March 24, 2015
MARY C. TRACY, executive director of Scenic Philadelphia and president of Scenic America, is a thorn in the side of the billboard industry. Her activism started 25 years ago, when, as a stay-at-home mother, the former public-school teacher rallied her neighbors to fight an illegal billboard in Overbrook Farms. "I really believe that residents and visitors should be treated as citizens, and not as consumers," she said yesterday afternoon, before going up to her Washington Square roof deck to take in a view of the city she loves.
March 20, 2015 |
THIS IS A "BUYER BEWARE" story that sounds made-up. I mean, who'd believe that buying a new house would lead to robbery and extortion? Yet there was Jordan Hyatt, driving through the city in the dead of night, taking text-message instructions from a contractor who'd robbed Hyatt and his wife. He'd return their stuff if they paid him $300. "It was surreal," says Hyatt, 34, a senior researcher in Penn's criminology department. Hyatt and his wife, Lindsay Wilde, 33, a physician, bought their just-built house in March 2012.
November 16, 2014 |
Lori and Donald Krain have a panoramic view from their roof deck, four stories up. To the east, William Penn peeks between the skyscrapers. To the west, the Cira Centre looms over University City. A church steeple rises amid rooftops to the south. Looking north, tall buildings obscure the Art Museum, but the Krains can still see the July 4 fireworks. The holiday provided an excuse for a party this year, and a deadline to furnish the deck of their new townhouse. Lori potted petunias and ordered a wrought-iron table, mesh chairs, and a cushioned couch made of ipe, a hardy Brazilian wood.
September 22, 2014 |
The most pleasant feature of Shawn and Lauren League's roof deck is the constant breeze - even on the most sweltering summer-in-the-city days. After visiting the roof deck of some Point Breeze neighbors at 15th and Dickinson Streets, the Leagues liked the idea so much, they took out a home-improvement loan to put in one of their own. "We moved to the city from Bucks County and missed having a yard," Shawn League said. "Yes, the roof deck improved the value of the house, but also our quality of life.
July 20, 2014 |
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.
October 14, 2013 |
Q uestion: My problem is foil paper on drywall. The paper is on very tight and is impossible to remove. In a column a long time ago, you mentioned a product by Zinsser called Shieldz. Do you think that would work? I have a powder room and small bathroom with the problem. I know I could drywall the rooms, but hope it won't be necessary. Answer: Manufactured now by Rust-o-leum, Shieldz is a primer you apply to walls to make hanging wallpaper easier. It has nothing to do with removing foil paper, or any wallpaper for that matter.
September 30, 2009 |
For years, Margaret Szumski suffered deck envy. The 57-year-old real estate agent would visit city houses with her clients and see all these great patios crowning buildings and then come home and tell her boyfriend, John Ciccone, that she wanted one, too. A grown-up's treehouse where the air was fresh and sweet, and she could let all her cares drift into space when this old world started getting her down. Carole King understood. Ciccone didn't. "Forget it," he would say. "I've seen deck after deck after deck, and not a single person is ever on them.
October 26, 2007 |
Recently, however, some companies have begun selling specially designed programmable thermostats for heat pumps, which make setting back the thermostat cost-effective. These thermostats typically use special algorithms to minimize the use of backup electric-resistance heat systems. They are probably very expensive, and if they've just come out, they probably aren't ready for prime time. So I'd accept no as the answer for the present, and have your daughter keep her eye open to any change a year or so down the road.
September 28, 2007 |
Question: You keep talking about curb appeal as a way of getting people to look at a house for sale, but I don't really understand what you have to do to obtain curb appeal? How does it work? Answer: The National Association of Realtors said in the past - and I think it probably is even more necessary in this market, with so many more houses for sale - that 49 percent of all successful sales began when the prospective buyer pulled up in front of a house to admire it, and then was intrigued enough by what he or she saw to walk through the front door and see more.
March 16, 2007 |
Once it was a grand place to see and be seen, a Victorian garden and promenade that hugged the Schuylkill, encircled the Water Works, and meandered up a hill with soaring views of Philadelphia and beyond. But the South Garden and Cliffside Paths, so magnificent in the 19th century, came undone in the 20th. First came the closing of the Water Works, followed by a gradual decline in visitors, and finally, for decades after, the neglect by a city. Now, this historic landmark - often cited as the inspiration for Fairmount Park - blooms again.