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Old 12-27-2018, 02:48 PM
 
313 posts, read 311,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennsport View Post
I think you'd be hard pressed to find any number of homes between Girard and Snyder Aves and Broad to Delaware river with what you describe above. Safe front steps and railings on not only demanded by code, but also quite common. Front lights are more often than not if for no other reason than to deter crime. Also, window boxes and shutters are all over the city. My homes are clean and cared for, but they still look like what they are - very functional blue collar-built homes from the 19 teens and 20s. They will never look high-end, overly attractive or interesting in any architectural manner until the entire structure is eventually torn down and a builder starts over. Just is what it is.

Also, just out of curiosity, why on earth would a homeowner rip out perfectly good two or three front steps or a slightly older, but perfectly solid and good front door and replace them? That's several thousand dollars. Most people I know have more pressing needs than to blow 4k replacing functional aspects of a home that are perfectly fine and safe. I think you might be asking for a lot from those that would have to provide the funding to beautify the exterior of their houses .
I should have caveated this with the fact that there are still some streets/sections that haven't yet been touched by gentrification (although not many). Sections of Dickens Narrows, areas West of Northern Liberties. I'm referring to the areas that were mentioned in the original discussion - the more gentrified and/or higher end neighborhoods where people from outside the neighborhood actually go...
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:48 PM
 
6,293 posts, read 6,712,391 times
Reputation: 8753
Quote:
The truth is that the cost of living was only low because nobody wanted to live there. The same is true about Philly (when compared to NYC and DC) and a primary contributor is that nobody takes pride in their home's appearance.
Uh, Yeah. But the areas that are being gentrified in Philly, are becoming places where people want to live....and the rehabs DO have new exteriors.

It's just that the new exterior options apparently aren't the design choices that some people here would make.
People are moving to gentrified areas, whether those rehabs have window boxes, or shutters or not. Trust me. If a rehabber, developer or flipper thought some of the suggested curb appeal options would get them more money, they'd do it. Cleary they or the current owners don't have that aesthetic or don't feel the changes are worth it.

Also are we talking about houses in disrepair or that look "run down" -- or that just don't look "new" or like someone else thinks it should look?

Also some owners don't feel the need to update until they're ready to sell. Sure -- just like on the inside of the house -- one could argue "why not fix up the house for you to enjoy" instead of just fixing it to sell. But if the current decor or condition doesn't bother the current owner....then they don't feel the need to make a change, until there's an incentive they feel is worth it.
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Old 12-27-2018, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Pocopson
95 posts, read 29,078 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
Uh, Yeah. But the areas that are being gentrified in Philly, are becoming places where people want to live....and the rehabs DO have new exteriors.

It's just that the new exterior options apparently aren't the design choices that some people here would make.
People are moving to gentrified areas, whether those rehabs have window boxes, or shutters or not. Trust me. If a rehabber, developer or flipper thought some of the suggested curb appeal options would get them more money, they'd do it. Cleary they or the current owners don't have that aesthetic or don't feel the changes are worth it.

Also are we talking about houses in disrepair or that look "run down" -- or that just don't look "new" or like someone else thinks it should look?

Also some owners don't feel the need to update until they're ready to sell. Sure -- just like on the inside of the house -- one could argue "why not fix up the house for you to enjoy" instead of just fixing it to sell. But if the current decor or condition doesn't bother the current owner....then they don't feel the need to make a change, until there's an incentive they feel is worth it.
Alright, "nobody wants to live there" is a figure of speech that I should have chosen my words more carefully on. I should have said "there is a decreased demand". There would be a greater demand in Philadelphia's neighborhoods if the houses were better-looking. I didn't mean to say that there are zero people moving-into the city, and bless your heart if that was your honest interpretation.

I'm not saying the houses should look "new". I'm saying there would be greater demand for the Philadelphia neighborhoods if the homeowners showed more pride in their home's exteriors. You're saying homeowners decide whatever upgrades they do-or-down't want on their house. We're going to keep talking past each-other forever until you respond to what I'm actually saying.
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:06 PM
 
29 posts, read 11,463 times
Reputation: 36
Probably, just little or no class. Society Hill, yes; Kensington, nah! Oh, and S. Philly.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:06 PM
 
8,475 posts, read 4,601,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavePa View Post
Guess there is no reason Society Hill and other Colonial neighborhoods and early 1800s, are highlighted for Philly and gain it get great feedback?

Because it has the a preferred look with green and aspects that add a quaintness that gives it THE PHILLY BEST FOOT FORWARD.

