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March 5, 2013
Inquirer staff writer Virginia Smith is writing this week from the Philadelphia Flower Show. These posts appeared on her blog, "Kiss the Earth," at philly.com/kisstheearth. Read her stories at philly.com/ginny, and other Flower Show coverage at philly.com/flowershow. Princess Beatrice would be so bored She'd be so bored in Room 201C at the show, the Make and Take room. I mean, this is the gal who showed up at William and Kate's 2011 wedding in a headpiece - known as a fascinator - described as "a beige toilet seat," "antlers," and, kindly, "a pretzel-shaped bow. " It was unbelievable.
LIVING
February 2, 2007 | By Virginia A. Smith INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
After a hard day at work, weather permitting, Mark Masters heads for the third-floor deck outside his apartment and pulls up a chair to take in the view: Center City skyline in the distance and, right there in front of him, on the roof, what looks like a yard. It has grass, weeds, a few tree seedlings, and a thick groundcover, but this isn't a yard exactly. It's a green roof. "I'm doing my bit for the environment," says Masters, president of the Fencing Academy of Philadelphia in West Philly, whose green roof is his "yard.
NEWS
September 6, 2007 | By Dan Hardy, Inquirer Staff Writer
Walking into the high-ceilinged lobby of the bright and shiny new Radnor Middle School in Wayne for the first time yesterday, eighth grader Dan McCone had the reaction that every principal, parent and school board member would hope for. "The first thought I have is, 'Wow!' " McCone said. "At first I was kind of sad that I had to leave the old building. It was really familiar. But now that I've seen the new one, I'm glad. I just hope I don't get lost. " Several other area school districts are also having their "wow" moments this fall, opening new buildings after years of planning.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | By Sandy Bauers, For The Inquirer
When Esta Schwartz moved into her sixth-floor condominium at the Philadelphian, the view was not its best selling point. The condos in the front of the building look out onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Art Museum, but her balcony, at the back, offered views of a black roof studded with large air-conditioning units. Not anymore. Last week, workers began spreading dirt atop the roof, then planting it with sedum and other greenery that will be pink in June, ocher come November.
REAL_ESTATE
September 15, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nearly a decade after he started the project, James Maransky has finally finished the second phase of the Icehouse, his 36-unit condominium development at Thompson Street and Columbia Avenue in Fishtown. EnVision Group, his company, now will break ground on a third phase. One block over from the Icehouse on Columbia, it is developing Moyer Street Court townhouses. Maransky, founder of EnVision and a green-roof professional who specializes in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified construction, said many of his colleagues in the industry did not make it through the financial crisis.
REAL_ESTATE
June 2, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Wishing you had a little patch of greenery atop your building, while also feeling good about helping the environment? At 1148 Wharton St., a South Philadelphia school-turned-apartment building offers renters a trendy amenity in urban real estate: the green roof. The Wharton Street Lofts is a residential building that converted what was once a public, then a parochial, school into 45 apartments with 38 parking spots. For urban dwellers who want an environmentally friendly living space, the project offers a green roof deck open to all residents, because the developer was awarded a storm water management grant from a Philadelphia city agency.
NEWS
September 3, 2008 | By DAMON C. WILLIAMS, williadc@phillynews.com 215-854-5924
Philadelphia is about to get a lot greener, from the top down. In a press conference September 2 at Peco Energy Co.'s Market Street headquarters, Mayor Nutter joined Peco's president and chief executive, Denis O'Brien; Philadelphia Horticultural Society President Jane Pepper and Free Library CEO Linda Johnson in announcing that the utility company is nearing completion of its "green roof," while the library plans its own green roof with Peco's financial...
NEWS
June 16, 2011 | By HANNAH EHLENFELDT, ehlenfh@phillynews.com 609-668-9929
Minutes after Mayor Nutter crowed about the city's environmental accomplishments and goals, several residents walking in Center City yesterday offered lukewarm support for Nutter's effort to make Philadelphia the "greenest city in America" by 2015. A young couple sitting near City Hall praised the city for making the environment a priority. "It's a nice city, but it would be better if it was clean," said Camille, who didn't want to give her last name. While they noted the latest change - Philadelphia's first green-roof bus shelter at 15th and Market streets - others had yet to recognize the innovation.
NEWS
October 7, 2009 | By Lini S. Kadaba, Inquirer Staff Writer
Area campuses have shown a commitment to green living with a variety of green dorm projects. Here's a sampling: Villanova University renovated an 80-year-old residence hall - the school's first green dorm. It boasts furniture made of recycled materials, two rain gardens that capture roof runoff (with displays that show the quantity), and lights fitted with motion sensors. Showers automatically shut off after eight minutes, though students can pull a cord to continue. "But it's a reminder that you've been in there for a while," said Robert Morro, associate vice president for facilities management.
LIVING
March 7, 2008 | By Virginia A. Smith INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Mention the Philadelphia Flower Show and here's what often comes to mind: big waves of colorful flowers, expensive exhibits, and gardens you can only dream of in your own backyard. That voyeuristic, fantasy-inspiring quality of the show, which runs through Sunday at the Convention Center, is part of the draw. But not everything on display is so overwhelming. You can easily miss quieter exhibits by the North American Rock Garden Society and the Philadelphia Water Department.
