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Fall 2017






MONTCO Issue 3, Volume 3

FALL 2017








Features 28 ROOM FOR US

Two remodeled basements and a bathroom by three master builders give us a picture of the difference that can be made when master builders work their magic


Sonrisa in Lower Gwynedd, which incorporated Art Deco styling in its exterior and interior spaces, was created for entertaining on a grand style


Like the mythical bird that Phoenixville is named after, the town is rising out of the ashes of the steel industry into a diverse comunity known for shopping, dining and the arts

On the Cover Sunflower cover art captured by our cover artist Jennifer Hansen Rolli.

Exquisite Designs, e Finely Craftted Our award-winning, design-build remodeling firm delivers exquisitely designed home spa aces of enduring quality. Experience the Custom Craftt difference.

ww 610.584.0665

PA# 5292

• Home o Additions • Kitchen Renovations • Bathr a oom Remodelinng • Basement a F h Finishing • Interior Renovations • Acccessibility Renovatiions

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Associate Publisher Frank Boyd Executive Editor Bob Waite

Art Direction BCM MEDIA CO., INC.

Advertising Director Vicky M. Waite Administration Melissa Kutalek

Calendar Editor Mary Beth Schwartz

Cover Artist Jennifer Hansen Rolli

Contributing Writers Beth Buxbaum, Lisa Minardi, Frank Quattrone, Lori Rose, Mary Beth Schwartz, Bob Waite, Vicky Waite Circulation BCM MEDIA Co., INC.

Contributing Photographers Jess Graves, Melissa Kutalek, Paul Wesley Account Executives Frank Boyd, Lisa Bridge, Kathy Driver, Lisa Kruse Ann Ferro Murray

MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Magazine, 309 W. Armstrong Drive, Fountainville, PA 18923, phone 215-766-2694 • Fax 215-766-8197. Published quarterly by BCM Media Company Inc., Fountainville, PA. All contents copyright by BCM Media Company DBA/Montco Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Published quarterly. Four-issue subscription for U.S. is $15.95, in Canada $35.00, U.S. dollars only. Standard postage paid at Lancaster, PA. Single-copy price is $4.95 plus $3.00 postage and handling. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Magazine, PO BOX 36, Morrisville, PA 19067. This magazine welcomes, but cannot be responsible for, manuscripts and photos unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed return envelope.

Bill Dear, Horticulturist • 215.766.8110 PA • 609.919.0050 NJ PA LIC #PA063572 - NJ LIC #13VH05607800 FALL 2017




From the Editor


all is beautiful in Montgomery County and the surrounding area. It is a time to get out and take in the deep blue skies, crisp sweater weather and color foliage. I love riding about, going shopping in the small towns, and stopping for a bite to eat at a local eatery. In the Fall 2017 issue of MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle we hope to make your fall special by presenting the best our area has to offer. In this issue we feature the town of Phoenixville, a great destination for an autumn saunter. This community was built around a forge and became a center for industry early in its history. When American steel gave way to overseas competition, the town met the challenge and now it is a hub for shopping, dining and the arts. Some of its fame comes from a unique and iconic motion picture that was filmed in the town during the 1950s. Frank Quattrone in his article, “Phoenixville Rising,” brings us into this all-American small town through its history and many attractions. You will be convinced that it is a perfect place to visit on a sunny autumn day. Our featured house is Sonrisa, an estate in Lower Gwynedd that is styled in Art Deco and was built around hospitality and entertaining in a grand style. Beth Buxbaum’s article, “A Vision for Sonrisa,” tells the story of this beautiful home and takes you a tour from room to room. Fall is a season to design and build. Most furniture sales in the USA are made this time of year, and it is a great time to meet with a builder to design a building project. In our Fall 2017 issue we have an article about three builders and special projects they completed in the area. In Mary Beth Schwartz’s story, “Room for Us,” we get an inside look at two remodeled basements and a bathroom that will inspire our own plans for the seasons ahead. In our departments we visit two restaurants, a young painter who is planning to live for his art, a furniture store that puts the customer in first place, Pottsgrove Manor, and a design, build and remodeling firm. As a bonus, we give you a step-by-step course on how to grow garlic. We also present to you things to do, people to see and places to go that will enrich your autumn experience.

Bob Waite Editor

FALL 2017



THE MOTO JACKET … vegan leather accessories ... the color of fall fashion “must haves.” The latest fashion trends await you at Accent On The Rocks in historic Skippack Village. You'll find a wide variety of women's fashion, handbags, artisan jewelry and accessories. Available at Accent On The Rocks, 4064 Skippack Pike, Skippack PA 19474; 610-615-5901;



... refresh your space with the traditional style of Kohler’s Artifacts collection and receive 25 percent off MSRP at the Kohler Signature Store by Hajoca. Visit the showroom today at 140 Allendale Rd., Kind of Prussia PA, 19406; 484-584-0098; 8


… several Textiles like this "Desert Peace" by gifted quilt artist Rachel Derstine will be featured in the December Fine Craft Sale at the Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville. The Fine Craft Show runs from December 2 -30. 215-256-3020;

KITCHEN AND BAR STOOLS … an easy update for your kitchen, we offer custom stools for any decor. Visit us at Royal Billiard & Recreation, 2622 Bethlehem Pike, Hatfield, PA; 215-997-7777;

TREE OF DREAMS …come early, relax in a comfy seat in our dynamic, spacious BYOB studio. Local artists guide you step by step through a featured painting with a twist of a brushstroke onto a canvas that’s just waiting to be transformed into a masterpiece. Come to paint Tree of Dreams on Saturday, October 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Pinot’s Palette, 121 Market Street, Suite 5A,Collegeville, PA 19426; 610-285-9190;

GARDEN WINDOW … garden windows protrude outside and often have shelves and side ventilation making them perfect for an mini indoor garden. Add charm, light, and convenience with a garden window for your kitchen or living area. Available at Graboyes Window & Door, 48 West Germantown Pike, East Norton, PA 19401; 610-279-3905;

CRAFTS ... find a variety of quality handmade crafts by skilled artisans like our ceramic and metal sunflowers, birdhouses and sun faces ...great for indoor and out! All available at Allen Antiques & Garden, 3004 Skippack Pike, Worcester, PA; 610.584.5559. FALL 2017



What’s Happening in Montgomery County

King Construction Celebrates 40 Years


ing Construction Company, LLC is entering its 40th year in the design-build of timber frames, equestrian facilities, multi-purpose accessory and recreational buildings (some with living quarters), garages of all types and sizes, and skilled restorations. A family-owned business founded in 1978, the King organization has grown to more than 100 people. Their highly-experienced crews are recruited from the Amish/Mennonite communities surrounding their office and shop facilities in New Holland, Pennsylvania. King’s beautiful, highly-functional designs feature fine architectural detail and superior craftsmanship; King’s website has photo portfolios from a wide variety of completed projects: King also designs and builds most of their components, such as

custom garage doors and pass doors, custom windows, many styles of horse stalls and grilles, Dutch doors, cupolas, cabinetry and fittings for their building interiors. King Construction Company LLC is located at 525 Hollander Road, New Holland, PA 17557. For more information about King Construction Company, visit For help with your next project, contact King Construction Company, LLC, at 888-354-4740.

Porter and Stonehouse


isa Jay’s dog Porter became sick with what the vets called immune mediated disease, meaning his immune system was attacking itself. His symptoms included lethargy, pain, agitation and loss of vitality. Porter suffered numerous interventions and was put on steroids and antibiotics. Lisa wondered ,why, if the immune system is attacking itself, are they weakening it further with all of this medication? Lisa sought alternative methods of helping Porter. She found that by treating him with vitamin C, nasturtium, dandelion root and other herbs he began to get better. When she added massage, he fully regained his strength. Porter died young, at age 5, probably due to all the interventions. The Vet didn’t think he would make it to 3. After Porter died, Lisa became consumed with natural means of healing. She went to college and studied biology and then continued her education and got a B.S. in Natural Health. Then she enrolled in a Muscle Therapy for four years. Upon graduation she went into private practice, sharing an office. She began Gateway Bodyworks and Wellness Center and then in 2016 moved into the Stonehouse Wellness Center. The house is reputedly one of the oldest colonial homes in Phoenixville and it serves as a metaphor for her wellness center. It had good bones but needed some work to get to its potential. That’s what the wellness center does through natural therapies like acupuncture, bodywork, and massage, and along with Yoga, it helps clients reach their potential. Stonehouse Wellness Center is located on 10 N. Main Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460. For more information, call 610-933-5459 or visit

10 M O N T C O M A G . C O M

Is it a Rain Garden or Isn’t It?


our permit is finally in hand and you’re ready to move on your home improvement project. Then you see the fine print requiring you to install an underground drainage pit or a rain garden to accommodate your impermeable space. But wait, you really don’t want a bunch of plants in an odd shape in the middle of your yard. Rain gardens are all the rage and they’re a lot cheaper and easier to install than an underground pit, but aesthetically they can be a challenge, especially if left as an afterthought. At GL Designs, we can help you integrate your rain garden into your existing landscape to create a beautiful and natural bio friendly garden. We use a combination of shrubs, perennials and even trees. Any plant that likes water is a good candidate. Let’s get started and build your rain garden today. GL Designs is located at 1122 E. Welsh Rd, Ambler, PA 19002. For more information, call 215628-4070; email or visit

Brad Smith at Craft Show


rad Smith grew up on a farm in Worcester, Pennsylvania. Life as a farm boy led to his interest in woodworking. In 1980, he and his wife Sandy started Bradford Woodworking, which has been a staple in Montgomery County’s craft community ever since. Starting with a line of kitchen tools and accessories, Brad and Sandy designed, crafted, and marketed everything on their own. Over the past two decades they have expanded Bradford Woodworking into a creative and successful business. Brad uses parts found on farms to create a unique line of furniture, hence his signature piece, the ax handle stool. You can meet and purchase his work this year at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show from Nov. 9-12. To learn more and see a selection of work that Brad will be selling at the Craft Show, visit: niture/2017/bradford-smith.

Palettes by Winesburg


top by Moore’s Furniture in Chester Springs or Limerick to see the newest product line, Palettes By Winesburg. American Made Furniture, from forest to fabrication. Palettes By Winesburg is a range of fine traditional, casually elegant, and transitional style bedrooms and dining rooms. Their heritage, values and skills, combined with their use of technology and lean manufacturing principles produce beautifully and efficiently made pieces of furniture. Part of their philosophy is to use every part of the tree so that nothing goes to waste. Their speciality in sanding and fine finishing provides a finish with five times more protection than their competitors and is designed to safeguard the beauty and integrity of heirloom quality furniture. With their own fleet of trucks they are able to delivery custom furniture quickly and directly to us. They are committed to handcrafting the highest quality products on earth and leaving it a better place. Moore’s Furniture is located at 90 Pottstown Pike, Chester Springs, PA 19425; 610-458-5025 and 3291 W. Ridge Pike, Pottstown. FALL 2017


Fall 2017

Photos: Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board

What to do

Left: Horseback riding in Valley Forge. Right: Fall fun at Northern Star Farm.

