
Posted: December 14, 2008

Jeffrey Lurie will see green at his new home, too.

Before the Eagles owner and his wife, Christina, move into the old Annenberg estate in Wynnewood next year, they're doing substantial work.

Now in its framing stages, and visible from the road behind Lower Merion High, is a two-story building to house a tennis court and a two-lane bowling alley.

Permits on file at Lower Merion Township show that the building's "green" roof calls for solar panels and a growing medium to allow plantings. The building, which will include a carport, will have translucent panels to allow plenty of light. It sits on a plot that previously was a greenhouse, small pond and parking area.

Through a trust, the Luries last year paid $14 million for the four parcels that make up the 13-acre property known as Inwood, which also has a three-hole golf course. (Greens.) On one side of the estate, the Luries added a berm and mature trees. (More green.)

"It's going to be a beautiful property when they finish," said Cheryl Gelber, a township commissioner.

The Luries, who live in Haverford, declined to comment. They are making other changes to the 18-room Inwood, including removal of an indoor pool in favor of at least one lap pool inside a new, two-level recreation center.

Inwood was the home of Walter Annenberg, the philanthropist/ambassador/publisher, and his wife, Leonore. She moved to California after his death in 2002.

Food stuff

High-level kitchen turnover is rare at the Four Seasons Hotel, and Miami-bred Rafael Gonzalez, 35, will become only its third executive chef in 25 years, overseeing its top-rated Fountain Restaurant and Swann Lounge. Gonzalez, now at the Four Seasons in Vancouver, British Columbia, flies in with his wife and baby in mid-January. As for food, "we'll make it modern in the sense of lighter presentations, and we'll do different desserts," he says. "The last course has to be a wow factor." He replaces Martin Hamann, who joined the Union League.

South Philly's Adam Gertler, runner-up on The Next Food Network Star, has a Jan. 19 start date (8:30 p.m.) for Will Work for Food, his new Food Network series. Gertler gets to join such folks as a beekeeper, a Benihana chef, and wine-cave digger. TNFNS's winner, Camden's Aaron McCargo Jr., starts his second season of Big Daddy's House at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 4.

Celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is coming to Philadelphia, but it's not some fancy restaurant. As part of a national deal with concert promoter Live Nation, Puck's catering arm will run concessions at the TLA on South Street and the Tower in Upper Darby, starting in February. A Puck rep says patrons will not notice much, as the operation is not branded. But lucrative, no doubt.

Flyers fans bought 20,125 hot dogs during Thursday's dollar-dog night at the Wachovia Center. If you were to line up each hot dog end to end, they would measure 1.9 miles. That's nearly 10 times around the Wachovia Center concourse, says the center's Ike Richman, who has too much time on his hands.

Owen Kamihira's Northern Liberties eatery El Camino Real, featured Thursday in "Table Talk," has hit a snag. It's now due to open Thursday, not Tuesday.

Michael Pasquarello can so get a break. The ordinarily mild-mannered chef broke his hand by slamming it in frustration into a walk-in refrigerator - just as he and his wife, Jeniphur Whitleigh, opened Prohibition Taproom at 13th and Hamilton Streets, just up the block from their lunch spot, Cafe Lift. Pasquarello, who will get the pins out this week, calls it "a blessing in disguise" because he is learning to oversee and delegate.

Auspicious beginning

How to get noticed at the firm: A week after lawyer Lori Landew joined Cozen O'Connor's sports and entertainment practice, her clients Terry Jones and Helen Bruner of the independent label Phil'erzy won a Grammy nomination (traditional R&B vocal performance) for "Baby I Know," a song on the Linda Jones CD Soul Talkin'. (Linda Jones, Terry's mother, died in 1972.) Landew's work includes Zomba Recording's Jive Records (Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, Britney Spears and R. Kelly) and Ryko.

Briefly noted

When was the last time a Phillies manager could pick up a few bucks to sign autographs in December? Charlie Manuel will be at the Forman Mills at 2500 Grant Ave. in Northeast Philly from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow.

Camp Out for Hunger, in which WMMR's Preston and Steve show hangs out in trailers in a benefit for Philabundance, didn't do badly this year, despite the economy. The station reports 21-plus tractor trailers filled with food, totaling 222 tons, plus $40,540 in cash. Last year's haul was 232 tons of food but only $27,000.

How to staff your radio station all day with live DJs - and not spend an extra dime: The pop-rock station Ben 95.7 (WBEN) last week broke up its morning show into solo shifts. Marilyn Russell does mornings (5:30 to 10 a.m.), Jason Lee handles middays (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), and Dave Cruise does afternoons (3 to 7 p.m.).

Society circuit

The 76ers' Andre Miller bought not one, but seven mystery gift boxes (at $100 a pop) at a reception Monday at Tiffany & Co., hoping to win the one containing a certificate good for a $3,600 diamond-and-sapphire pendant. But it was Caroline Jones, a season ticket-holder next to him, who bought the one with the big prize.

Write what you know. Author Beth Dunn - whose Main Line past includes Agnes Irwin, white-glove dancing class at Merion Cricket Club, seats on 30-plus charity committees, and the requisite public relations job - has penned the how-to book Social Climbers. Sort of Mean Girls meets The Philadelphia Story. She promos the project at - and Dunn is not above name-dropping: She informs that the video was shot by Harry Scheid, stepson of Phillies general partner Dave Montgomery.

Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or Read his blog, "The Insider," at

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