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.

Hidden In Plain Sight, the 600 Block of Kenilworth Street

If you're walking up 7th Street between Fitzwater and Bainbridge, you might notice an odd sight on the eastern side of the street. 715 S. 7th St. is a home with no front door. In fact, as far as you can tell from the street, it doesn't have any first floor at all. View on 7th Street This property has a long tunnel in place of a first floor, one that's wide enough for a car to [...]
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What Will Take Over a Large Space on South Street?

We've had a soft spot in our heart for the 700 block of South Street for a long time. Right out of college, we had a friend that had a (much nicer than expected) apartment above the liquor store and another friend that lived in one of those weird fortress-like houses on the north side of the street. So we spent some quality time on this block, regrettably eating Domino's after a night on the [...]
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Without Any Trees, the 800 Block of Percy is One of the Greenest Streets in Town

Though the Italian Market Festival was as fun as ever this past weekend, we needed to catch our breath for a couple minutes so we ducked onto the 800 block of S. Percy Street. What we found was a little Bella Vista block with some rather unexpected green infrastructure. Entrance to the block from Christian Street Back in 2011, the Water Department and the Streets Department collaborated on a project to repave this block of Percy Street with an eye toward [...]
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Nice Looking Addition Next to L’Etage

Over a decade ago, before Mrs. Fox came into the picture, we occasionally found ourselves at spending some quality time at L'Etage to cap off a night on the town. We haven't been back there in a long time, though we do occasionally make our way to Beau Monde, its sister establishment next door. On the other side of the club, at 607-611 Bainbridge St., a contemporary art gallery called Pageant: Soloveev has made its home since [...]
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Via Bicycle Has Moved

Via Bicycle made its home at 606 S. 9th St. for about 20 years, but from the looks of the outside or the inside, you might have guessed they'd been there five times as long. But if you pass by this address today, you'll see that the shop is no longer operating there. Fear not though, Via Bicycle is still with us, just in a new location. Their new space is smaller, but a location […]


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Fleisher Art Memorial is Looking For a Development Partner

Fleisher Art Memorial is one of Philadelphia's hidden treasures, tucked away in a former church on the 700 block of Catharine Street. For those unfamiliar with this fabulous institution, Fleisher is one of the oldest non-profit community art schools in America and holds free and low cost classes and workshops for children and adults. In addition, they have a exhibitions and events throughout the year, attracting thousands of visitors to their sleepy Bella Vista block. […]


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Changes For the 700 Block of Carpenter Street

Every block has its quirks, but the 700 block of Carpenter Street may be one of the most unusual in Bella Vista. Back in 2011, we visited this block and wondered about a number of properties on the north side of the street. We assumed that 723-25 Carpenter St. was vacant because it looked like a large plant was slowly eating the building's facade. As it turns out, the building isn't actually empty and an […]


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New Home Rising on 9th Street Next to Rite Aid

Several readers have reached out to us over the last year or more, wondering about the property at 817 S. 9th St. and concerned it might collapse. That's the sort of thing that happens when a building has a couple of wooden support beams attached to its facade for many months, as was the case until earlier this year. We can't find a good photo of the building when it was in that state, but here's […]


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Space For Rent at 8th & Carpenter?

The northeast corner of 8th & Carpenter has improved dramatically since we first brought it to your attention back in the summer of 2011. Back then, we discovered a building with wonderful bones that had fallen on some really tough times. Though the wonderful bay windows were mostly intact, the windows on the upper floors were all covered in plywood. The cornice was in serious need of a paint job, but you could see that […]


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Mixed-Use Building Progressing at 7th & Kater

We told you about plans for a new mixed-use building at 7th & Kater a little over a year ago, generally pleased that a more productive use would be soon be coming to this corner. This property was a large garage at the time, and had been used to house a catering operation for many years. We'd have to assume that the building was originally used for some automotive purpose, but we couldn't tell you […]


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