AN T I QU ES Sanford Alderfer September 28: Discovery Art Auction October 4: Doll Auction 501 Fairgrounds Road, Hatfield, PA. 215-393-3000; Greshville Antiques and Fine Art October 1-8: Annual Berks County Antique Art Show and Sale 1041 South Reading Avenue, Boyertown, PA. 610-367-0076; The Main Line Antiques Show October 7-8: A number of East Coast dealers will be showcasing antique jew12


elry, ceramics, paint-ings, furniture, folk art, prints, carpets and textiles, silver, and more. Admission. Dixon Center, Cabrini University, 610 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, PA. 610-647-6404, ext. 111; 2017 Annual Antiques Show November 11-12: The Bucks County Antiques Dealers Association presents their 71st annual antiques show—the largest of its kind in Bucks County. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6. Children under 16 are admitted free. Free parking. Eagle Fire Hall, Route 202 and Sugan Road, New



















Hope, PA. 215-290-3140;

A RT Wharton Esherick Museum Ongoing: Second Sundays September 23; October 7, 21: Wine & Cheese Tours October 7, 13, 21: Oktoberfest Tours Reservations required. 1520 Horseshoe Trail, Malvern, PA. 610-644-5822; Philadelphia Museum of Art Through December 3: Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain Scandal Through October 8: Cy Twomblyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Iliad Through September 17: Wild: Michael Nichols November 3-February 19: Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. 215-763-8100; The Barnes Foundation Through October 2: Mohamed Bourouissa: Urban Riders November 17-March 12: Kiefer Rodin 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA, 215-278-7000; 300 North Latchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lane, Merion, PA, 215278-7350. Main Line Art Center Through September 23: Teaching Artist Exhibition October 2-29: Fall Contemporary Exhibition November 10-19: Flip Side Community Exhibition and Fundraiser December 1-January 3: Members Exhibition 746 Panmure Road, Haverford, PA. 610-525-0272;

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Woodmere Art Museum September 30-January 21: A Grand Vision: Violet Oakley and the American Renaissance 9201 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. 215-247-0476; Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital November 5-January 28: Annual Art FALL 2017


tion and publication projects, and support exhibitions and education programs. Admission. Penn-sylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA. 215-684-7930;

Ability Exhibition and Sale 414 Paoli Pike, Malvern, PA. 484-5965607;

C RAFTS The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center September 15-18: Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza November 3-5: Sugarloaf Crafts Festival 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, PA. 484754-EXPO; Pennsylvania Guild of Fine Craftsmen Fairs October 13-15: Rittenhouse Square Show Admission. 717-431-8706; Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show November 9-12: This annual art event is for the benefit of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Funds raised are used to purchase works of art and craft for the permanent collections, to fund conserva-

EN T ERTAI N M EN T Act II Playhouse Through September 24: Which Reminds Me October 24-November 19: Red Herring December 12-31: Bad Dates 56 East Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA. 215-654-0200; Montgomery Theater September 14-October 8: The Gin Game October 20-29: The Beanstalk November 9-December 3: Plaid Tidings 124 Main Street, Souderton, PA. 215723-9984; Keswick Theatre September 16: Boz Scaggs

September 24: Randy Newman October 7: The Spinners and Little Anthony and The Imperials October 21: America November 10: Bruce Cockburn November 17: Squeeze 291 North Keswick Avenue, Glenside, PA. 215-572-7650; Sellersville Theater 1894 September 19: John Popper October 6: Rosanne Cash October 20: Lisa Loeb 24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, PA. 215-257-5808; The Colonial Theatre September 21: Robby Krieger of The Doors October 14: Dar Williams October 21: Al Stewart October 26: The Yardbirds November 10: Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn 227 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA. 610-917-1228;

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Playcrafters of Skippack October 5-21: A Murder of Crows November 9-December 2: InLaws, Outlaws, and Other People Who Should be Shot 2011 Store Road, Skippack, PA. 610584-4005; Steel River Playhouse October 6-22: The Nerd December 1-17: A Christmas Carol December 2-17: The Santaland Diaries 245 East High Street, Pottstown, PA. 610-970-1199;




The Village Players of Hatboro October 6-21: Hound of the Baskervilles 401 Jefferson Avenue, Hatboro, PA. 215-675-6774; Methacton Community Theater November 10-19: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Shannondell Performing Arts Theater, 10000 Shannondell Boulevard, Audubon, PA. 610-489-6449; The Choristers November 18: Morton Lauridsen Lux Aeterna December 17: Christmas Portion: Handelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Messiah Trinity Lutheran Church, Lansdale, PA. 215-542-7871; Wolf Performing Arts Center December 2: Willy Wonka Kids December 8-10: The Phantom Tollbooth 1240 Montrose Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA. 610-642-0233;

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EVEN TS Fun in Skippack Ongoing: First Friday September 17: Cars & Cigars October 7-8: Skippack Days October 13-14: Winetober Fest October 21: Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Halloween Parade October 22: Skippack International Car Show October 28: Trash to Treasure Sale November 24-December 22: Illuminaire Nights (Wed. and Fri.)

781 Route 113 (Souderton Rd.,), Souderton, PA 215.723.1221 â&#x20AC;˘ FALL 2017


Skippack, PA.

DeKalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA.

Events in Lansdale September 16: Cruise Night October 14: Oktoberfest November 18: Mardi Gras Parade December 2-23: Christmas Tree Display (Preview November 19) Main Street, Lansdale, PA.

North Wales Community Day October 7: Bring the family for a day of fun in the Borough of North Wales. There will be ven-dors, Oktoberfest Beer Garden, petting zoo, a Kids Zone, live entertainment, and more.

Jenkintown Festival of the Arts September 17: Join the Jenkintown Community Alliance for art, music, crafts, food, drink, and lots of fun. There will be over 70 juried artists, a kid’s court, and much more. 1 to 6 p.m. Jenkintown, PA. King of Prussia Beerfest Royale October 5, 7: This annual festival is held outdoors under grand tents. There will be craft and inter-national brewers, multiple beers, live music, and an outdoor beer garden. You can sample fare from local restaurants. Admission. Outdoors at the King of Prussia Mall, 690 West


Annual Fall Fest October 14: This fall festival features a car show, arts & crafts, refreshments, and activities for the kids. Parkside Place Park, Upper Gwynedd Township, The Pottstown Brew Fest October 28: Come and select from over 150 wines, ciders, spirits, meads, and craft beers. There also will be live music and local food trucks. Advance admission. Norco Fire Co., Pottstown, PA.

Bucks Country Gardens Through October: Wild Blossom Farm Market September 15-October 31: Harvest Days (Opening Weekend September 15-17; September 30 & October 1 Oktoberfest; October 28-29 Halloweekend) 1057 North Easton Road, Doylestown, PA. 215-766-7800; Freddy Hill Farms’ Fallfest Through October: Take a hayride to the pumpkin patch for some pumpkin picking, walk through the cornstalk maze, or enjoy special weekend entertainment. While you are at the farm, visit the zoo, play some mini golf, and take a swing in the batting cage. 1440 Sumneytown Pike, Lansdale, PA. 215-8551205; Northern Star Farm Through October: Fall Fest Weekends, Moonlit Hayrides & Bonfires

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Winter: Custom Sleigh Rides 96 Third Avenue East, Trappe, PA. 215859-7302; Merrymead Farm Late September: Storytelling & Lighting of the Great Pumpkin October: Fall Harvest Day Weekends 2222 South Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, PA. 610-584-4410;

GARDEN S The Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania Through October 9: The Garden Railway Through October 9: The Kinetic Sculptures of Lyman Whitaker September-November: Early Bird Saturdays and Sundays September 17: Gristmill Demonstration at Bloomfield Farm September 30: Korean Harvest Festival Admission. 100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. 215-247-5777;

Longwood Gardens Through September: Summer of Spectacle Through October 7: Garden Railway September 23-24: Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania Flower Show October 7-31: Pumpkin Playground October 7-November 19: Chrysanthemum Festival October 28-29: Ikebana and Bonsai Exhibit November 23-January 7: A Longwood Christmas Admission. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA. 610-388-1000;

H I S TO RY Pennypacker Mills Through January 31: Stitch to Learn, Learn to Stitch September 15-October 15: War Comes to the Mills September 16: Craft Marketplace October 1: Revolutionary War Encampment Walk

October 21: All Hallow’s Eve Fall Festival November 21-January 7: Holiday Tours December 9: Victorian Christmas Open House 5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, PA. 610-287-9349; Pottsgrove Manor Through November 5: Rise and Shine at the Manor September 16: Tavern Night at Pottsgrove Manor November 24-January 7: Twelfth Night Tours December 10: Pottsgrove Manor by Candlelight 100 West King Street, Pottstown, PA. 610-326-4014; Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center Through October 28: Super Stars Through September 30: Bloomin’/Blumen: Flowers in Pennsylvania German Textiles and Folk Art Through September 30: Variable Star WPA Quilt Exhibit

FALL 2017


105 Seminary Street, Pennsburg, PA. 215-679-3103; Hope Lodge Through October 16: Guided Mansion Tours November 4: 1777 Whitemarsh Encampment December 2: Holidays at Hope Lodge and Beer Tasting December 9: Guided Christmas Tours 553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA. 215-646-1595; Graeme Park September 29: Homeschool Day October 11: Lunch & Learn: Mary Lincoln - Her Life with Lincoln November 25: A Continental Christmas December 7: Ladies Night: Gingerbread Houses Admission. 859 County Line Road, Horsham, PA. 215-343-0965; Morgan Log House September 15: Annual Tavern Night



October 27: Mayhem at the Morgan December 9: Candlelight Tours 850 Weikel Road, Kulpsville, PA. 215368-2480; Mennonite Heritage Center September 16: Paper Cutting Workshop September 23: Hearth Cooking Workshop September 23: Tufted Wood Embroidery Workshop September 30: Shaker Kittenhead Basket Workshop October 7: Apple Butter Frolic 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA. 215-256-3020; Valley Forge National Historical Park September 30: National Public Lands Day November 11: Veterans Day Commemoration December 19: March In of the Continental Army 1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, PA. 610-783-1099;

The Highlands Mansion & Gardens October 22: Working Dog Demonstration November 12: Highland Hunt Breakfast December 3: A Visit with Santa 7001 Sheaff Lane, Fort Washington, PA. 215-641-2687;

N AT U R E Lorimer Park September-December: Audubon Bird Town Bird Walks October 1: Wild Mushrooms 183 Moredon Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA. 215-947-3477; John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove September-November: Bird Meet and Greets September-October: Saturday Morning Bird Walks October 28: Delaware River Watershed Workshop December 3: Holiday Open House

December 23: Christmas Bird Count 1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA. 610-666-5593; Lower Perkiomen Valley Park September 16: Nest Box for Whoooo? November 4: Holiday Crafts 101 New Mill Road, Oaks, PA. 610-666-5371; Green Lane Park September 17: Star and Night Sky Watch September 30: Annual Upper Perkiomen Bird & Wildlife Festival October 14: Flight of the Falcon October 21: Fall Foliage Ramble October 28: Leave it to Beavers November 18: Holiday Craft Workshops November 25: Waterfowl Watch December 2: More Holiday Crafts 2144 Snyder Road, Green Lane, PA. 215-234-4528;

October 15: Bark in the Park November 14: Stable 12 Guest Beertending December 9: Holiday Luminaria 400 Towpath Road, Mont Clare, PA. 610-917-0021; Riverbend Environmental Education Center September 21-22: Exploration Camp October 7: Birding and Bagels Fall Migration Frenzy October 21: Shiverfest Fall Festival November 9: Feast With or Without the Beast 1950 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne, PA. 610-527-5234; Upper Schuylkill Valley Park September 22: Meet Max the Deer October 7: By the Light of the Moon October 21: Meet Margeaux the Bobcat November 17: Terrific Turkeys 1615 Black Rock Road, Royersford, PA. 610-948-5170;

Norristown Farm Park September 24: Native American Day (rain date October 1) September 26: Monarch Butterflies October-December: Full Moon Hikes October-November: Fall Migration Bird Walks October 8: Animal Habitat Restoration October 11: Have You Seen Trees? October 15: Scarecrow Making October 22: Potpourri of Pods October 25: Bats, Owls, and Black Cats October 29: Twilight Spooky Hike November 5: Wild about Whitetails November 7: Squirrel Signs November 12: Owl Prowl November 19: Thanksgiving Centerpieces November 20: Turkey Tales November 26: Holiday Wreaths December 5: Reindeer Guide for Kids December 10: Natural Ornaments December 19: Discover Winter 2500 Upper Farm Road, Norristown, PA. 610-270-0215;

Lock 60 at Schuylkill Canal Park September 17: Geology Walk

FALL 2017



Liam R.L. Brown

Liam R.L. Brown is a young artist with fresh yet mature perceptions who sees art as a lifestyle and journey rather than a destination - by Frank D. Quattrone




