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November 2014

There are 72 blog entries for November 2014.

The new Super Wawa nearing completion at 4200 Aramingo Avenue

By Matty Stringer

With the famed Aramingo Diner first shuttered and now completely burned down, there is some new hope in Philadelphia's Port Richmond section—a new Wawa and mini-strip mall. The Super Wawa with gas station at 4200 Aramingo Ave. will be accompanied by an 11,000-square-foot strip mall in the same lot. A Comcast retail store and service center will also be on the site.

Construction started in late summer, but the site looks almost complete. A total of 7,000 square feet of retail is still available at the site across from the Lowe's at Wheatsheaf Lane and Aramingo Avenue. 

Layout of the site

Earlier this year, a little ways down the avenue, the 57-year-old Aramingo

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This week, we're pleased to offer you this top-drawer condo on the top floor of a beautifully rehabbed vintage former mixed-use building on Bainbridge Street in Bella Vista.

This unit has all the things that make people fall in love with old buildings: A sense of spaciousness, thanks to 11-foot-high ceilings. Lots of character, thanks to exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and other natural touches.

It also has all the modern features and conveniences you're looking for.

The sense of spaciousness is the first thing you'll notice as you enter the unit. The open-plan living room's large windows fill the space with light, the exposed brick wall gives it warmth, and the exposed ductwork adds a touch of industrial chic.

A

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The former Engine Company 46 firehouse, later steakhouse, today

The intricate brickwork, the building’s long history, and its signature tower that could hide archers in its turret, like Daryl Dixon in a zombie apocalypse, all combine to make the former Engine Company 46 firehouse, at 1401 S. Water St. in Pennsport, one of the most recognizable buildings in South Philadelphia.

Build in 1894, Engine 46 was designed by John T. Windrim in the Flemish Revival style complete with a castle-like tower or turret that a person could stand on top of and see for miles around—at least in 1894.

The firehouse has survived virtually unaltered since it was built, as this 1896 photograph shows; only the garage door has been significantly altered

Now, in 2014,

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Actually, not fish tales at all: this looks more like a classical precursor of "Flipper," the 1960s TV series about a boy and his dolphin, only this kid's got two of 'em. We're not up on our classical iconography, so we can't tell you the origin or significance of this sculpted image, but we bet one of our readers could fill us in. This decoration, and the building it decorates, would not look at all out of place in Tuscany, but we didn't have to go all the way to Italy to find it. Where did we go?

Answer next week.

Photo by the author

Last week's Hidden Treasure Hunt answer: Apparently, Anthony J. Drexel let the stars be his financial guide, according to one reader who accurately identified that zodiac-sign disk as gracing the Drexel

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Stu Bykofsky takes a look at the Feibush-Johnson dustup; Conshohocken's small merchants come together for an unusual Black Friday shopping experience; Northeast high schoolers weigh in with recommendations to fix the mess that is Roosevelt Boulevard. Maybe we should make them transportation engineers; and the owner of the Moshulu decides it's time for a bow-to-stern reinvention of the tall ship restaurant-bar:

A difference of vision (Philadelphia Daily News|Philly.com)
Conshohocken Merchants Provide Unique Black Friday Shopping Experience (CBS Philly) 
Letters to the Editor: Nov. 26, 2014 (Northeast Times) 
Exclusive: Moshulu owner plans major renovation next year (Philadelphia Business Journal) 

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Shoppers eager to be first to snag Black Friday bargains rush into a store in Laramie, Wyo., when it opened on Thanksgiving evening. Philly cops in the early 1960s dreaded dealing with the crowds, leading them to give the busiest shopping day of the year its name.

We'd like to tear you away from the dinner preparations for...

What? You're not fixing, or getting ready to eat, Thanksgiving dinner?

If you're online, surfing shopping sites for early Black Friday deals, then this story is for you.

The day after Thanksgiving has become the single biggest day of the year on the retail calendar, and each year, retailers eager to lure shoppers through their doors push the start of the action earlier and earlier: stores open while everyone's still

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Sorry, Carpenters Union—it looks like you should have signed the new labor agreement when you had the chance, for it's already producing a dramatic turnaround in the Convention Center's fortunes; A new owner plans to finish the job the former owner started with a Mt. Airy apartment complex; the ZBA greenlights the conversion of the former Orinoka Mills in East Kensington into affordable apartments; and new drone footage shows off Philly's finest ruin porn:

Convention Center managers hail quick turnaround (The Philadelphia Inquirer|Philly.com)
Northwest Philadelphia apartments sell for $8.75M (Philadelphia Business Journal)
Zoning board approves redevelopment of Orinoka Mills in Kensington (Plan Philly) 
Video Interlude: This Drone Footage of Philly Ruin

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He may no longer climb through the window of Gimbels department store, but Santa Claus remains the special guest of honor at the 6ABC/Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade, the nation's oldest. He will have plenty of other celebrities to keep him company.

Tomorrow morning around 8 a.m., the 95th edition of the oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in the country steps off from 20th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard for its annual march up the Ben Franklin Parkway to Eakins Oval and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

While its younger New York sibling enjoys greater national fame, the 6ABC/Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade garners its share of national star power, thanks in part to the clout of 6ABC's parent, the Walt Disney Company. Disney characters

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A view of the planned Piazza parking garage from Germantown Avenue and Wildey Street

By Gabriel Gottlieb

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s Civic Design Review (CDR) Committee ended the CDR process for a new parking garage across the street from The Piazza in Northern Liberties, at its Nov. 25 meeting. The new parking garage would provide parking to residents of The Piazza’s 349 apartments, which surround the open-air plaza across Germantown Avenue from the site of the new garage on Wildey Street. The Piazza’s apartments are owned by Kushner Company, which bought the existing Piazza and this site from developer Bart Blatstein’s Tower Investments, The Piazza’s original developer. Tower still owns the vacant land surrounding this site,

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The City of Philadelphia is currently accepting applications for the Homestead Exemption for the 2015 tax year.

The Homestead Exemption eliminates property taxes on the first $30,000 of your home's value. In order to receive it, the only requirements are that you own the property and use it as your primary residence.

There is one major change to the program this year: Properties with 10-year tax abatements are ineligible for the Homestead Exemption.

If it sounds like your home might qualify for the exemption, the time to apply is now, for the deadline for applying is Monday, Dec. 1.

You can obtain information and application forms at the Office of Property Assessment website's Homestead Exemption page. For faster service, you can apply over

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