In-Depth Community Real Estate Profile: Blue Bell

Blue Bell is a small community located north of Plymouth Meeting and Conshohocken across the Schuylkill River from the Main Line.While not technically part of the Main Line, Blue Bell shares the region’s rich history as well as its trend of spirited local businesses and affluent residents. The community is also home to a number of prosperous enterprises whose activities stretch far beyond Pennsylvania’s borders.

Overall, the community is well-loved for its convenient location, zoning within an excellent school district, collection of praised historical and modern business and its availability of high-quality luxury homes.

The Rich History of Blue Bell

Blue Bell has a different timeline than its Main Line counterparts. While it also occasionally served as a source for country estates, it remained mostly rural farmland until the suburban housing boom of post-World War II America. Regardless, many important buildings chronicle the area’s past.

One of the oldest and the namesake of Blue Bell is the Blue Bell Inn. First opened in 1743, it has played host to famous patrons such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. An iconic blue bell was hung outside of the inn in 1796, changing the business from the “White Horse Inn” to the “Blue Bell Inn.”

Until 1840, the surrounding community was named “Pigeontown” in honor of the huge flocks of passenger pigeons that would darken the skies before the extinction of their job. Afterwards, the citizens decided to rename the town in honor of the Inn instead.

Another historical landmark nearby is the Whitpain Public School building. First built in 1895, it marked a distinct transition for non-urban Pennsylvania communities away from one-room schoolhouses towards more modern facilities that could accommodate children from the surrounding area. The school building’s unique style, trademark turret and gothic “Public School” lettering make it a hallmark of the area’s history.

Modern Amenities in Blue Bell

While the town is certainly rooted in its past, it also embodies thoroughly modern sensibilities. An excellent example is the Blue Bell Inn itself, which boasts a gourmet menu with influences hailing all over the globe. Normandy Farms is a similar institution, which hosts events in its circa 1730 farmhouse and serves up dishes from French charcuterie to classic Atlantic coast crab cakes either in its restaurant or at a gorgeously-appointed wedding ceremony held in their conference center.

Next door to Normandy Farm is the Blue Bell Country Club. With an Arnold Palmer-designed signature golf course and a 35,000 sq. foot clubhouse, the facilities are a staple in the routines of Blue Bell residents and anyone in the surrounding area.

Shopping can be found at the Plymouth Meeting Mall nearby or the upscale King of Prussia Mall located just 10 miles away.

Living in Blue Bell

Commuting from Blue Bell is easy thanks to the nearby I-76 route just across the river. You could also park at the Conshohocken or Spring Mill SEPTA station and ride the convenient light rail system into the heart of the city. Many Blue Bell residents do not even have to commute far at all since major businesses like Unisys, Aetna and UniTek have large corporate offices in the town.

The Wissahickon School District carries on the legacy of the Whitpain Public School with its high-performing test scores, stellar athletic programs and active community spirit that caused it to be ranked among Newsweek’s top schools in the country in 2008. A great middle school and the much-loved Blue Bell Elementary School provide equally commendable educations for children of any age.

Luxury homes in Blue Bell can range from renovated circa 1900 farmhouses to completely-new mansions, all with incredible amenities, gorgeous architecture and wooded lots showing Pennsylvania’s finest foliage and local wildlife.

To find a Blue Bell luxury home to call your own and become a part of this warm, historically-immersed community, visit our Blue Bell luxury home listings.

from Main Line Philadelphia Real Estate – Homes For Sale, For Rent http://www.mainlinehomecenter.com/2015/08/13/in-depth-community-real-estate-profile-blue-bell/
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In-Depth Community Real Estate Profile: Media

Fondly referred to as “everybody’s hometown,” Media is a community about 13 miles west of downtown Philadelphia. Technically, the name “Media” only refers to the tiny 0.8 square mile borough that makes a pizza slice shape between Baltimore Ave and North Providence Road. However, locals conceptually refer to “Media” as the larger area encompassing the 19063 ZIP code. This larger swathe occupies Upper Providence Township, large parts of Nether Providence Township and a tiny section of Marple Township. As such, “Media” is a much larger community than the maps indicate.

Residents here enjoy a relaxed, small-town lifestyle surrounded by both historic buildings and modern businesses all within a convenient commute to metro Philadelphia workplaces.

Notable Media Landmarks

Like many areas near the storied Main Line, Media has a rich history. This heritage has given rise to a large number of prominent buildings, some of which date back to more than two centuries. Among these, one of the oldest is the Media Monthly Meeting building on 3rd Street, which was first built in 1815.

The Delaware County Institute of Science and the Delaware County Court House were built in 1867 and 1871, respectively. Both represent the cultural and civic growth of Media after it was officially incorporated in 1850. Similarly, the Provident National Bank and Media Armory represent the period at the turn of the 20th Century when prosperity in the area led to the construction of extravagant, castle-like buildings with majestic street presence. The Armory now houses the Pennsylvania Veteran’s Museum and a Trader Joe’s.

Built a few years later in 1927, the Media Theatre was originally a vaudeville venue that later showed movies, including an original run of The Jazz Singer. After a loving restoration in 1994, the building is now home to the Media Theatre for the Performing Arts, which produces several musicals and dramatic plays throughout the year.

Other historic landmarks worthy of note can be found on the borough’s Media walking tour page.