THE ETERNAL CITY, WITH MORE THAN 1,300 years of art and architecture to explore, has seduced many travelers, and more than a few fine artists. Among them are Michelangelo, Raphael, and Giorgio de Chirico. Not all of them have been Italian. Some visitors come to study. Some come to tour. But eventually, all fall under Romeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hypnotic spell. Such is the story of Liam R.L. Brown, a young artist who lives in the rural splendor of Evansburg State Park in Collegeville. A senior at Tyler School of Art in Elkins Park, Liam decided to spend the 2016-2017 academic year studying art and teaching art to high school students in Rome. During this seminal year, Liam became enamored of what he calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;the physical and architectural history of the cities, as well as how the

natural world interacts with it. It was a window into an older time.” His fascination led Liam to investigate structures in various stages of decay. He looked closely at how erosion reveals history in layers—from the original massive stones to lighter overlays of sandstone to modern brick at the surface. During a stroll one spring day along his usual route from the school to a botanical garden he had come to love, he spied a run-down building—no surprise in this ancient city. It was maybe 70 years old, hardly antiquated; but Liam noticed a relationship in color and texture that quickly captured his artist’s eye. He photographed the juxtaposition of brick and moss to study more carefully. Many young artists today build a library of imagery to consider for future works. For Liam, it led to Brick and Moss (the artwork pictured here), a highly textured oil painting depicting the inevitable encroachment of velvety patches of moss into crevices in the structure’s salmon-hued brick. The painting is almost three-dimensional, like a cross-section of the building itself. It beckons you to touch. One of a series of twelve similarly textured works on view at Tyler School of Art’s student gallery through mid-September, this is exactly what the artist has in mind. The series features natural, organic forms against a backdrop of manmade structures weathered by nature. Liam has also handcrafted the frame for each of these works. “The painting is a thumbnail of worn-out brick with moss growing in the cracks,” says Liam. “It’s erosion and regrowth. It’s a sign of our times. There’s tremendous growth in our society, and we don’t always respect the past. And we don’t respect the environment. One purpose of my focus in these paintings is to preserve the environment and to encourage land conservation. I value the austere beauty of our world.” Born in rural Vermont, Liam has always been drawn to wildlife and the environment and he continues to explore the effects of human society in this precarious relationship. To re-create the grittiness of the brick, Liam applied a primer of rabbit skin glue, a flaky, grainy substance that retards the deterioration of the canvas. Then, with an artist’s knife, he “spack-

led” thinned-out layers of viscous pink oil paint onto the wet canvas. Next, he scraped and scored the paint into nicks and scars on the brick. Finally, he applied the green paint in a silent, symbiotic embrace. “What we build is not forever,” Liam says. “Yet the moss will always be here, in some form. I like doing paintings like sculpture that begin coming off the surface. I’ve been guided by Michelangelo’s observation, and here I’ll paraphrase: that sculpture is best when coming off painting, and painting is best when coming off sculpture.” Liam, a 21-year-old far more advanced and mature than his age would indicate, does not only work with textured paintings. Those who would like to see a retrospective of his work— from portraits and landscapes he painted during junior high to recent studies inspired by de Chirico—can do so at 19 Bella, the terrific tapas restaurant helmed by his executive-chef father, Grant Langdon Brown, an artist in his own right. Grant is not just a world-class culinary artist, but he is also a longtime practitioner in paint. Liam was clearly

inspired by his dad, who watched his son beginning to paint in oils at the age of seven. Together they studied and copied Impressionist art and did reproductions of Van Gogh’s work side by side. And starting in mid-September, guests can view “4 and 40,” the distinctive paintings of Liam R.L. Brown and his father, Grant, at 19 Bella, one of the first father-son exhibitions in the region. “Deciding to be an artist is a scary thing,” muses Liam. “Naturally I want to be self-sufficient. But no matter how my future turns out, art will always be a major part of it. It’s much more than a profession. It’s a lifestyle, a journey. And I hope to reset the balance, through my art, between the natural world and man’s encroachment upon it. See “4 and 40,” an exhibition of the works of Liam R.L. Brown and Grant Brown, at Del Prado Art Gallery, at 19 Bella, 3401 Skippack Pike, Cedars, PA 19423, 610-2228119, starting mid-September 2017. Frank Quattrone is a an author, newspaper editor, teacher and freelance writer from Montgomery County who writes about local history, food, art and people. FALL 2017



Pottsgrove Manor

Pottsgrove Manor is a historical treasure that can give you entertaining insights into a rarely seen microcosm of eighteenth century American life - by Frank D. Quattrone 22


YEARS BEFORE THE YOUNG NATION HAD declared its independence from the British Crown, it must have taken Benjamin Franklin several hours by horse and buggy to reach Pottsgrove Manor, 40 miles northwest of his adopted city. It was there, in the bustling burg of Pottstown, that Philadelphia’s “first son” would come to purchase stoves from his friend John Potts and, for a time, to court the ironmaster’s sister-in-law. Potts family tradition also has it that Martha Washington often came to visit her friend Ruth Savage Potts, wife of the ironmaster, at the nearby home of Isaac Potts, son of the ironmaster, while her renowned husband was wintering his beleaguered troops at Valley Forge. As the Revolution continued, there would be many more trips between the City of Brotherly Love and Pottsgrove Manor, as the Continental Army stocked up on badly needed cannons and ammunition. It is no secret that Pottstown’s success story, later fueled by the emergence of steel giant Bethlehem Steel, which arrived in 1931, has been forged by iron and steel. A precursor of the great revolution that changed the nation from a productive agrarian economy to an even

greater industrial power, the iron industry was thriving in the yet-unnamed Pottstown even before John Potts asked for the hand of Ruth Savage in matrimony. It was a marriage made in entrepreneurial heaven, for Ruth was the daughter of Samuel Savage and the granddaughter of Thomas Rutter, thereby linking the two earliest and most important iron families in the commonwealth. It was the strongest union imaginable, as Ruth bore John 13 children, who all lived to maturity, a rarity at the time; and several of their sons made major contributions not only to the iron industry but also to public service. You can learn all about the early days of Pottstown and the family that inspired it at Pottsgrove Manor, situated just a stoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s throw from the Manatawny Creek not far from its confluence with the Schuylkill River, along a busy stretch of West King Street in Pottstown. An enclave of restrained Georgian elegance and civility, Pottsgrove Manor is administered by

the Montgomery County Division of Parks, Trails, & Historic Sites. It has been open to the public year-round for guided tours as well as public programs, school tours, lectures, and workshops since 1952, exactly 200 years after John Potts built his sturdy sandstone manor house at the center of

But iron was a

major part of the

foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not just of Pottstown but of the country.

his thriving, nearly 1000-acre iron plantation. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re lucky, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have Historic Site Supervisor Neil Hobbins or Museum Educator Ann Shipley as your guide. The day of our most recent jaunt to this historic site in the northwestern

part of the county, we sat with Ann Shipley in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;hands-onâ&#x20AC;? room on the first floor of the three-story manse, where children of all ages are invited to practice their eighteenth-century script or play games that the Potts children might have played at that time. Articulate, effusive, and bullish on the merits of the manor and the legacy, the dynasty, if you will, of the Potts family, Shipley said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We tell a wonderful story here. An ironmasterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house? They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist anymore. But iron was a major part of the foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;not just of Pottstown but of the country. And the Potts family played a major role in all that. They had 13 children, 74 grandchildren, and over 200 greatgrandchildren. And many were involved in building the nation. Oh yes, there were ideological differences. Most of the Potts family were Patriots during the Revolution, but one was a Loyalist. And that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tear the family apart. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The family also had slaves,â&#x20AC;? she continued. But so did Washington and


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Jefferson. “And here at Pottsgrove Manor we can celebrate everyone’s contribution. Many of the slaves here were skilled laborers who worked the forges. They were decently paid for their time and were treated well. Half the house was occupied by slaves.” She describes the manor as a microcosm of the iron plantations of the time, with a host of paid skilled laborers, indentured servants, and slaves sharing the work in the forges, furnaces, and fields or tending the kitchen and doing the household chores in a clockwork symbiosis. Visitors to Pottsgrove Manor can see the main parlor, with its large windows brightening the room, which also served as a breakfast space. Costumed mannequins serving as footmen or scullery maids help tell the story. Adjacent to the main parlor is the rebuilt open-hearth kitchen, which features a massive walk-in fireplace, where cooking demonstrations recreate the preparation of eighteenth-century meals. Intern Joseph Funk showed us an elaborate clock jack, an early rotisserie system with weights and pulleys that handled much of the heavy lifting.



On John Potts’ desk, in the next room, you can see the ironmaster’s original ledger, written in his own hand. Continuing your visit on the second floor, you will find a work room featur-

Visitors to Pottsgrove Manor can see the

main parlor, with its large windows

brightening the room,

which also served as a breakfast space.

ing a cradle, an original spinning wheel, a smaller flax spinning wheel, and a skein counter. Remember that in the eighteenth century, all clothing had to be made in house, and with 13 children

under foot—this had to be one busy work space! The third floor—like the second, containing mostly original crown molding and other woodwork—reveals a modest-sized servants’ sleeping quarters, which probably accommodated two people, with one small fireplace to keep them warm. Aside from a small permanent exhibition space explaining the later history of Pottsgrove Manor, the third floor contains two other small servants’ rooms, each featuring a rope bed. Your tour then returns to the first floor. There you will see the great hall, where the Potts family would receive and entertain guests, and the children’s room, where an undersized mannequin wearing a “pudding cap” sits firmly secured within a “baby walker.” Ann Shipley joked that in the eighteenth century, it was “the baby that was baby-proofed, not the house.” Also on this floor is a massive walk-in closet that would make any twenty-first-century couple drool with delight, and the hands-on rear master bedroom, featuring an elaborate convertible chamber pot that doubled, when covered, as a

chair. Guests are invited to sit on the sacking-bottom bed, in the room where John Potts passed away, with its attractive matching bedspread, chair covering, and curtains. This is the room, after all, where some entertaining would take place, and where some exhibitions are held. Before leaving the manor, be sure to check out the stylish early Georgian flying staircase, where you can look up three flights, and the well-stocked gift shop. Ann Shipley reminded us that Pottsgrove Manor offers Outreach Programs for schools and lifelong learners, where they can learn what it was like to be an ironmaster and how the Potts family contributed to their community and nation. The current house exhibit, open through the first week of November, is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rise and Shine at the Manor,â&#x20AC;? detailing how the humble activities of daily life compare to activities weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re familiar with today. Pottsgrove Manor is busy yearround, with special programs like â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tavern Nightâ&#x20AC;? on September 16, featuring popular tavern, parlor, and lawn games of the time, plus local brews from the likes of Sly Fox and Manatawny Still Works; the popular â&#x20AC;&#x153;Annual Colonial Mayfairâ&#x20AC;? during the first Saturday in May; the festive â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pottsgrove Manor by Candlelightâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Twelfth Night Toursâ&#x20AC;? during the holiday season; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Living Historyâ&#x20AC;? demonstrations; workshops on bookbinding, spinning and more. Any time of the year, a jaunt to Pottsgrove Manor will provide richly informative and entertaining insights into a rarely seen microcosm of eighteenth century American life. Historic Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street, Pottstown, Pennsylvania 19464; 610326-4014; grovemanor. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Guided tours to the manor house begin on the hour; last tour begins at 3 p.m. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Suggested $2.00 per person donation per person for tours and programs.

B tifully Beaut

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     Your design consult and estim Yo mate are always complimentar y!

PA AHIC # 6865

Frank Quattrone is a an author, newspaper editor, teacher and freelance writer from Montgomery County who writes about local history, food, art and people.

FALL 2017


In The Garden

Growing Garlic

Garlic has many health benefits, is used in thousands of recipes, and for the gardener, it is an easy plant to grow -by Lori Rose



THE FIRST THING I THINK OF WHEN I hear the word garlic is vampires. Superstition has it that if you eat and/or wear garlic around your neck, the vampires will leave you alone. I would have to say that if you wore garlic around your neck, everyone would leave you alone. But eating garlic is another story. Nearly every culture on Earth has a recipe or two that includes garlic, either a little bit for flavor or a lot as the main ingredient. There seems to be no in between with garlicâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;some folks adore the aroma and flavor and others, like vampires, wrinkle up their noses and back away. For those of us who adore garlic, there are many varieties from which to choose. But the best garlic isn't found at the local supermarkets. Forget those all-white bulbs from California or China. Thank goodness garlic is so easy to grow and store. These are some of the best choices for both growing and eating. New York White is a traditional favorite with New York's Italian market gardeners, who often call it Polish White. The skin has a purple blush and is quite pretty. This garlic makes beautiful braids. German Extra-Hardy is one of the easiest garlic varieties to grow. The very large bulbs have four to five huge cloves per head. The outside skin is very white and the skin covering the cloves is dark red. Elephant garlic is

mild enough to slice into salads. The bulbs have four to five extremely large cloves that are white on the outside, with light brown skin on the cloves. These are softneck varieties. The bulbs can be rather large with multiple layers of cloves. They have superior shelf life, and under proper conditions can be stored for up to nine months. Their flavors are wonderful and pungent. Planted bulbs generally yield five times their weight at harvest. re where the real flavor is, according to garlic aficionados. Hardnecks have fewer cloves than softnecks, and the cloves are larger and easier to peel. Try Russian Red, a hardneck garlic with a purple striped wrapper and strong flavor. It has six to nine smallish cloves per head. Garlic is easy and fun to grow-for every clove you plant, you'll harvest a full-sized head filled with cloves. To get beautiful garlic heads that will store well into the winter, plant the cloves in the fall, right around Labor Day. The idea is to get the cloves in the ground during warm weather for good root formation. It is good sign when you get green shoots peeking above the soil in late autumn. Don't worryâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;garlic can tolerate frost. Don't plant garlic from the supermarket-it has been treated not to sprout. Get your â&#x20AC;&#x153;seedâ&#x20AC;? garlic from a good local nursery or an internet supplier. When you're ready to plant your garlic, carefully break it into individual cloves. It is best to do this right at planting time so the cloves don't dry out. Plant each clove, pointy end up, four to six inches deep (two inches of soil over the top of the clove, three inches for Elephant garlic), leaving six inches between each clove. Garlic roots like to go deep, so well cultivated soil is a big help. Poke holes in the ground and drop one clove in each hole, covering up the entire batch with a rake at the end. This works best if you water the soil several hours before planting so it is moist but not muddy. Plant the biggest cloves and eat the rest. Your garlic will send up green shoots this fall, go dormant over winter, and then continue growing next spring. After the leaves grow in June, a seed scape will form on top of the stem. Remove it so the extra energy can be used to grow a larger bulb. Eat these little morselsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;they make a great stir fry