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NEWS
April 23, 2015 | By Sandy Bauers, For The Inquirer
When Esta Schwartz moved into her sixth-floor condominium at the Philadelphian, the view was not its best selling point. The condos in the front of the building look out onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Art Museum, but her balcony, at the back, offered views of a black roof studded with large air-conditioning units. Not anymore. Last week, workers began spreading dirt atop the roof, then planting it with sedum and other greenery that will be pink in June, ocher come November.
REAL_ESTATE
September 15, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nearly a decade after he started the project, James Maransky has finally finished the second phase of the Icehouse, his 36-unit condominium development at Thompson Street and Columbia Avenue in Fishtown. EnVision Group, his company, now will break ground on a third phase. One block over from the Icehouse on Columbia, it is developing Moyer Street Court townhouses. Maransky, founder of EnVision and a green-roof professional who specializes in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified construction, said many of his colleagues in the industry did not make it through the financial crisis.
REAL_ESTATE
July 20, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Roofmeadow founder Charlie Miller and head of operations Melissa Muroff are designing, promoting, and maintaining green roofs all across the Philadelphia area - the 13,000-square-foot green roof at the Barnes Museum, another atop the Granary building in Fairmount. Lately, they've been busy. The Philadelphia Water Department is charged with ensuring compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. PWD developed a "Green City, Clean Waters" program to use so-called green infrastructure to deal with wastewater, instead of underground pipes.
REAL_ESTATE
June 2, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Wishing you had a little patch of greenery atop your building, while also feeling good about helping the environment? At 1148 Wharton St., a South Philadelphia school-turned-apartment building offers renters a trendy amenity in urban real estate: the green roof. The Wharton Street Lofts is a residential building that converted what was once a public, then a parochial, school into 45 apartments with 38 parking spots. For urban dwellers who want an environmentally friendly living space, the project offers a green roof deck open to all residents, because the developer was awarded a storm water management grant from a Philadelphia city agency.
BUSINESS
July 25, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Contractors studded Philadelphia with art deco-flavored postal centers, courts, and government offices, in brick, concrete, and limestone, back in the 1930s, as the federal Works Progress Administration tried to spend the nation out of the Great Depression. After the most recent financial crisis, Washington settled for the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act of 2009 - the "stimulus" supplied by President Obama - that gave the city, among other projects, a half-acre green roof; high, tight windows; and LED lights at the 17-story, WPA-built Custom House , the cross-shaped federal office building at Second and Chestnut Streets that houses hundreds of federal workers for the National Park Service, Food and Drug Administration, Homeland Security, passport office, and other federal outlets.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2013
Inquirer staff writer Virginia Smith is writing this week from the Philadelphia Flower Show. These posts appeared on her blog, "Kiss the Earth," at philly.com/kisstheearth. Read her stories at philly.com/ginny, and other Flower Show coverage at philly.com/flowershow. Princess Beatrice would be so bored She'd be so bored in Room 201C at the show, the Make and Take room. I mean, this is the gal who showed up at William and Kate's 2011 wedding in a headpiece - known as a fascinator - described as "a beige toilet seat," "antlers," and, kindly, "a pretzel-shaped bow. " It was unbelievable.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 21, 2012 | By Virginia A. Smith and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
You'll find many things in Steve Silberstein's garden, but no fads — no fairy landscapes or "follies," no upside-down tomatoes, not even a green roof on the mailbox.   And unlike the "instant gardens" and backyard makeovers so popular today, Silberstein's garden has been put together intentionally — "bit by bit," as he describes it — over the last 23 years. It now covers all but one of the 4 1/2 acres he shares with his wife Melody in Willingboro. "It's not all planted — yet," Silberstein comments without irony, though it's funny when he says that because it's one of the few times he sounds like the rest of us. We swear by the adage, "You can never have too many plants.
FOOD
August 4, 2011 | By Dianna Marder, Inquirer Staff Writer
William Jordan's path to affordable produce takes him on three city buses. At 46, Jordan is hindered by high blood pressure, asthma, and permanent damage to his right knee, but he makes the journey - on crutches, despite the heat, every Thursday afternoon - to stretch his SNAP (food stamp) dollars in an experimental program with an appropriate acronym: LIFE. This Local Initiative for Food Education at Greensgrow Farm in Kensington, now in its second summer, enables members to stretch their SNAP dollars while cultivating their ability to budget, plan, shop, and prepare meals.
NEWS
June 16, 2011 | By HANNAH EHLENFELDT, ehlenfh@phillynews.com 609-668-9929
Minutes after Mayor Nutter crowed about the city's environmental accomplishments and goals, several residents walking in Center City yesterday offered lukewarm support for Nutter's effort to make Philadelphia the "greenest city in America" by 2015. A young couple sitting near City Hall praised the city for making the environment a priority. "It's a nice city, but it would be better if it was clean," said Camille, who didn't want to give her last name. While they noted the latest change - Philadelphia's first green-roof bus shelter at 15th and Market streets - others had yet to recognize the innovation.
NEWS
June 15, 2011 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer Staff Writer
The city's newest green roof is also, in all likelihood, its smallest and oddest - a cheerful puff of plant life atop a bus-stop shelter at 15th and Market Streets. At all of 60 square feet - hardly as big as a living-room rug - it might not stop more than a few buckets full of rain from entering the city's aged storm-water system. But its mission remains ambitious: To show the crush of passersby at one of the city's busiest intersections the value of absorbing rainwater and stalling its flow.
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