Shopping and Restaurants in Media

Media’s charming downtown area is rife with endearing small businesses housed in historic buildings. Walking along the tree-lined brick sidewalks affords visits to local favorites like Seven Stones, where you can get southwestern-inspired jewelry, clothing and gifts. Just a few blocks away on Plum Street you will find their Seven Stones Cafe, a local favorite for soups and delicious fair-trade coffee. In fact, almost all of the goods you will find in Media are fair trade, seeing as the town was the first one in America to become fair trade certified back in 2006.

Other Media mainstays include the Sporting Gentleman outdoor shop, Custom Bagels, La Porta Ristorante, Desert Rose and Pinocchio’s. For more conventional shopping needs, residents turn to the Media Shopping Center, the Springfield Mall or the Granite Run Mall nearby.

Living in Media

A SEPTA rail line stops at Media station and carries passengers to Center City Philadelphia in around 40 minutes. A trolley system also brings commuters to Springfield and Upper Darby. The 101 trolley line is currently undergoing major renovations to modernize service and make it more efficient. Bus service is being used as a temporary replacement.

Media has a renowned school district, with all public schools boasting either a 9 or 10 out of 10 on school rating aggregator GreatSchools. Students attend one of four outstanding area elementary schools before moving on to Springton Lake Middle and then Penncrest High. Private school options include the Nativity School and the Walden School, the latter of which is frequently praised for its high-quality yet affordable education.

The well-regarded school system coupled with the walkable downtown and friendly atmosphere has led Philly magazine to count Media among its “best places to raise kids.”

Median home values in Media are around $300,000 and the average listing price as of July 22 was $455,000. Homes outside of the main borough area can be found in a much wider range of prices, going all the way from just over $100,000 to upwards of $1,000,000.

To find yourself a luxury home in Media and truly make it “your hometown,” click on the following link and view our Media luxury home listings.

from Main Line Philadelphia Real Estate – Homes For Sale, For Rent http://www.mainlinehomecenter.com/2015/08/05/in-depth-community-real-estate-profile-media/
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The Four Best Outdoor Activities in Main Line

Philadelphia’s Main Line is blessed with some of the most beautiful outdoor landscapes in the region. Area residents make sure to take advantage of this incredible scenery, especially as the warm days of summer wind down in anticipation of the new school year. To help you get better acquainted with nature while visiting or living in the Main Line, here are some of the most fun activities you can get up to outdoors:

Yoga in the Vineyard at Penns Woods Winery

There are few things better than an extended, relaxing yoga class. An extended yoga class outdoors is one of those things. An outdoor yoga class followed by a tasting of local wines made from grapes grown in the field you were just stretching in would be the only way to top that.

Due to some stroke of fate, Penns Woods Winery can offer exactly this sort of experience at their “Wine, Body and Soul” events held on Sunday mornings through October 11th. These classes are led by MERRYoga and are followed by a tasting of five of the vineyard’s wines accompanied by a Farmer’s plate full of light snacks and palate cleansers. Participants are also offered a special 10 percent discount following the class on all of Penns Woods’ delectable wines.

Click here for specific information.

Going for a Swim at a Neighborhood Pool

When coping with the summer heat, a dip in a pool can wash all your troubles away and get you some exercise at the same time. Neighborhood pools in the Main Line add to this experience by giving your family the opportunity to make new friends and become more immersed in the community — no pun intended.

Ardmore offers two neighborhood pools on Belmont Hills or Ardmore Avenue. Linvilla Orchards operates two private swim clubs just south of Media, and countless other clubs like Conestoga, Valley Forge and Stoney Lane all ensure that families have convenient access to summer splashing and fun just outside their neighborhood.

Go Rock Climbing in Wissahickon Valley

Nothing can make you feel like you have conquered nature quite like scaling a natural rock face and clambering up over the top to survey the landscape around you. Wissahickon Valley has plenty of natural rock for both bouldering, which is climbing without ropes above soft “crash pads,” as well as rope climbing.

If you are not the type to have piles of climbing gear laying around your home, you are in luck. Friendly local climbing gyms like the Philadelphia Rock Gym offer guide services and even gear rental, so you can have someone to point out the routes, keep you safe and maybe organize a larger trip to meet other like-minded outdoorsmen and nature-loving families. You can contact their Philadelphia climbing guide via email to ask about trips and other local climbing information.

Taking a Scenic Walk

If you consider rock climbing overthinking the outdoor experience, then there is still plenty of fun to be had just by taking a stroll. Ridley Creek State Park has plenty of hiking trails, and places like the Jenkins Arboretum and Chanticleer Gardens have beautiful landscaping that makes leisurely summer walks a memorable experience. You can also take a historical walking tour through Valley Forge, or check out exotic critters from all over the world at the Elmwood Park Zoo, including their new trio of young red pandas.

As you can see, there is no shortage of outdoor fun to be had in the Main Line, so pick an activity or make a list of your favorites and start experiencing the great outdoors. Many of our beautiful luxury homes for sale in Ardmore also have exquisite backyards and tree-enshrouded neighborhoods so that you and your family can enjoy a natural expedition right on your own block. Click on our Main Line luxury home listings to learn more.

from Main Line Philadelphia Real Estate – Homes For Sale, For Rent http://www.mainlinehomecenter.com/2015/08/03/the-four-best-outdoor-activities-in-main-line/
via http://www.mainlinehomecenter.com