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Aerial perspective of Pennovation Center in site contextAerial view of the Pennovation Works site showing the Pennovation Center in context. University Avenue is at left.

The University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees last week signed off on the design for the Pennovation Center, the first major component of the university's planned Pennovation Works project on the east bank of the Schuylkill River in Grays Ferry, just south of the Penn campus.

The Pennovation Center project will repurpose a former DuPont Co. materials research lab into a hub for enterpreneurship, innovation, research and social interaction.

Rendering of east and north facadesRendering showing east and north facades of the Pennovation Center

The redesign by HWKN (Hollwich Kushner Architecture) of New York features a dramatic northern facade of angled glass that at

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A charming yet struggling Delaware County suburb pins its hopes for renewal on its historic downtown theater; some lots in this town seem to be cursed, and it now appears the curse has been lifted from one of them; every so often, though, one of those un- or underdeveloped lots contains hidden gems. Here's the story of one; and a small building that played a giant role in Philadelphia's musical history will become apartments; 

Staging a comeback: Inner-ring town counting on theater (The Philadelphia Inquirer|Philly.com)
The long road to getting a deal done at 1911 Walnut St. in Center City (Philadelphia Business Journal) 
The Toughest Little Hut in Logan Square (Hidden City Daily)
Sigma Sound Studios building sold, will be converted to apartments

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couple looking at new homeDreaming of that new home? For most of us, the path from the dream to the door requires a mortgage. What's a mortgage? Read on.

Now that we’ve guided you through getting your finances and your credit score in order, it’s time to guide you through actually getting a mortgage.

But first, the answer to a basic question:

What’s a mortgage?

A mortgage is simply a type of installment loan. Specifically, it’s an installment loan you take out to close the gap between the money you have on hand to contribute towards the cost of a home and the money you need to actually buy the home. As most of us aren’t so flush with cash that we can simply pull out our checkbook and write the seller a check for the full price, we need mortgages to realize our goals.

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Philadelphia's Chinatown, one of the oldest on the East Coast, is also one of the city's most densely populated neighborhoods. It's also largely built out, with very little land available for building; most construction activity in the neighborhood consists of renovations of or additions to existing structures.

But the neighborhood's fringes do contain vacant land, much of which is used for parking. One of those lots has disappeared to make way for one of the largest new construction projects the neighborhood has seen in some time.

When these photos were taken about two weeks ago, three floors of what will be a nine-story mixed-use structure had been erected at 810 Arch St.

When finshed, the building will have 94 affordable supportive housing

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Front Porch

Do you remember the neighborliness of small-town living, where people greeted each other while relaxing on the front porches of their homes and invited friends over for indoor dinners and backyard barbecues? 

Living Room

Whether or not you do, we have the ideal home for those of you who would like to experience the feeling, whether it's again or for the first time.

Dining Room

This handsome, well-maintained brick home on a quiet residential street in Roxborough offers all of these classic features plus up-to-date fixtures and fittings (and thoughtful improvements such as energy-saving ceiling fans in every room) on a spacious double lot with room for everything.

Kitchen

The large lot gives this home both space and windows on all sides, making the interiors

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red carpetRoll out the red carpet for your guests on Oscar Night and bask in the rave reviews for your party. Here's how to throw the ultimate VIP event.

Special to Philly Living

It’s that time of year again. The night we’ve all been waiting for: The Oscars! Whether you are watching for the red carpet couture, the celebrity sightings or actually want to see which film wins “Best Picture,” the evening's real star will be you, if you're inviting friends over for an Oscar-watching party. Marianne Gere, owner of ConshyGirls Events and Catering in Conshohocken, offers these ideas for an Academy Award-winning party.

Yes, that’s right. Glitz, glamour and good times can all be yours with a few simple tricks so that you can be the star of your own V.I.P.

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Roland Kassis delivering presentation to FNADeveloper Roland Kassis walks Fishtowners through his proposed hotel/shared office/restaurant/club/event space complex on Frankford Avenue at last night's Fishtown Neighbors Association meeting.

That 19th-century former light industrial building with the Shepard Fairey mural just up from Frankford Hall on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown moved one step closer to getting a new lease on life when the Fishtown Neighbors Association voted overwhelmingly last night to support developer Roland Kassis' request for variances needed to turn it and two adjacent parcels into a boutique hotel and co-working facility.

But first, before the lopsided vote to support the project, Fishtowners peppered Kassis with questions about the proposal and vented their

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Living-dining room

Here's a class act of a home: well maintained and up to date, this Fishtown home packs a lot of style and comfort into a handsome package.

Living room

Architectural details like exposed brick walls and hardwood floors throughout give this home personality, while large windows fill it with natural light.

Living-dining room, view from kitchen

The first thing you will notice when you walk into the front door is the spacious open-plan living-dining area, which can be configured to suit your taste.

Living-dining room with stairs and view into kitchen

There's plenty of room here to accommodate both your family and friends, for entertaining and for relaxation.

Kitchen

This space flows naturally into the up-to-date kitchen, which features farmhouse-style cabinetry, the latest stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and tile

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Gregorian chants are an acquired taste, but they have a strangely calming effect on your blog editor, who knows he's not alone in experiencing this sensation: Buddhists and adherents of a number of other religions also engage in chants to reach some higher spiritual plane or focus on what matters more clearly. Then, of course, there are the chants that sports fans routinely launch to either egg their teams on or insult or intimidate their opponents. We ran across a building recently where it looks like we could buy some - or maybe perform some? Or did we run across something else entirely? If you think we're a bit off base in our interpretation of this sign, tell us what's really going on here—and even if you agree, tell us where we spotted this (the sign

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The editors of a newspaper in battleground Ohio voice sour grapes over the Democrats' decision to convene in Philadelphia next year; for a mere $2.05 million, you can grab yourself a legitimate piece of History in Society Hill—the home built by James Nevels, the master carpenter of Independence Hall and Carpenters' Hall who also founded the city's first architectural school; Hey, lovebirds, need quick, cheap nuptials? A wedding salon in East Lansdowne's got you covered; and while the editor of Curbed Philly was surprised to find out that she was "Country to the Core," we were quite pleased to learn that we were indeed a "City Dweller Fo'eva":

Editorial: DNC picks Philadelphia over Columbus (Canton Repository)
Jaw-Dropper of the Week: Society Hill Home

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