Sorry but my opinion that gentrifying to bare wall of brick ..... doesn't add this for me. Whether 1700s or late 1800s or early 1900s. A plain wall of rows can have options to capture more of the Grandeur and quaintness that its CC neighborhoods give Philly.

There is little modern looking in just sandblasted Brick .... despite gutting the insides to fully contemporary.

I'm not suggesting much more of Philly. But still surprised more that could. Did not go for it. As for more Victorian once wealthier neighborhoods .... or others with more architectural features already to highlight. I'm not talking on them. Just the endless walls of plain rows ..... especially if not broken up. They could get such a more COLONIAL makeover in gentrification.

I understand the defense will always be .... Philly is fine in the choices ITS PEOPLE MAKE. Outsiders do not get that.
Dave, just leave it alone. You don't live here and never did. I would never suggest that Chicago change the essence of what it is and what it's historic housing stock should look like. Why would I?

Most of the row houses in Philadelphia were indeed built during the Victorian Era including ones for the working class.

My hope is that some outsiders will learn that Philadelphia's greatness was also about what came after the Revolutionary War.

I really wish you stop bashing row houses.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:13 PM
 
8,475 posts, read 4,601,229 times
Reputation: 2837
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patmcpsu View Post
I completely agree with DavePa. Aesthetically, most residential areas of Philly are on par with The Bronx in NYC. Maybe it's time to upgrade to Brooklyn-level quality.

Back when most of the city was blue collar, lack of resources would be a reasonable excuse. But now that the city is being gentrified and filled with spendthrift millennials, it's time to give a damn. The biggest sign of this being a wasted opportunity are the "flipped" rowhomes that get outfitted with luxurious interiors, but have absolutely no upgrades done on the exterior.

I used to live up in Lehigh Valley and everyone there would brag about their low cost of living. The truth is that the cost of living was only low because nobody wanted to live there. The same is true about Philly (when compared to NYC and DC) and a primary contributor is that nobody takes pride in their home's appearance.

I've lived in the Philly suburbs most of my life, and really appreciate the city, and that's exactly why I want to see it live up to its potential.
He was pushing a "colonial" esthetic in places that aren't colonial historically speaking.
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:28 AM
 
6,293 posts, read 6,712,391 times
Reputation: 8753
Quote:
I'm saying there would be greater demand for the Philadelphia neighborhoods if the homeowners showed more pride in their home's exteriors.
I don't mean to talk poset you at all. I just don't think how a house looks will lead to greater demand. I don't care how a house looks no one is moving there if they don't think the potential for profit is there, if they don't think crime is going to go down (or the neighborhood is safe enough for them).

There are some rehabbed AND new houses in filled in the areas near 48th and Westminster, and 6th and Parrish I don't see "greater demand" to live there, per se. I highly doubt if someone fixes a house at 13th and Venango there would be greater demand to live there.

People are branching out from already gentrified areas, because those areas are too expensive already. Not because houses have better exteriors where they may be looking to move.

Now, if you agree that in a proven neighborhood where people already want to live, or that's already "established," curb appeal may help you sell quicker than a house with no curb appeal. I'd agree. That's why realtors want a house to have curb appeal. I but the exterior of a house in a neighbor where no one wants to live, OR only the poorest of the poor can live, won't make people who can afford to live elsewhere, live there.

That's all.
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Old 12-28-2018, 08:16 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,020 posts, read 4,644,004 times
Reputation: 2322
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patmcpsu View Post
I completely agree with DavePa. Aesthetically, most residential areas of Philly are on par with The Bronx in NYC. Maybe it's time to upgrade to Brooklyn-level quality.

Back when most of the city was blue collar, lack of resources would be a reasonable excuse. But now that the city is being gentrified and filled with spendthrift millennials, it's time to give a damn. The biggest sign of this being a wasted opportunity are the "flipped" rowhomes that get outfitted with luxurious interiors, but have absolutely no upgrades done on the exterior.

I used to live up in Lehigh Valley and everyone there would brag about their low cost of living. The truth is that the cost of living was only low because nobody wanted to live there. The same is true about Philly (when compared to NYC and DC) and a primary contributor is that nobody takes pride in their home's appearance.

I've lived in the Philly suburbs most of my life, and really appreciate the city, and that's exactly why I want to see it live up to its potential.
I don't think its a building problem, but more the surrounding aesthetics. For example, if many of these tight rowhome streets were tree lined, or buried powerlines, or decorative light poles, they would be a lot more pleasing on the eye, and most of the those endeavors (minus underground power) are relatively affordable ventures that the city could invest in. Yet they don't (another story).