vegetable. Keeping garlic in the ground too long does not result in bigger bulbs, but rather dried out, split and nearly useless ones. Harvest the bulbs when the lower half of the leaves has turned brown. Test dig one or two plants. You should be able to see the shape of the cloves beginning to bulge through the wrapper. Harvest can begin as early as the first week of July depending on the variety. To get the bulb out of the ground, carefully loosen the soil around each plant with a pitchfork. Then you can lift out the whole plant. Cure garlic bulbs before storing. The entire plant, leaves and all, should be dried out for two to three weeks. Do not wash the bulbs or expose them to water. Tie up a dozen bulbs with string or wire and hang them in a well-ventilated place. Or pack them loosely in a large mesh bag and hang them where they'll get a lot of air circulation. If you do find any that are molding, throw them away as quickly as possible. After the garlic is cured, cut off the tops an inch above the bulb and trim the roots. Store the bulbs in a ceramic garlic keeper or a burlap bag. Do not store

garlic in the refrigerator or it will try to sprout. Hardneck garlic and Elephant garlic can be kept for several months. Softneck varieties tend to have a longer shelf life. Eating garlic boosts the immune system, so eating lots of it can only do us good. When using garlic in recipes, remember that the smaller you cut it, the stronger the flavor. Chopping finely or pressing a clove exposes more surfaces to the air, causing a chemical reaction to produce that strong aroma and flavor. Try not to burn garlicâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;it will become bitter. If anything that includes garlic gives you the dreaded garlic breath, try chewing fresh mint leaves or parsley to help neutralize the odor. But if you really want to ward off the vampires, eat lots of garlic and breathe your garlic breath with pride. Lori Rose, The Midnight Gardener, is a Temple University Certified Master Home Gardener and member of the GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. She has gardened since childhood, and has been writing about gardening for more than 15 years.


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   We accept all major credit cards We are Open Tues-Thurs 9-9 â&#x20AC;˘ Sat & Sun 9-5, Closed Monday

FALL 2 0 1 7


Room        for Us

Two remodeled basements and a bathroom by three master builders give us a picture of the difference that can be made when master builders work their magic by Mary Beth Schwartz Whenever I get started on a major project for my home I like to get a copy of Consumer Reports to see what is new and exciting in home improvement. For 2017, modular mix and match appliances are popular. In this category you will find smart technologies, column refrigerators and freezers, and appliance drawers that can microwave, warm, cool, even wash dishes. If you like fresh fruits and veggies, you now can have high-end gardening equipment in your kitchen with indoor recyclers and cultivators. For those on a tighter budget, manufacturers are coming out with affordable induction ranges. Last but not least we can’t forget the bathroom, where you can have the latest self-cleaning toilet installed. Speaking of the bath, we have one in this feature, along with two finished basements. These recent projects were handpicked by three builders in our area: Dennis Gehman of Gehman Design Remodeling, Brian Coleman of Coleman Home Remodeling, and Mark Smith of Mark Smith Construction.



Gentlemanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Space

Farmhouse Bath

Family Room

FALL 2017


Gentleman’s Space

Owner Dennis Gehman of Gehman Design Remodeling has been designing and building kitchens, additions, and baths since 1990. Working with homeowners in Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, and Chester counties, the award-winning builder recently completed a finished basement in a 1930s stone home on the Main Line. The space was to have wood details and areas for both a bar and a billiard table. There were a few challenges in this project according to Gehman. First were the built-in seated benches in the room. They have some curve and one of them even hides the sump pump. Another was the hidden concealed door. It is covered with a vertical strip wallpaper so that the seam of the door is not visible. There is a crawl space behind the door for a service area. The ceiling also proved challenging. There was ductwork in the way. The firm implemented a raised tray ceiling to work around the ductwork and the beams. The new space is a contrast to its previous stone walls and concrete flooring. Now there is paneling of raised panel cherry wood for a real traditional feel. The bar area has shelving, cabinetry, and a wet bar. There is a working gas fireplace. Baseball and football collectibles are proudly displayed throughout the space. Whether entertaining or watching television, the homeowner can select lighting to set the mood. Most of all, there is a space to display the impressive billiard table. With the husband’s space also came the wife’s space. She wanted her upstairs hall bathroom updated to be more contemporary. Her wish list included more storage, more natural light, a lighted medicine cabinet, and an outlet in one of the vanity drawers for her hairdryer. An updated soaking tub and shower complete the space. Gehman Design Remodeling has a showroom at 355 Main Street in Harleysville. To set up a consultation, you can call 215-660-5635. You can visit them online on Facebook, Houzz, or their website,



Dennis Gehman

FALL 2017


Farmhouse Bath

Since 1994, Owner Brian Coleman of Coleman Home Remodeling has been remodeling kitchens, bathrooms, and basements, along with plumbing and electrical services. Working on projects within Bucks and Montgomery counties, Coleman told me of a farmhouse bathroom he completed this year. The Richlandtown bath was situated in an 1800s era farmhouse with several updated amenities. “The historic property has a renovated barn with 11 acres of beautiful views and quiet settings.” According to Coleman, this project was a complete removal of all the existing 30-year-old fixtures and an outdated, nonfunctional steam Jacuzzi tub. The floor and a floor joist were almost completely rotted out under the tub. “My clients were looking to compliment the rest of the decor that exist in the house, making it unique, stylish, and functional,” Coleman says. “This bathroom is special because it now has more privacy for the entry and exit from the master bedroom. It can still serve another bedroom since the hall door still exists. The decor is somewhat historically rustic but that holds its own for the time period. Throughout the space we used timeless colors and textures.” The new farmhouse bathroom has many unique features. A shower replaced the Jacuzzi. It has half walls, a bench seat, clear glass partitions, and complimentary wall tile and pebble tile shower floor. The shower, sink, and toilet areas all were moved to different locations in the new layout. According to Coleman, this involved extensive plumbing feed and waste line relocation. More joisting was added to stabilize the entire bathroom floor, and the original barn beams in the ceiling remain exposed. The walls were painted shiplap with the original exterior wall plastered stone. The vanity was an old antique chest of drawers modified to accept a kitchen sink basin from the early 1930s. A time era faucet completed the look. For more information about Coleman Home Remodeling, visit Facebook or their website, You can call Brian Coleman at 215-721-4431. If you would like to send an email, the address is



Brian Coleman

FALL 2017




In business for 27 years, Owner Mark Smith of Mark Smith Construction works for clients in Central Bucks and Central Montgomery counties. Smith strives to improve the quality of his clients lives through minor and major home improvements and remodeling. Mark Smith Construction can do full phase construction of decks, kitchens, basements, and bathrooms, along with painting, finish carpentry, and drywall services. Smith recently finished a basement for a family in Montgomeryville. The family enjoyed entertaining by their pool in the summer, but wanted a space to gather with friends and family during the winter months. Their new basement space needed to be friendly for adults and kids. Special features of finished basement include an accent wall going down the stairs, hideaway drawers under the stairs, and a custom made bar to match details of imagery from the Joseph Ambler Inn. In the back of the bar there is a dual-temp refrigerator for both wine and beer. The basement also has a billiards table, dart board, and plenty of gathering space. The televisions got lots of attention as the homeowner is a big football fan. The TV behind the bar and the big screen TV work simultaneously so that no matter where you are in the bar you are not going to miss a play. A brick pattern was created behind the wall where the big screen television hangs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I also made a built-in cabinet to conceal the gaming stuff, cable, media, and Blu-ray player,â&#x20AC;? Smith adds. Mark Smith treasures the relationships he builds with his clients. Many are repeat customers. To schedule a consultation, you can call 215-601-0800. You can also send an email to Smith at his address, Visit Mark Smith Construction on the web at Mary Beth Schwartz is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to regional publications.than fifteen years.



Mark Smith

FALL 2017


A Vision for Sonrisa 36 M O N T C O M A G . C O M

by Beth S. Buxbaum

After many years in a modest home in Montgomery County, a life event occurred that changed lives. For the owners of this stunning estate in Lower Gwynedd, selling a family business turned the tides on their financial resources. At first they made no rash decisions and were content to maintain their present lifestyle. For five years they continued to be undecided about moving. Then, in 2004 they found their land and built their masterpiece of grand proportions. Sonrisa, which is Spanish for smile, was created for entertaining on a grand scale. This estate residence, with Art Deco influences, is uniquely appointed with timeless and sophisticated interiors. Now, tides have turned once more and Sonrisa is on the market. Looking back on the impetus for this estate, the owners were contemplating their options with the sale of the business. After several years they decided to build the house

Sonrisa in Lower Gwynedd, which incorporated Art Deco styling in its exterior and interior spaces, was created for entertaining on a grand scale

of their dreams and began looking for a property. A slice of land in Gwynedd offered the perfect landscape and met all their criteria. On a beautiful street, with lots of mature trees, this swatch of land allowed them the privacy and beauty they preferred.

Right, a sun-filled breakfast room is dramati-

cally appointed with a ribbed, carousel-style

ceiling and a custom floor in beige brick with oak accents. Surrounded by a wall of French

doors, the breakfast room opens to the ter-

race. Opposite, this grand estate's exterior is

embellished with a columned, arched and gated front entrance.

A large gingko tree sprawled across the front of the landscape was the clincher for the purchase. This was a perfect spot to build their dream home. They worked with Kass & Associates to create their visionary masterpiece. A key focus in the desired footprint was to have large gathering spaces. The owners are philanthropists dedicated to fundraising for their favorite charities. In a larger home they could host grand events to raise funds for those non-profits near and dear to their hearts. That was the focus in the initial stages of the design, to create grand spaces for the owners to accommodate their gatherings. With an expertise in translating a vision, Kass & Associates and A.J. Lewis and Company collaborated to build this grand estate. For an added artistic and design perspective, Carlise Nostrame, an interior designer from Buck Hill Falls, was commissioned to orchestrate the interior design elements, particularly the Art Deco features. Fulfilling a long held passion for the Art Deco design was a must for the owners. Distinctive Art Deco period styling was incorporated into exterior and interior spaces. Shapes, patterns and motifs reminiscent of the Art Deco period accent the walls, trims, floors and ceilings. Plans were drawn up to capture the vision and inspiration of the owners. What is apparent, from inside and out, is the visionary scope of the project and the artistry that went into its execution. This house is all about the details, from the sweeping spaces, to the intricate barrel ceiling and the patterns in the wood floors. From one detail to the next, the craftsmanship and labor that was expended to create this masterpiece is a story in-and-of-itself. An intricate detail like the scallop motif in the wrought iron center stair railing was 38 M O N T C O M A G . C O M

custom designed to mimic the leaf of the massive gingko tree in

designer who collaborated on this home's details. “The center

front of the house. This gingko leaf motif is repeated throughout

columns are Philae influenced and the floor is Art Deco custom

as a recurring theme that draws the eye and creates a flow. It is

designed and inspired,” she adds. The foyer is illuminated by a

with this meticulous attention to detail that all aspects of this

magnificent imported chandelier, of the same era, that hangs

project blended to create a sense of style.

from an indirect light dome. All the trim and moldings were cus-

All interior spaces are grand in size with high ceilings and an

tom designed by the architect. A few stand-out art pieces and

abundance of gathering spots. From what the family has shared,

sculptures accent this grand hall along with a black piano and a

the house was not intended to be this big, it just grew over the

glass etched oval greeting table. “This table is a Lalique-inspired

course of the project. Beginning with this estate’s exterior foot-

reproduction of a “Salon of the Societé des Artistes Décorateurs

print, the home's grandeur is established even before you enter.

1927,” explains Carlisle. Many a gathering has taken place right

Exterior designs were inspired by a property the owners ad-

in this entrance, accommodating more than 100 guests. “The

mired in Florida. Architecturally replicated from a photo of this

foyer's impressive size is the perfect venue to greet guest and to

luxurious Florida property, the exterior features were duplicated

start the evening with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres,” Carlisle

with every detail. Taking on a Mediterranean feel, the beige


stucco facade is embellished with a columned, arched and gated

Interior spaces fan out from this grand entry. On the right,

front entrance. Custom decorative trims with ornate motifs were

through stylized archways, is a two-story great room. Walls are

designed out of cast concrete and all finished with a Ludowici

finished with a subtle Venetian plaster technique for added

tile roof.

depth and texture. This space is embellished with a custom fire-

The grandeur continues with the dramatic reception hall in-

place and a decorative Frieze banding with a ribbon-like quality.

fused with an Art Deco styling. A sweeping wrought iron and

The addition of this custom banding, accenting the double-

wood staircase, embellished with banded panels in a gingko leaf

height ceiling with cove lighting, frames the curved ceiling and

pattern, is the central focus of this expansive entrance. “This de-

becomes part of the room’s decor. “The lighting features were

sign is reminiscent of the Art Nouveau Paris Expo 1925 era with

inspired by the Art Deco lighting of the RCA building in New

its polished wood banister,” adds Carlisle Nostrame, the interior

York City,” Carlisle describes. The room is completed with cus-

FALL 2017


A two-story great room is accented with walls finished with a subtle Venetian

plaster technique.This space has a custom fireplace and a decorative Frieze

banding with a ribbon-like quality enhanced with cove lighting.

