2018 Grand Jury Award - Alden Park
“Designed in the English Renaissance Revival style by architect Edwyn Rorke of Kenneth M. DeVos & Co. and constructed between 1923 and 1928. Alden Park was ground-breaking in a city characterized by single-family home ownership. Developers chose a verdant hill-top location and built six residential towers, lush gardens, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and other amenities to attract tenants. But, time took its toll. When L3C Capital bought it in 2015, Alden Park was severely deteriorated and more than 100 units were uninhabitable.
The developer restored the property to its former grandeur, fully rehabilitating the 775 apartments and repairing the facades of the historic towers. The most challenging aspect was the full replacement of 7000 deteriorated casement windows with thermally-efficient units to match the originals. The historic integrity of this landmark property and the designer’s intent as a lush escape from crowded urban living have been fully maintained.”
- Preservation Alliance 2018
Best In American Living 2018 Winner - Alden Park
“Alden Park is a residential apartment community, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The six 10- to 13-story brick buildings, constructed in the 1920s, sit adjacent to Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Valley Park, adding to the existing luxurious amenities of the community. Purchased in 2015, historic tax credits were obtained to assist in the careful and historically accurate exterior restoration of all the buildings.
The dilapidated state of much of the brick and cast stone proved particularly challenging, and had to be rebuilt in many locations. The 7,500+ original windows had frames embedded into the masonry and needed to be carefully cut out and replaced with custom, historically detailed thermal windows; nearly all windows were replaced while the units were occupied.
Within the 760 units, the architects strategically modified the compartmentalized original designs to create a more modern, open feel, along with updated contemporary finishes. While updating original amenities, such as the indoor pool, fitness center, and common areas, a new outdoor pool and dog park were incorporated into the historic site. This renovation also vastly improved handicapped accessibility throughout the hilly site and within all buildings. “
- NAHB Best In American Living
Breathing New Life, Multihousing Pro Magazine - Alden Park
“The 760-unit Alden Park, winner of the title of Best Repositioning of a Multifamily Asset, was built in 1925 as the first co-op apartments in Philadelphia. Now operated as rental, the three towers that make up the community that is listed on both the National and Philadelphia Registers of Historic Places are surrounded by 38-acres of lawns and gardens that once were part of department store founder Justus C. Strawbridge’s estate.
Built in Jacobean Revival style, the community’s six 10- to 13-story brick buildings were renovated with the help of historic tax credits by developer L3C of New York, N.Y., with architectural design by Norristown, Pa.,-based BartonPartners.
The two-year repositioning of the community that includes studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units involved the historically sensitive restoration of the stone and brick exteriors, replacement of more than 7,500 old casement windows with energy efficient ones, and a new roof.
The apartments that were reconfigured with more open layouts feature hardwood and wood veneer floors, washers and dryers and up-to-date kitchens with new cabinets, quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances.
Community amenities include a new dog park, an outdoor pool, a pergola-covered courtyard with grilling area, walking trails, landscaped meadows and an indoor pool with a retractable roof that was revitalized with new tiles and a re-stabilized trellis.”
- Multihousing Pro Magazine
Best Repositioning of a Multifamily Asset - Alden Park
“Built in the 1920’s, the Alden Park apartment community was one of the first large-scale multifamily communities in Philadelphia. The location was prime - a beautiful hilltop next to Wissahickon Valley Park. Its amenities - lush gardens, tennis courts and a swimming pool - were designed to encourage city dwellers to consider moving away from downtown to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle.
The 37-acre campus was purchased in 2015, but after decades of use, more than 100 of the building’s apartments had become uninhabitable, and common areas had become shabby. The community was purchased in 2015, and the new owners obtained Historic Tax Credits to fully renovate. The exterior masonry was restored, and almost all 7500+ windows were replaced to comply with historic and Park Service requirements. All 760 usable units were refurbished, and the others, as well as some office spaces, were turned into new, accessible units. The lobbies, indoor pool and fitness center were renovated, and a community room and outdoor pool and lounge area were added, as well as a dog park. Trails and park improvements add to efforts to improve community health. All renovations took place while the buildings remained occupied.”
- Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards Book 2018