I also think some of you are selling Philadelphia short... Some of the most beautiful urban streets in America are in Philadelphia and not every street can look like Society Hill.

Finally, I don't think the COL of living in Philadelphia is low. Comparing COL to New York is such a poor comparison because New York is one of the worlds most expensive cities. If you want to live well in Philadelphia you are going to pay a large sum of money just like you would in Chicago, DC, LA, Miami, etc. Philadelphia has a lot more industrialization than other US cities, therefore taking a harder hit, and it has more space for infill compared to Boston, San Fran, etc. (bound by water), there are several reasons why Philadelphia COL has not skyrocketed, but I do not think its because there is no demand to live there. Maybe in the 90s, but not in 2018.

And remember, DC was an overwhelming dump until about 15 years ago, and while DC has gotten expensive it is hardly a utopia, they just have more trees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Dave, just leave it alone. You don't live here and never did. I would never suggest that Chicago change the essence of what it is and what it's historic housing stock should look like. Why would I?

Most of the row houses in Philadelphia were indeed built during the Victorian Era including ones for the working class.

My hope is that some outsiders will learn that Philadelphia's greatness was also about what came after the Revolutionary War.

I really wish you stop bashing row houses.
Agree! Sometimes he makes good points, but its largely a shot at Philadelphia and I don't see any of us going on the Chicago board essentially bashing the makeup of the city.
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,286 posts, read 7,274,640 times
Reputation: 4022
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
I don't think its a building problem, but more the surrounding aesthetics. For example, if many of these tight rowhome streets were tree lined, or buried powerlines, or decorative light poles, they would be a lot more pleasing on the eye, and most of the those endeavors (minus underground power) are relatively affordable ventures that the city could invest in. Yet they don't (another story).

...

And remember, DC was an overwhelming dump until about 15 years ago, and while DC has gotten expensive it is hardly a utopia, they just have more trees.
I think you're right that the surrounding elements of city neighborhoods are the greater issue/expense, as opposed to the inherent built environment. Adding at least some street trees and/or window planters, replacing sidewalks, and burying utilities would lead to incredible aesthetic improvements in most areas.

There's a huge chunk of Philly that could be Center City-level beautiful/polished due to their bones, but the primary issue is working to enhance and restore the historical features. I'm not talking making every rowhome "faux colonial," because that would be forced and over-the-top like kyb01 is saying.

But if the city were to encourage folks (perhaps starting a new incentive program) to repoint brick, eliminate vinyl/aluminum siding, restore their cornices, etc., perhaps include some unique color accents on doors/cornices, so many more neighborhoods would look stunning. These types of features would be relatively simple to implement.

And I've bashed DC plenty of times, but to its credit it is a city that has really gone a long way to enhance and restore its historical architecture in an appropriate and stunning way, at least in its residential neighborhoods (downtown is a very different story). Definitely a model for Philly to follow, in my book.
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:45 AM
 
313 posts, read 311,310 times
Reputation: 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
I don't mean to talk poset you at all. I just don't think how a house looks will lead to greater demand. I don't care how a house looks no one is moving there if they don't think the potential for profit is there, if they don't think crime is going to go down (or the neighborhood is safe enough for them).

There are some rehabbed AND new houses in filled in the areas near 48th and Westminster, and 6th and Parrish I don't see "greater demand" to live there, per se. I highly doubt if someone fixes a house at 13th and Venango there would be greater demand to live there.

People are branching out from already gentrified areas, because those areas are too expensive already. Not because houses have better exteriors where they may be looking to move.

Now, if you agree that in a proven neighborhood where people already want to live, or that's already "established," curb appeal may help you sell quicker than a house with no curb appeal. I'd agree. That's why realtors want a house to have curb appeal. I but the exterior of a house in a neighbor where no one wants to live, OR only the poorest of the poor can live, won't make people who can afford to live elsewhere, live there.

That's all.
Exactly right Selhars. And let's not forget that we're talking about the city here. This isn't some suburban sprawl of an acre or more where you sit outside on your porch and enjoy your expansive yard and garden. Most city homes consist of a sidewalk, two or three steps and a small cement area out back to store a grill and garbage containers. The real "outside aesthetic value" comes from viewing the river or skyline from a roofdeck. Outside of the well-established historic neighborhoods of Old City, Wash West, Rittenhouse, etc... (basically the original Philly), you won't find many tourists or residents wandering around neighborhoods staring at the outside of rowhomes. From my experience, the condition of the actual sidewalk is noticed, and matters, much more than that of the brick front of a rowhome.
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