40 M O N T C O M A G . C O M

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42 M O N T C O M A G . C O M

tom built-in cabinetry, Art Deco sconces and a striking glass chandelier. Above, on second floor hallway, a balcony gate is accented with the same wrought iron ginkgo motif in the staircase. The balcony is positioned in front of the entrance to a library. Designed with a vaulted ceiling and rich wood tones, the library shelves have electrified sconces, the wood floor has a custom designed parquet pattern, and the room is finished with a wood and marble fireplace surround. Another room flowing from the right of the entry hall is the formal dining room, one of only a few spaces that was not done in Art Deco. The owners loved their dining room pieces and decided to keep them in this new house. Trying to infuse an Art Deco feel in this space did not compliment the furnishings. Filling this elegant space is a traditional dining set for twelve, illuminated with two imposing gold leaf chandeliers and matching wall sconces. Floors are done in a black walnut herringbone pattern. This room is a perfect venue for an elegant dining experience. Fanning out from the left of the grand hall is a formal living room. A most striking addition to this space is the oversized custom Art Deco-inspired fireplace of black and white marble. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is a reproduction of a museum period fireplace that I designed from the original,â&#x20AC;? Carlisle adds. Two French-styled chandeliers illuminate this sun-filled room that looks out into the stately gardens. The kitchen and the butler's pantry, designed by Joann Hudson, are filled with soft beige cabinets complemented by backsplashes and the fireplace surround in beige fired and hand-painted stone tiles. The floors are white oak and the center island is topped in teak. Both rooms are lined in Downsview cabinetry. A lovely addition to the kitchen area Opposite, filling this elegant formal dining room space is a traditional dining set for twelve, illuminated with two im-

posing gold leaf chandeliers. Opposite bottom, a view of

the kitchen exposes the informal seating around the cen-

ter island that is topped in teak. Left, a view of the great

room custom built-in cabinetry, Art Deco sconces and a striking glass chandelier set the space.

FALL 2017


44 M O N T C O M A G . C O M

The beige kitchen is appointed with fired and hand-painted stone

tile backsplashes. A cozy sitting area with a fireplace with the same

stone tiles adds another place to gather.Through the left arch is the great room and through the right is the breakfast room.

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Staying Fit at Any Age


DIABETES.... Leave it to Beaver

ucky for Bill, he can put his tool box aside, I won’t be reviewing any exercise equipment in this issue. Instead, I am going to put the focus on an epidemic that is becoming more a serious issue—an issue that today effects many baby boomers as well as those who are younger. I recently had a fun interview with Jerry Mathers (Theodore Cleaver) who grew up in America’s living rooms when he starred as “The Beav” in the iconic television series, Leave it to Beaver. Now grown up, Jerry is educating people about diabetes, a condition he’s had for the past twenty years. A good portion of his time is devoted to awareness of this disease. Jerry says he is very open about having diabetes and is here to help those for those who have this disease live longer and healthier lives. In 1997, Jerry received a devastating diagnosis from his doctor. He was told that he had three to five years to live, if he didn’t get his Type 2 diabetes under control. Jerry was shocked. He had several businesses, and one that he managed was a catering business that catered events for many Hollywood television studios. He was feeding 500 to 800 people a day. In our interview Jerry said he thought that by sampling the pastry chef’s desserts and dining he was living the good life. However, the king size portions along with Jerry’s lack of exercise soon resulted in him gaining 60 pounds. In his way of thinking, he thought the doctor would only ask him to lose weight and that would be the end of story. Instead he was told his blood glucose was through the roof. It was between 400 and 500 mg/dl, and that he had very high cholesterol and blood pressure. A lethal combination. Jerry was completely blown away with his diagnosis. I asked him if he had any symptoms. He did say he was very tired and that contributed to his being overweight. I said it was good that his loved ones were persistent and had him get a check-up. And at this point I’m thinking, “dead man walking.” With Jerry’s great sense of humor, I certainly could have shared this thought with him. Jerry said it wasn’t that he was just fat, but obese. Then he added, that he felt he fit in with everyone else around him since they all looked like him. This was just too funny. It wasn’t exactly what he was saying that was funny, but how he said it. Jerry made a big transformation. He weighted 230 pounds with a 44-inch waist. He lost 60 pounds in 6 months. For exercise, he started walking about one and a half to two hours every morning. He said he does it consistently. If the weather is bad, Jerry walks up and down the stairs at his home. He tests his blood glucose regularly and found out how certain foods affected his levels. Jerry began to eat a more sensible diet. He began eating 46 M O N T C O M A G . C O M

By Vicky Waite

everything in what he calls “portion control.” By checking his sugar, Jerry knows how much he can eat. He continues to take his medication for cholesterol and high blood pressure but no longer needs any drugs to control his blood glucose levels. I did ask him about taking insulin and he said he doesn’t take anything for the diabetes, since he was able to control it with proper diet and exercise. Jerry is now 69 years old and has a 32-inch waist that demonstrates that his weight is under control. When stress levels go up so does your blood sugar levels. Exercise is the key for lowering body fat, fighting insulin resistance, and improving nerve function when you have Type 2 diabetes. Jerry lectures at various health related events throughout the country on this subject. He has been a spokesman for many diabetes related issues that encourage people and help them to manage their Type 2 diabetes. Both Jerry and I agree it’s essential to have a regular exercise program, which promotes good health and makes it easier to control diabetes. There are many programs such as Tai Chi, Yoga that are also great diabetic stress reducers. Other good picks are walking, bicycling, swimming, stationary bicycling, aerobics and weight training. Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and if you are feeling fatigued, especially after meals, urinating more than normal, feeling thirsty often, having blurred vision, itchy skin, or sudden weight loss, these could be symptoms. So, be sure to always get your regular physicals. Type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms in its early stages and kind of creeps up on you. As the Beav and I were ending the interview, I asked about his TV brother Wally Cleaver. He said while Wally was doing just great and that they don’t live far apart. They do see each other and never lost touch throughout the years. Jerry and I would like to comment that as with any other exercise program, always consult your physician before you begin. Read more about Jerry at

is a cozy sitting area with a fireplace. For

white Formica topped round tables offers

the diner topped, off with a screening of

informal meals, in addition to the seating

more seating. The walls are decorated

your favorite movie Gathering takes place

at the center island, a sun-filled breakfast

with original Coca Cola signs in a variety

throughout this estate and many times

room sits just beyond the kitchen. Dra-

of shapes and sizes. He did not have an

overflows outdoors. The expansive back

matically appointed with a ribbed,

appropriate place to display them in his

terrace, appointed in a stone inlaid pat-

carousel-style ceiling and a custom floor

former home. So, what better place to

tern, offers plenty of space to congregate.

in beige brick with inlaid oak accents.

hang his collection than an authentic ’50s

Beyond the terrace, more than three acres

Surrounded by a wall of French doors,

diner? Once you have your malt and play

are completely fenced and dotted with

the breakfast room opens out to the back

a little pool, maybe you feel like taking in

mature trees and specimen plantings, a


a movie in the full-sized home theater.

Koi pond with waterfall, a fountain, and

Covered in an animal print carpet and

the very graceful rear terrace that steps down to a lush lawn.

With all the spots to congregate on the upper levels, there is still another world

awash in teal blue wall, the theater seats

of entertaining on the lower level. A

twelve in comfy leather recliners. A hand-

A passion for giving, for gathering, and

unique and unexpected addition to the

painted gold leaf trim in an Art Deco

for art propelled the journey that brought

gathering spots is a classic 1950's diner on

motif accents the space, along with

the owners to this place. Now another life

the lower level. In a sea of red, white,

Egyptian-styled columns finished with

change occurred and they no longer are

black and chrome, this fun space was au-

gold bands and a fluted top that flank the

living in Sonrisa.

thentically designed and appointed in

screen and perimeter of the room.

retro ’50s accents with black and white

This home was built to gather and en-

For information about buying this property, you can contact Douglas Pearson at

checkered vinyl floor. Two seating op-

tertainment. Every room was designed

tions are offered, one with black vinyl and

with that one function in mind, from the

chrome bar stools surrounding a chrome

grand entry to the expansive great room,

Beth S. Buxbaum is a freelance writer from the

trimmed, white Formica topped bar. Ban-

dining room and kitchen. For an extra

Philadelphia area.

quette seating with red vinyl booths and

treat there is always a burger and malt in

267.907.2590, or dpearson@ku

Remodeling that Fits Your Lifestyle Our Mission: What Kind Of Basement Are You Looking For?

We strive to improve your quality of life through minor and major Home Improvements and Remodeling. Take a look around our website for basement remodeling ideas which may guide you in the right direction of what you’re looking for. Please contact us with any questions and of course for a free estimate.

Learn about our company… Give us a call or visit our website A Place to Relax and Entertain Mention this ad + Receive “FREE Project Design” ($700. value) with work contracted

Mark Smith 215-601-0800 Fitness Studio

Game Room PAHIC # 96296

F A L L 2 0 17




photos: Melissa Kutalek

Like the mythical bird that Phoenixville is named after, the town is rising out of the ashes of the steel industry into a diverse community known for shopping, dining and the arts by Frank D. Quattrone

As Eve and I strolled along Bridge Street one fine day last month, we couldn’t help smiling. Who were all these cheerful people? Some were chatting with friends as they drifted in and out of the charming restaurants and shops dotting Phoenixville’s main thoroughfare. Others were relaxing at tables outside the cafés, their faithful canine companions resting quietly at their feet. Once again, we felt that we were traveling. Like our trip to Staunton, Virginia, last August, Phoenixville was all the best that Small Town America has to offer, and more.

FALL 2017


Travel + Leisure magazine named Staunton one of “America’s

Theatre through October 1. The Forge, named after

Favorite Mountain Towns.” It has history galore. It is, after

Phoenixville’s former major industry, has been presenting qual-

all, the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, where a picturesque

ity community theater for more than five decades. And the

house and great museum honor the life and work of our

fledgling Firebird Theatre, founded in 2010 to give young per-

twenty-eighth president. There’s the exciting American

formers their turn onstage, recently closed the curtains on its

Shakespeare Center at the Blackfriars Playhouse. There’s a

production of Guys and Dolls at the storied Colonial Theatre (227

Frontier Culture Museum that tells the story of the Europeans

Bridge Street).

and African Americans who populated the Shenandoah River

Speaking of which, can Staunton boast such an elegant for-

Valley in the early eighteenth century. It has a highly regarded

mer vaudeville showplace, now a magnet for some of the re-

classical music festival every August. And there’s a cool array

gion’s finest arthouse films and big-name musical artists? Where

of independent shops, galleries, and restaurants clustered

screaming, frenzied locals burst through the doors onto Bridge

along its quaint Main Street.

Street as an unrecognizable Steve McQueen menaced the mob

So what does it have over Phoenixville? Frankly, m’dear—

as The Blob? Yep, the 1958 cult horror classic was filmed in and

nothing. This bustling Chester County borough just across the

around Phoenixville, with the Colonial serving as its most no-

Schuylkill River from Montgomery County might not have a

table landmark. Thousands of visitors flocked to the borough

U.S. president to call its own, but native son Samuel W. Pen-

in July to celebrate the annual “Blobfest,” commemorating the

nypacker, who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, lived at

filming that took place exactly 60 years ago.

nearby Pennypacker Mills in Schwenksville while serving as

And instead of a classical music festival, Phoenixville presents

the twenty-third governor of Pennsylvania (1903-1907). He

its annual Blues Festival on September 9. With its clamshell

is buried at Morris Cemetery in Phoenixville.

amphitheater, two gazebos, a playground area for children, and

The borough is also graced by the Schuylkill River Heritage

plenty of shade trees, Reeves Park is the perfect setting for the

Center, located at the Foundry (built in 1882), where histori-

ten-hour music fest, featuring celebrated blues artists like Deb

cal artifacts and large murals showcase the industrial legacy

Callahan, the Greg Sover Band, Vanessa Collier, and Billy the

of the Schuylkill River and the former Phoenix Iron and Steel

Kid, among others.


