July 11, 2015 |
In a decision that will protect Fishtown's St. Laurentius Roman Catholic Church from demolition - at least temporarily - the Philadelphia Historical Commission voted overwhelmingly Friday to grant the 19th-century building historic status. Cheers erupted after the vote, which followed a lengthy and emotional hearing that pitted parishioners, neighborhood residents, preservationists, several Polish heritage groups, and even Poland's honorary consul against the church hierarchy. Because St. Laurentius is Philadelphia's oldest church built by Polish immigrants, the community considers it a cultural touchstone.
June 29, 2015 |
There was a time, not very long ago, when the number of unsubsidized, market-rate residential construction projects within the Philadelphia city limits could be counted on one hand. Now, you need a scorecard to keep track, and even that list might need to be updated daily. Noah Ostroff, of Keller Williams Real Estate in Center City, said that, typically, when he gets a call from someone looking to buy a property in the city, it is for new construction. "I don't have many people looking for traditional - what we call 'homes with character,' " he said.
June 6, 2015 |
There's a simple reason so many of Philadelphia's great religious buildings have been falling to the wrecking ball: Nobody is left to love them anymore. That's not the case with St. Laurentius Roman Catholic Church in Fishtown, built in 1882 with nickels and dimes collected by the neighborhood's Polish community. When the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced in March that it planned to demolish the brownstone church at Berks and Memphis Streets - presumably to sell off the land for house lots - its partisans rushed to the virtual barricades to hold off the wrecking crew.
July 6, 2012 |
Philadelphia police are looking for surveillance photos and potential witnesses in the death of a 32-year-old man, shot in the chest early Sunday morning near Fourth and Lombard Streets in Society Hill. Michael G. Hagan Jr., an information-technology consultant who grew up in Pennsauken and moved to the city's Fishtown neighborhood several years ago, was an apparent robbery victim. Family members said Hagan had been out Saturday night on the Delaware River waterfront with two old friends from Pennsauken, a schoolteacher and a Peace Corps volunteer.
February 9, 2015 |
AS SOON AS the new, million-dollar Poquessing Creek Trail opened in the Far Northeast this winter, Jack McCarthy was out hiking it with his granddaughter, Gia McCusker, 8. "The trail is a bucolic, serene place to go from Parkwood, where I live," McCarthy said. "Parkwood is all rowhouses," he said. "I can walk five minutes and be on this trail that leads through this nice woods and along this beautiful stream. "And it connects to Benjamin Rush State Park's trails," McCarthy said, "so you can basically walk or bike from Parkwood all the way to the state park.
July 26, 2015 |
Nino Cutrufello and Marcus Toconita, buddies since their Malvern Prep days in the early 1990s, worked for national builders during the housing-boom years. In 2007, they decided to strike out on their own as Callahan Ward Cos. (their mothers' maiden names) and begin building the upscale housing they saw was in demand in the emerging Philadelphia neighborhoods of Northern Liberties and Fishtown. It was August 2007, to be exact - just as the real estate bubble burst. "We timed the market perfectly," Cutrufello, a Havertown native, said recently, laughing.
April 6, 2015 |
John and Melissa Lattanzio realized last year that they were priced out of the red-hot real estate market in Fishtown, so they began looking for a house in nearby Olde Kensington. "The options seemed to be a house that would need a lot of updating, or a quickly and generically rehabbed house," said Melissa Lattanzio. "We had lived in Fishtown for eight years and knew the neighborhood. But the construction and investors were driving up prices. Sellers wanted all cash in many cases.
May 13, 2014 |
ANGELA POTE remembers many low points in her life - living in a place where she had to fight rats from the crib. Or sending one of her sons to school with a single Pop-Tart for lunch, because that's all she had. Maybe one of the lowest, though, was living in a house in Fishtown with barely any walls; there was electricity, but no heat or hot water. She would curl up in bed with her six kids trying to stay warm. This was hard because they lived there through a winter of ice storms. Fortunately, her mother-in-law lived down the street, so she would take her kids there to feed and wash them.
February 5, 2015 |
Fran Blanche took one look at the curvaceous 1960s Westinghouse radio and made her diagnosis. "I can tell you right now, it's fixable," she said as she pried the plastic housing apart for a closer look. Greta Alexander, of Northern Liberties, was relieved. She had been trying to get it working for a while. But everyone told her to just get a new one. "But that's not the point," she said. Lost causes were welcome at the Philly Fixers Guild's third Repair Fair, held Saturday at Memphis Street Academy in Port Richmond.
May 5, 2014 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. The year was 1992; the place, Northern Liberties. The median price of a house, mostly the two- and three-story brick row variety, was $26,600. A northward trek from Old City was underway - artists first, then restaurants and other businesses looking for space and cheap rents. There was some building of what one neighborhood activist called "homes of the future" - listed at $200,000 in a city in which the median price was struggling to top $60,000.