Italian for "beautiful sight", Bella Vista is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Annual festivals in the neighborhood include the Italian Market Festival and the Bella Vista Festival of the Arts. Cultural events in Bella Vista are centered around public concerts, coffeehouses, the Mew Gallery, and Fleischer Art Memorial.  Only a short walk from Queen Village, Washington Square, Pennsport, and East Passyunk, Bella Vista a perfect destination for anyone who wants to be close to the hustle and bustle of Center City but wants a little more of a neighborhoody feel.

Banca Calabrese Building Sticking Around After All

A few months back, we told you about plans to tear down some buildings at the corner of 7th & Christian in favor of new construction. To review, developers had 630-638 Christian St. under agreement, with plans to build seven homes with ten parking spaces in place of the existing buildings on the site. Though none of the buildings in question are designated historic, one of them was the childhood home of famous tenor Mario Lanza, while the [...]
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Pair of Bella Vista Garages Going Residential, Will Keep the Parking

We've always been intrigued by the 900 block of Carpenter Street, as it's one of the more unusual blocks in Bella Vista. One end of the block ends in the heart of the Italian Market, while the other end features a sweet local cafe, along with Bardascino Park and its legendary bocce courts. The north side of the block is a mix of older homes, newish homes, and some old warehouses and garages. The south [...]
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Changes Afoot For Bella Vista Corner With Some History

The southeast corner of 7th & Christian is home to a building that's clearly got some historic relevance, the Banca Calabrese building. We told you all about this building's history a few years back, noting that it was one of several banks established in the early 20th century that catered to the needs of the immigrant Italian population in the area. The name indicates that the bulk of the bank's customers came from Calabria, at the tip of the Italian [...]
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At 7th & Bainbridge, Mansions Under Construction and Demolition Upcoming

Philadelphia is home to some of the most amazing architecture in America, with a rich stock of fabulous buildings scattered across the city. While we've got more than our share of great structures, we've also got some duds. Case in point, the one-story stucco building at the southeast corner of 7th & Bainbridge. Former sushi place with demo notice This building has housed several different businesses over the years, and we specifically remember a thrift [...]
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Prepared Foods Shop Coming to 11th & Kimball?

A couple of readers have reached out to us of late, wondering about some ongoing construction on 11th Street in Bella Vista. There's been a warehouse at 1011 S. 11th St. going back to the 1800s, surely because of its close proximity to Washington Avenue. We aren't sure about the building's uses over the course of its lifetime, but we can tell you that in the last decade it has been used as a medical [...]
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Mixed Use Planned For Former Via Bicycle

Via Bicycle was a fixture in the Bella Vista neighborhood for two decades, operating out of a large space on 9th Street just south of South Street. Earlier this year though, we shared the news that Via Bicycle was moving to a new location on South Broad Street, as their longtime home was listed for sale for a whopping $2.2M. More specifically, that list price not only covered the Via Bicycle building at 606 S. 9th St., [...]
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Construction Starts on Mixed-Use Building at 6th & Christian

The saga of Triangle Park has seemingly come to an end after quite a long time. For those of you that haven't been following the situation at the triangular lot at 601 Christian St. over the years, here's a brief rundown: Historically, this 2,600 sqft property was home to a gas station, though the business shut down quite some time ago. Roughly eight years ago, with the site clear of the remains of the gas station, the [...]
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Bella Vista Neighbors Association Lives to Fight Another Day

In many neighborhoods across Philadelphia, community groups are the backbone of neighborhood volunteerism, organizing events, improving safety, coordinating cleanups, and so on. They've played an important role in development for many years as well, hosting meetings for projects requiring a variance and relaying neighborhood feedback for consideration by the ZBA. When the new Zoning Code came out in 2012, community groups, or RCOs as the code says, became formally tied into the zoning process, with [...]
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Development Opportunity in the Italian Market

The Italian Market is one of our favorite spots in town, a rare combination of tourist destination and amazing resource for people that live nearby. Whether you're seeking fresh meats, fresh pasta, mostly fresh produce, aged cheeses, or the best tortillas in the city, the Italian Market has you covered. What are you waiting for, go to the Italian Market right now! Well, don't go if it's after 6pm, there's not much happening over there [...]
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We Found Another Hidden Block in Bella Vista

Cianfrani Park is great, isn't it? As we told you previously, two different stately school buildings once stood on this property at the northeast corner of 8th & Fitzwater, and while it would have been ideal for either to have been preserved, this little community park is a pretty terrific alternative. We checked out a free concert in the park last month and discovered a public space teeming with families enjoying their community in this neighborhood [...]
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