And if you love music, the Colonial (opened in 1903) will re-

The borough might not have Falstaff or Macbeth to storm

gale you with an amazing array of classic rock, progressive jazz,

across its stages. But it does have the dueling con artists of Dirty

and folk pop performers such as Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger

Rotten Scoundrels to tease the audience into laughter at the Forge

(September 21); Dar Williams (singing and reading from her

FALL 2017




new book What I Found in a Thousand

briefly closed Steel City Coffee House

historic steakhouse, whose single portions

Towns, October 14); Al Stewart (“The Year

(203 Bridge Street), a listening room, café,

are enough to feed a small family, has been doing business since 1736!

of the Cat,” October 21); Rock and Roll

and BYOB, in 2016. Simpson has ob-

Hall of Famers the Yardbirds (October

served that the100-seat venue “is really

Other restaurants of note are 101

26); and banjo meister Bela Fleck (No-

important to the community, where musi-

Bridge (steaks and seafood), Daddy

vember 10). Longtime Phoenixville resi-

cal acts and entertainment have always

Mims’ Creole & Johnny’s New Orleans

dent Joanne Jones, who leads free tours

been primary. There’s a lot of support for

Pizza (150 Bridge), Pickering Creek Inn

of the historic Colonial two Sundays each

the arts in Phoenixville, so much potential

(Classic American, at 37 Bridge), The

month, says that we should expect a

for growth in the borough.”

Crêperie (301 Bridge), Franco [Italian]

grand opening of the expanded theater

With its walls lined with guitars, music

Restaurant (206 Bridge), Fitzwater Sta-

sometime this fall. In 2011, the theater

posters, and LPs of classic rock perform-

tion (264 Canal Street), Harpoon Louie’s

purchased the stately but shuttered

ers as well as local legends like Jeffrey

Steak & Seafood House (Route 724),

Phoenixville Bank Building (built in

Gaines adorning the walls, and a cozy

Molly Maguire’s Irish Pub (197 Bridge),

1925) next door and began a million-dol-

stage at its center with a coffee shop just

and Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant (130

lar renovation project that will take it

beyond, Steel City is the perfect setting for

E. Bridge), among many others.

from a single-screen theater with 658

the concerts, Thursday open mic nights,

Looking for a light snack in the midst

seats and one concession stand to a three-

comedy shows, writers’ groups, and po-

of our walk, Eve and I found what we

screen venue/theater with multiple con-

etry slams that fill its busy calendar. Re-

were looking for across the street from the

cession stands and other amenities,

gional heavyweights such as Christina

Colonial, at the Artisans Gallery & Café

including a rooftop garden suite.

Havrilla (September 23) and Craig and

(234 Bridge Street), a warm, cozy nook

Entrepreneur Marian Moskowitz, the

Aislinn Bickhardt (October 7) are among

where patrons were playing chess, writing

owner of Franklin Commons, one of the

the acts booked for the coming season.

papers (free WiFi), and listening to music

region’s most unique wedding and special

Simpson says that the recent gentrifica-

on their iPods while enjoying coffee or

event venues (including an art gallery and

tion of Phoenixville, with its new apart-

espresso with homemade panini, quiche,

a landscaped outdoor ceremony court-

ment complexes (like Riverworks and

soup, or Italian pastry (made by co-owner

yard), and the building expansion co-

Phoenix Village) and influx of youthful

Rosemarie Holck) while surrounded by

chair, has this to say about the Colonial’s

new residents, bodes well for the borough.

paintings and pottery fashioned by local

upgrades: “The revitalization of our Bor-

Because of their extensive experience in

Chester County artists, including co-

ough has proven an investment in

the food industry, the new owners of Steel

owner Richard Holck, Rosemarie’s son. A

Phoenixville is a sound one. This project

City Coffee House have also upgraded the

veteran of the concessions at Valley Forge

will bring lasting enjoyment to our friends



Music Fair and Starbucks, and a pottery

and neighbors and attract more shoppers

Phoenixville’s reputed (according to Trip

artist in his own right, Richard is living

to surrounding businesses.”

Advisor) 100-plus restaurants, cafés, and

out his quiet dream.




The Colonial is not the only venue mak-

eateries of all sorts. Fine dining is amply

A few doors down from Artisans we

ing a splash in the revitalized borough.

represented through Black Lab Bistro

discovered the charming Diving Cat Stu-

During our stroll along Bridge Street, we

(248 Bridge), Columbia Bar & Grille (148

dio & Gallery (246 Bridge Street), featur-

stopped in to meet the husband-and-wife

Bridge), the French-inspired Majolica

ing a striking collection of original art and

team of Ed Simpson and Laura Vernola,

(258 Bridge), and the legendary Seven

crafts, including an odd assemblage of

who took a chance on reopening the

Stars Inn at 263 Hoffecker Road. This

collectible wooden cubes bearing en-

FALL 2017


fired up Phoenixville’s industrial profile


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and lifestyle. OFF

In 1862, Samuel Reeves’ invention of

TTootal Garage Makeoovver

the celebrated Phoenix Column, a hollow and circular segmented steel rod capable of being riveted together, made it possible to construct skyscrapers—and even the Eiffel Tower! Manufacturing grew. The borough thrived. But it was a familiar story. As the iron and steel industry began to decline in the last quarter of the twentieth century, so did Phoenixville’s fortunes. But a revival, fired up by a renaissance


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in the arts community, the rise of a healthy dining scene, the ongoing construction of the popular Schuylkill River Trail, the building of new residential complexes, several annual food truck and other festivals, have brought new life to Phoenixville. Oh, yes—the Phoenixville Firebird Festival! Since 2004, the borough has built a huge wooden phoenix up to twenty-four feet tall in Friendship Field

chanting messages—from “Travel is the

scended on Manavon and supposedly

(203 Fillmore Street). Then on the ap-

only thing that makes you richer” and

ransacked every home and business in the

pointed day, with thousands of residents

“Who says you have to act your age?” to

area. But true to the borough’s namesake,

and visitors watching in rapt attention, the

“Teachers who love teaching teach chil-

its residents rose again and started anew.

structure is set ablaze. Buried in the soil

dren to love learning.”

Which brings us to the actual origin of

beneath the big bird are clay birds fash-

that name and a shout-out to one of the

ioned by local artists. After the ashes cool,

No doubt about it—there is much to about

most colorful town gatherings anywhere

the clay birds, now glazed by the fire, are

Phoenixville. This bustling borough of






in the region—the Phoenixville Firebird

dug out to symbolize the rebirth—just like

17,000 residents, incorporated in 1849,

Festival. Legend has it that in 1813,

the mythical Egyptian and Greek

was originally named Manavon, after the

Lewis Wernwag, owner of Manavon’s

phoenix, which would live for up to 1,500

birthplace of David Lloyd, an early set-

first iron company, French Creek Works,

years, then, after building its own funeral

tler. Situated at the confluence of the

built where the Schuylkill and French

pyre from incense and precious woods,

Schuylkill River and French Creek,

Creek meet, claimed that he saw a

would consume itself in sacred fire, only

which provided easy hydroelectric power

phoenix emerging from the flames as he

to emerge again from the ashes—an apt

for its steel mills, it was settled in the late

gazed at his furnaces from a nearby hill-

symbol of resurrection and renewal.

seventeenth century by the Lenni Lenape

side. So he renamed his company

tribe. Its first European settlers arrived in

Phoenix Iron Works. By 1830, it had be-

place on Saturday, December 9—one


come one of the largest nail factories in

more reason to visit this once again thriv-

This year’s Firebird Festival takes

According to the Historical Society of

the nation, producing about three tons of

ing borough, to enjoy its many historical,

the Phoenixville Area (204 Church

nails a day. Iron and steel mills, boiler

artistic, and cultural charms.

Street), the early settlers endured random

works, factories making everything from

attacks from Native Americans, and dur-

hosiery and underwear to matches and

ing the Revolutionary War, 14,000 British

collectible Etruscan majolica pottery,

troops and Hessian mercenaries de-



Frank Quattrone is a an author, newspaper editor, teacher and freelance writer from Montgomery County who writes about local history, food, art and people.


TASTEFUL 405 Bridge Street | Phoenixville 1-800-66-TAGUE | Kitchen Cabinetry | Windows | Doors | Moulding & Millwork | Decking | Building Materials & Lumber






And getting out from behind the desk is just plain fun. 610.933.3635 ext 108 410 W Seven Stars Rd Phoenixville, PA



FALL 2017


Photo: Paul Wesley


Family Furniture Store

Gary Moore and Heather Divine represent the second and third generation of Moore’s Furniture, continuing a family tradition of quality and service - by Bob Waite


ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT A GOOD furniture store is that you can have what you see in any color or fabric that you want. This, according to Heather Divine, co-owner of Moore’s Furniture with her father, Gary Moore, is just one of the important reasons to stay away from what they call the “big box” stores and chains. Those establishments usually limit your choice to only a couple of different colors and usually only one fabric. The amazing thing about Moore’s Furniture in Chester Springs and Limerick is that their prices are not high because they discount everything, and yet they only carry the best quality furniture. In fact, Gary Moore says, “Ninety percent of our furniture is handmade in this country.” This is an amazing statistic, but to Gary it is crucial. He is not only proud of his furniture being made in America, but he is also proud of the continued on page 65



Opposite, Heather Divine is looking at fabrics in the fabric room to choose for one of the many living room sets in the store. Above, a living room set and a dining set. Below, an area of the store that specializes in La-Z-Boy furniture.

FALL 2017



Our House

Custom Craft Contractors, Inc. design, build and remodel, taking into consideration both the clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; functional and aesthetic needs -by Mary Beth Schwartz



THE FAMILY IS THE HEART OF THE HOME. THIS is a common theme for Lansdale-based Custom Craft Contractors, Inc. Their projects accommodate family members as well as close friends. Whether it is expanding the kitchen for family get-togethers, remodeling the basement for the kids, or adding on for the grandparents, Custom Craft Contractors, Inc. has been there for clients in Bucks and Montgomery counties since 1982. According to Vice President Michael Foering, the team at Custom Craft Contractors, Inc. is the key to their success. Michael has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University. He has a real passion for design. Working closely with Michael is his father and president of the company, George Foering. A graduate of Bloomsburg University, he founded Custom Craft Contractors, Inc. with his creative ideas and calling for construction. Also instrumental on the team is Office Manager Barbara Durante, Designer Julie Novak Stafford, and Lead Carpenters Matt Hill and Mike Jones. Custom Craft Contractors, Inc. has their own Remodeling Selection Center. This Lansdale studio space allows clients to see samples of lighting, cabinetry lines, countertops, fixtures, trim, flooring, even backsplashes. Coming in

the spring of 2018 will be an expanded center. The new space will include consultations rooms to meet with the designer about 3D models, design boards, and such. For 35 years, Custom Craft Contractors, Inc. has received accolades for their additions, bathroom remodels, finished basements, and kitchen, interior, and accessibility renovations. This year, the company has won both design and customer service awards from Houzz. They received a regional NARI award for kitchen modeling in the category of $100,000-$150,000. Custom Craft Contractors, Inc. also won the 2017 Guildmaster Award for excellence in customer service and the 2017 Best pick from Best Picks Reports. Michael Foering went on to tell me about a few of the projects that company has done over the years. First on the list was a kitchen makeover. A FALL 2017



                         Harleysville family wanted a space that allowed them to enjoy their loves of baking and cooking. Another frustration was an adjoining laundry space. â&#x20AC;&#x153;From an aesthetic standpoint, our clients were seeking to create a cottage feel for the space, but with a funky, industrial twist. We like to call this look contemporary cottage.â&#x20AC;? According to Michael, several issues were addressed in this makeover. First the kitchen footprint was reconfigured. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We removed the central island, spread the counters out along the perimeter, and added a peninsula. By utilizing this layout, we could remove pinch points and create multiple food 64


prep areas. This layout created opportunities to add storage space both above and below the counters.â&#x20AC;? In the laundry room, the space was expanded by five feet in length and the layout reconfigured. The entry location also was changed and a window and pocket door were added. Now the kitchen features such elements as Shaker style cabinetry, counters of brown antique leathered granite, and tumbled marble backsplash. There is even a baking center complete with a vintage flour sifter that once belonged to the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grandmother. Another client in Blue Bell had a master bathroom that needed an update. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The clients wanted to add stor-

age space for both towels and toiletries. Other priorities include increasing the shower size, replacing dated carpeting with floor covering, and giving the room the feel of a beach house,â&#x20AC;? Michael says. During the construction, several changes took place. The shower area was enlarged and designed with mosaic tiles, frameless glass door and panels, recessed niches, and a Kohler HydroRail system. To meet storage needs, there now are his and her vanities, a cabinet above the toilet, and recessed shelves. The carpeting was replaced with tile flooring with radiant heat. For the backsplash and counters, Cambria quartz was chosen. The third project Michael told me about was a generational suite addition. This project earned Custom Craft Contractors, Inc. a NARI award in 2013â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a local Contractor of the Year (CotY) Award and National Universal Design Recognition for a residential addition in the $250,000 and up category. This was a design-build collaboration between the team at Custom Craft Contractors, Inc. and architect Joseph Augustine of JFA Architecture. The two companies joined forces to create an addition with no barriers that was accessible by wheelchair. The Perkasie homeowners wanted to expand their home to meet the needs of an aging parent. This addition has a spacious bedroom, full bath and kitchen, and a sitting room. The family matriarch has her own entrance ramp to join her sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s household, while also maintaining some independence. To schedule a consultation with Custom Craft Contractors, Inc., you can call 610-584-0665. You can visit them on Houzz, Facebook, or their website, you wish to send an email, their address is Mary Beth Schwartz is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to regional publications.


continued from page 61

fact that it is made by smaller manufacturers who use fine craftsmen and make the furniture by hand. Much of the furniture is Amish made and comes from Ohio. Heather says, “As a family business we wear many hats.” So although her and her father have their own areas of specialty, they both can work in all areas of the business. This they believe gives their business a more personal touch. “We’ve been at this a long time,” Gary assures. Francette Moore, Heather’s grandmother, started the family business in 1962. Her husband, Richard, owned land and she used it to start up an appliance store. As time went on they noticed that there were plenty of appliance stores and what the area really needed was a furniture store. In 1967 they changed over to furniture and stopped selling appliances. In 1970-71 they added a large addition (one of three) and in 1978, Gary started the Limerick store, which is almost the same size as the Chester Springs store and has everything that the Chester Springs store has except the warehouse. The warehouse is important to the operation of Moore’s furniture. All furniture that is received for shipping to customers comes in through the warehouse. Items are thoroughly checked by expert craftsmen including expert finishers to make sure that they are in perfect condition before they are sent to customers. All furnishings that are sold at Moore’s, from dining, to living room, to the bedroom, are avalable in many styles and variety of color and sizes. As noted, the display models are not the only colors available, nor are they the only sizes for some furniture. When coming into the store, customers will see two floors of room settings and in

these are upholstered furniture and wooden furniture that isn’t upholstered, like dressers and hutches and tables. The wood often comes in more than one color and shade of color which isn’t seen in the display. As far as the fabric on upholstered furniture, Moore’s has a room with samples of fabrics that can be put on the furniture. Any given piece can have many different colored fabrics and even different textures. Sofas and other furniture can, in some cases, be bought in different sizes. Moore’s has a variety of styles in furniture. There is contemporary, modern, traditional and transitional. “Transitional is now the most popular and traditional is not as in demand as it once

As far as the fabric

on upholstered furniture, Moore’s has a

room with samples of

fabrics that can be put on the furniture.

was.” Gary also notes that their mattresses can be used on both sides. “We still sell the traditional mattress that can be flipped from time to time.” This is important to both comfort and the longevity of the mattress. Like their other furniture, the mattresses are made in the USA by smaller and more careful manufacturers. In the store there is also a La-Z-Boy showroom. La-Z-Boy, contrary to some popular perceptions, makes furniture other than recliners. In fact, LaZ-Boy manufactures furniture for all rooms of the house and is a known quality brand. They have over 900 fabric and leather choices and are discounted at Moore’s below the sales price of other furniture stores. Moore’s also has a large clearance department. Eventually as newer fur-

niture comes in, display models that were on the floor are sold at unbelievable prices in their clearance section. Moore’s has full lines of accessories, including lighting, decorative art and paintings. Design services are available. Moore’s has ten designers who are willing to work with customer to help them see possible layouts for furniture, styles and colors that would fit. These designers are trained to help customers get what they want. Service is very important to Moore’s. Heather explains that all things bought at Moore’s have a store warranty. Not only that but when customers extend their warranty or have product warranties, Moore’s customer service has a dedicated person who they can call, and he will handle their complaint through the store or the manufacturer, so that the customer will not have to go to the manufacturer. They also have people who visit the home to check out any issues that someone has with furniture. This, of course, has the effect of creating lifelong customers. Heather says, “We care about customer satisfaction.” Financing for furniture is available from six to sixty months. And Moore’s has their own delivery service. Gary says, “We deliver and do not depend on an outside service, so the customer knows, not only that the order is going to be correct, but that delivery will be timely and done well.” Heather says that she loves the furniture business. “I love helping people get their furniture. And, it’s fun seeing what they like.” Gary says, “I enjoy making people happy and making sure they get what they want.” Moore’s furniture is located at 90 Pottstown Pike, Chester Springs, PA 19425; 610-458-8001 or in Limerick at 3291 W. Ridge Pike, Pottstown, PA 19464; 610-495-5252. Bob Waite is the editor of MONTCO Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle and Bucks County Magazine.

FALL 2017


Dining Out

Photos: Paul Wesley

by Frank D. Quattrone



t was music to their ears! Yes, when Arpeggio—the celebrated Spring House restaurant—reopened on June 22 after being closed for six weeks of intensive renovations—there rose a collective sigh of relief. It was not just longtime co-owners and business partners Mary Gigliotti Cullom and Executive Chef Ahmed “Hamdy” Khalil, champing at the bit to return to what they love best, but also their loyal customers, who have enjoyed Arpeggio’s fine pizzas, pastas, and Mediterranean fare for more than 21 years. Obviously, everyone is grateful that the more-than-yearlong renovation of the shopping center is virtually over. For Arpeggio, that means a new location, not far from its previous site; a much bigger seating area, now accommodating 66


120 patrons, plus 45 more on the soon-to-be-opened patio; and a brand-new open kitchen with seats around the counter, much to the delight of Hamdy, who loves talking with his guests. Customers can now enjoy their meals in a bright, airy environment, under a high vaulted ceiling with an Old World ceiling fan and drum lighting fixtures, and with attractive repainted wooden panels carved in Holland. Mary Cullom credits DAS Architects for the beautiful work. She says, “It was truly gratifying seeing it come together. It was really something putting in16 days during the renovations. It was more like opening a new restaurant than simple renovations. But we retained our entire staff. They’re all here to enjoy it again. And there was a deluge of longtime guests who really missed the restaurant. They love the new

space and just to hang out with us. We’re a big part of the community and we’re glad to be back.” What they missed most, of course, was Hamdy’s delectable Mediterranean cuisine. Egyptian-born, with an Italian mother who inspired his passion for cooking, Hamdy has fashioned an affordable menu with high-quality products, featuring authentic touches of Italy, North Africa, the Middle East, even India. But he and Mary have also expanded the offerings to include more gluten-free (GL), dairy-free (DF),


healthy choice (♥) and vegetarian (V) items, all indicated with clearly marked symbols. But Arpeggio’s core items, bolstered by popular recurrent specials, remain, all organized neatly in convenient subsets, such as Appetizers, Mediterranean Appetizers, Entrées, Mediterranean Entrées, Pizzas, Thin Crust Pizzas, White Pizzas, Salads, Sides, Pasta Specialties, Lunch Specials, Children’s Menu, and Burgers, which are available anytime.

continued on next page


o call Ben & Irv’s “legendary” would understate its impact. High-quality food and service and consistency have been its hallmarks since Ben Shore and Irv Chudnoff opened the restaurants and deli at 7701 Ogontz Avenue in West Oak Lane in 1954. Co-owner Len Bromberg, Ben’s son-in-law, whose tenure at the restaurant began twenty years later, fondly recalls Chef Esther Aurbach directing the kitchen staff five days a week, teaching them how to make the region’s best cabbage borscht and mushroom barley soups, stuffed cabbage, blintzes, and other popular deli items. She personally mentored present executive chefs John Butler and Alvin Goodwin, and they proudly carry on Esther’s handiwork.

During our most recent visit to this landmark restaurant, Eve and I ordered our personal favorite — theAssorted Smokefish Platter, an impressive arrangement of whitefish, kippered salmon, Nova Scotia lox, whitefish salad, and chopped herring, amid an array of lettuce, sliced tomatoes, onions, and cucumber, black olives, topped with carrot strips and capers, along with two bagels and cream cheese. The menu says the platter feeds two people. We disagree. Maybe a small family? Our cheerful server was Jonelle Wilkins, whom we met for the first time, even though she’s been with Ben & Irv’s for 35 years! For 34 of those years, she’s been delighted to serve the deli’s huge award-winning catering operation — private parties, corporate luncheons and business meetings FALL 2017


ARPEGGIO The afternoon of our most recent visit, Eve and I, as always, trusted Hamdy to order for us. First we had one of Hamdy’s huge puffy pitas, fresh from the oven—the biggest we’ve ever seen and available to every table. It was an especially apt complement to our Mediterranean Combo Platter, a generous sampling of humus, baba ganush, tabbouleh, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, and feta. We also enjoyed the Eggplant Rollantini. From Arpeggio’s wood-burning oven, it was an exceptional baked eggplant stuffed with ricotta, topped with mozzarella, and smothered with homemade marinara sauce. And we couldn’t leave without tasting Arpeggio’s legendary Bella, a signature thin crust pizza topped with zesty San Marzano tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella with a touch of extra-virgin olive oil. For another visit, for starters, we look forward to trying the Heart Smart Quesadillas, whole wheat tortilla filled with chicken, spinach, roasted red peppers, and a touch of feta; the heart-smart and dairy-free Arpeggio Salad of crisp ro-

maine lettuce topped with oven-roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, and artichoke hearts, served with a balsamic vinaigrette; and a side of Nutty Brussels Sprouts topped with toasted pecans and drizzled with balsamic reduction. Among the entrées, we can recommend the Veal Pizzaiola, tender veal in marinara sauce topped with melted mozzarella over penne; Chicken Taouk, tender grilled juicy chicken skewers marinated in Mediterranean-style yogurt and served with rice, grilled vegetables, and toum, a delicious emulsified garlic sauce; Shrimp & Crab Curry, tossed with penne, broccoli, and sundried tomatoes; and Pesto Del Mare, linguine tossed in pesto sauce with jumbo shrimp, scallops, and sun-dried tomatoes. One day 27 Indian guests were delighted to find not only curry dishes on the menu but also a significant number of vegetarian items. Besides the food, Arpeggio’s patrons love the way they are treated. That’s not only because Hamdy cooks from the heart and everyone notices,

but it’s the small touches as well. When the restaurant was full the Friday night before our last visit, Hamdy and Mary personally brought slices of pizza to guests waiting on the patio to get in. Why has Arpeggio made so many friends for the past 21 years? “We still care about people,” Mary says. “It’s that, plus continuity and consistency, as well as the highest-quality food we can find. Our kitchen staff and serving staff have been stable forever. And we still love what we do. Word of mouth since we reopened has been phenomenal, and that’s music to our ears.” Arpeggio BYOB is located at 1101 North Bethlehem Pike, Spring House, Pennsylvania 19477; 215-646-5055; Open for lunch Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; for dinner, Monday – Thursday, 4 – 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 4 – 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 9 p.m. Reservations requested for parties of six or more. Available for takeout, catering, and private parties.

BEN & IRV’S — at all stops between Montgomery County and the Jersey Shore. Jonelle remembers well when Len’s partner Michael Young joined the staff as a busboy at the age of fourteen and has watched him grow from waiting tables to managing to becoming a full partner in the business. Len says that he and Michael share every aspect of the operation and allow each other some time off to keep things fresh as well as maintain continuity. Both partners praise their longtime managers and admit that Ben & Irv’s could not have achieved its success without their devotion and service. They cite managers Lee Cerruti, another 35 year veteran whom Len calls his “work wife,” and Deborah Chernoff, as well as Sandy Kendis, a server and gourmet cook for 30-plus years, and server Denise Borradaile, who waits tables and has done much of the catering for 20 plus years. Len, who enjoys stopping at tables to chat with his guests, insists that his customers are “fussy; they expect the best. So we keep giving them what they want. And we train our waitresses to provide the best customer service. The customer 68


comes first. So we do what we can to make them happy, to make them want to come back.” During our last visit, longtime patron Gil Diamond came by our table as we chatted with Len. He just wanted us to know that he’s been dining at Ben & Irv’s “every day for the past 40-some years.” That’s not hard to believe. After all, what other neighborhood restaurant offers eminently affordable breakfast, lunch, or dinner seven days a week from seven in the morning until nine at night? Reinforcing the obvious, Len says that Ben & Irv’s “is busy constantly. We even get deliveries on Saturday. And with the Jewish holidays coming up, we go into an even higher gear. For Rosh Hashanah [September 20 – 22 this year], we do two seatings each night and offer complete dinners to go. For Yom Kippur [September 29 – 30], we’ll do 500 high-quality smoked fish trays. That’s so much extra food that we have to rent a refrigerated tractor trailer for the holidays. But we love doing it for our customers.”

Ben & Irv’s is the unofficial soup maven of Montgomery County. (La Pergola is the only restaurant that comes close.) Its signature soups — vegetable, mushroom barley, cabbage borscht, and clam chowder (on Fridays) — are world-class. Buy three quarts and get one free. Len says that people line up for the deli’s soups. Breakfast and lunch — including light, low-fat, low-carb, and gluten-free dishes — remain popular all day, with a dizzying array of omelets, griddle items, smoked fish platters, grilled and cold sandwiches, hoagies, and more to satisfy any palate. Great pickles and chips, by the way, are served with every meal. But regulars also love the dinners. Signature dishes include Sweet & Sour Stuffed Cabbage; Roast Brisket of Beef, served with kasha and bowties or two vegetables; Homemade Shrimp Crab Cakes; and Chicken in the Pot, served with matzo ball, kreplach, and noodles. Len swears that this popular Jewish comfort food “is just like bubby used to make.” Few patrons who leave Ben & Irv’s (always happy, to be sure) can resist picking up some deli items on the way out, featuring a wide variety of cheeses and deli meats (including world-class corned beef, pastrami, and roast beef), seafood salads, gluten-free cookies, hamantaschen, and other amazing desserts (think blueberry cobbler and pomegranate parfait cheese cake). Even after 63 years in the business (including 33 years in Huntingdon Valley), Ben & Irv’s hasn’t forgotten how to do it right! Ben & Irv’s Restaurant & Delicatessen, 1962 County Line Road, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania 19006; 215-355-2000; Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations recommended for large parties. Monday Burger Night, Turkey Tuesday, other special offers.

215-997-3390 Hand Crafted • Prefnished • 18th Century Style • Solid Hardwoods FALL 2017


D I N I N G OU T GU I D E Bay Pony Inn, 508 Old Skippack Rd., Lederach, PA; 215-256-6565; The Bay Pony Inn is where informal elegance and warm hospitality come quite naturally. A blend of American and international culinary traditions, gracious service and warm hospitality await you.We invite you to visit us and allow us to share with you a bit of this old world charm and elegance.Lunch,Tues.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; Sunday Brunch, 11:30 a.m.– 2:30 p.m.; Dinner,Tues.–Thurs., 4:30–9 p.m., Fri.-Sat, 4:30-10:30 p.m., Sun. 4:30-8 p.m. Closed Monday. Banquet and wedding facilities. Blue Bell Inn, 601 W. Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, PA; 215-646-2010 The Blue Bell Inn began welcoming guest in 1743 and a regular patron was George Washington. Now recently remodeled, yet retaining its historic integrity, the Inn is known for fine Contemporary American food, which includes premium cuts of meat, a raw bar and seafood and outdoor dining on the flagstone patio is available by request. Hours: Monday–Thursday 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Friday–Saturday 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday brunch 10 a.m.–2 p.m., and dinner 5 p.m.–7 p.m.

Capone’s, 224 W. Germantown Pike, Norristown, PA; 610-279-4748 For over 40 years Matt Capone and his family have provided the East Norriton area with great food at a great price.The restaurant is familyoriented with a touch of sports bar, primed with some of the best beer you can find in the region.Our extensive menu includes traditional pub fare, delicious entrees, and even a kids menu. For the beer connoisseur in all of us – take a moment and visit our Bottle Shop in the back of the restaurant to browse our incredible selection of beers from local micro breweries, domestic craft breweries, and international micro breweries.



Gourmet Seafood & Grill, Skippack Village, 4101 Skippack Pike, Schwenksville, PA; 484-681-0838; 484-991-8130; www.gourmet Gourmet Seafood & Grill is a family owned Mediterranean cuisine destination with freshest seafood for all cuisine and delicious pastries. Culinary master Chef Jimmy uses his talents, knowledge and love for food to transform the space into a relaxed destination where you can experience the best of various cuisine flavors, spices and cooking techniques.With over 50 combined years of food and restaurant experience, the owners of Gourmet Seafood & Grill, are bringing a culinary adventure worthy of Skippack’s foodie’ community. Serving brunch and dinner, along with catering services, the Gourmet Seafood & Grill offers a varied menu rich in traditional Mediterranean favorites. From Bronzini to New York Strip, crab cakes, stuffed grape leaves and more, the menu is sure to have just the thing to entice your taste buds. For the less adventurous crowd, Gourmet Seafood & Grill also has burgers, pasta, salads and a kids menu! Dinner daily 5 p.m.–11 p.m. Lunch Tues.–Sun. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Gypsy Blu, 34 East Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA; 215-283-6080. Upbeat & Lively Atmosphere with an Eclectic Menu that ranges from Small Plates to Delectable Entrees. Beautiful Patio. On-Site & Off-Site Catering. Full Bar. Serving lunch and dinner 7 Days a Week. Serving brunch every weekend. Hours: Monday & Tuesday Kitchen 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Bar until 12a.m.Wednesday & Thursday: Kitchen 11:30 am-10 p.m. Bar until 2 a.m. Friday: Kitchen 11:30–11 p.m. Bar until 2 a.m. Saturday: Kitchen 10 a.m.–11 p.m. Bar until 2 a.m. Sunday: Kitchen 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Bar until 12 a.m. Live music every Friday & Saturday. Reservations accepted.

La Pergola, 726 West Ave, Jenkintown, PA; 215-884-7204 La Pergola’s international cuisine takes you to culinary fare around the Mediterranean.Testing the unique authentic dishes and appetizers, would make you feel as if you are sitting at a sidewalk cafe or restaurant in Tel Aviv or Athens.Enjoy contemporary cosmopolitan cuisine based on pure pleasure. La Pergola Restaurant offers healthy and delightful dishes from every corner of the Mediterranean.We offer casual fine dining at reasonable prices. Hours: Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.–9 p.m. Ristorante San Marco, 504 Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, PA; 215-654-5000; Dining in a 19th century schoolhouse on a small hill. San Marco’s regular menu emphasizes traditional dishes from Southern Italy and Sicily. There is a beautifully appointed piano bar featuring nightly live music. Private parties for special occasions. Open Mon.-Fri., 11:30a.m.–3 p.m., 5p.m.–10p.m., Sat. 5p.m.–10p.m., closed on Sundays.

Joseph Ambler Inn, 1005 Horsham Rd, North Wales, PA 19454;215-362-7500; Exquisite cuisine, attention to detail, and an award-winning wine list combine to make Joseph Ambler Inn one of the most popular places to dine in Eastern Pennsylvania. The restaurant’s random-width hardwood floors, handcrafted cherry tables, Windsor chairs and original, exposed stone walls create the ambiance for savoring a fine meal.Joseph Ambler Inn has earned a well-deserved reputation for its eclectic lunch and dinner menus, which offer many creative flourishes. Featuring only the finest quality fresh meats, fish, and produce, and seasonal herbs and vegetables, every dish is a delight. Hours. Lunch: Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lite Fare Luncheon: Sat. & Sun. Noon to 4 p.m. Served in the JPUB-No Reservations Necessary. Dinner: Mon–Sat 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations suggested. Accepts all major credit cards.

Skippack Village Italian Market 4101 Skippack Pike Skippack 610-584-4050; Full service dining room and outdoor patio. Gourmet hoagies and salads, Specialty desserts, and Coffee bar. Homemade meatballs and roast pork, Italian Deli items. Wooden shelves fill the front room, packed full of the authentic Italian groceries, and packaged sweets that keep hungry visitors coming back.The Italian Market is a great place to have lunch, shop for groceries, or just browse for snacks. On and off site catering is available for any size function. Open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m.– 7 p.m. Friday, Sat. to 8 p.m. Sunday to 6 p.m.

ALLEN ANTIQUES and GIFTS Family owned and operated

Handmade Cutting Boards • Garden Art • Signs • Weathervanes Noah’s Arks • Wood Carvings • Folk Art • Redware • Birdhouses and Feeders • Hand Carved Santas • Christmas Ornaments Baskets • Old Village Paints • Tremont Nails

A little something for everyone!

3004 Skippack Pike • Worcester, PA • 610-584-5559 call for store hours

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Tex Mex Connection, 201 E.Walnut St., North Wales, PA; 214-699-9552; Tex Mex Cuisine: Characterized by the adaptation of Mexican food by Texan cooks. Often exemplified by the extensive use of meats and spices (foreign and native) resulting in creative seafood dishes, great steaks, tender ribs, and juicy pork as well as our interpretation of standards like chile con queso, nachos and fajitas. Not Mexican, not Texan, just Tex-Mex. Dining Room: Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Bar: 11 a.m.–2 a.m.

Villa Barolo Ristorante & Wine Bar, the corner of Route 611 and Bristol Road, 1373 Easton Road,Warrington, PA 18976; 215-491-9370; Having almost 100 items on the menu with nearly 25 specials, everyday, Barolo serves fish and seafood, organic meats, pasta, chicken, and veal dishes and has a large raw bar. Named after an Italian wine,Villa Barolo boasts of having more than 100 wines in its wine cellar. Private parties and special events. Online menus. Hours: 11:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Monday–Thursday; 11:30 a.m.— 11:30 p.m. Friday—Saturday, 2-10 p.m. Sunday. No reservations necessary. Major credit cards. William Penn Inn, 1017 Dekalb Pike, Gwynedd, PA; 215-699-9272; Established in 1714 as a public house, the William Penn is an historical venue based in the rich tradition of hospitality.The Inn is renowned for its dedication to a tradition of continental country dining in a relaxed, cordial atmosphere along with exquisite cuisine, fine wines, personal service and flawless coordination. Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m, Saturday 11:30 a.m–2:30 p.m. Dinner: MondayFriday 5 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturday: 4:30 p.m.–11 p.m., Sunday Sunday: 2 p.m.–8 p.m. Sunday brunch 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Zakes Café, 444 Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA; 215 654 7600; Zakes Cafe is an American Fusion Restaurant featuring an innovative cuisine. It has been said of Zakes Cafe that they are a hidden Gem–an under the radar BYOB. Lunch–homemade soups, quiche, specialty salads & gourmet sandwiches. Dinner–warm and inviting, the pace is more relaxed and the menu has an eclectic American/Asian flair.The Dessert Case at the Cafe is worth the trip to Zakes on its own. Every day we feature a selection of our desserts individually sliced and in whole cake form for you to take home and enjoy.Whether you are buying one or two slices or a selection to offer your dinner guests, this is a great way to sample Zakes Cakes. Zakes is open for dinner Wed–Sun, Breakfast and Lunch Monday–Saturday and Brunch on Sunday.



ife expectancy is on the increase and many people are living into their 90s and beyond. This means that planning for aging is of vital importance for everyone. People remain healthy as when they they have day to day social intercourse, eat well and get plenty of exercise. This is why the whole range of senior living from independent living in apartments to assisted living, nursing care, memory care and hospice are things that we need to think about. Our Senior Lifestyles section presents a variety of living situations for seniors from apartments to total care, where people can be safe, live according to their abilities and have a sense of community. Aging can be done purposefully and with dignity in the Bucks and Montgomery County areas. Living situations are now staffed with professionals who offer rehabilitation, recreation and medical care. Diet and lifestyle can make a difference, so it can never be too early to think about these things for ourselves and those we love. Aging does not have to be something to dread, but can be another step in our development.




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Learn more at 215-710-5300 or stmaryhealthcare org/cancer



SENIOR LIFESTYLES Senior Living Directory Arbour Square of Harleysville and the Birches at Arbor Square, 691, 695 and 699 Main Street, Harleysville, PA 19438; 215-501-7129; Arbour Square of Harleysville and The Birches at Arbour Square offer a continuum of retirement options including independent living, personal care, memory care and home care with no entrance fee. Meals, social events, housekeeping, utilities, and more are included in the monthly rent. Bridges at Warwick, 1600 Almshouse Rd., Jamison, PA 18929 215-395-9976; At The Bridges at Warwick, every day is a celebration of seniors. Living here provides residents with a sense of purpose and contentment. Days are filled with fun and friendship with a focus on total well-being. Our brand new community, located in the heart of Warwick Township, offers a unique alternative to traditional assisted living and memory care. Our supportive, personalized lifestyle boosts residents' self-esteem by helping them stay as independent as possible for as long as possible, no matter what their current abilities may be.

Christâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Home, 1 Sheppardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Way, Suite 100, Warminster, PA 18974 215-956-2270; Christâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Home is one of the few organizations in the country to offer an array of life-enhancing services to both older adults and children. Our legacy of caring and compassion is interwoven into all of our dynamic programs and services. We are committed to quality programming and services that exceed community standards while providing exceptional value.The heart of Christâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Home is to serve the Lord by providing services to senior adults and disadvantaged children in an atmosphere graced with love, dignity, compassion and respect. Columbia Cottage, 901 East Main Street, Collegeville, PA; 610-409-8910; Columbia Cottage is more than just a building in which residents receive care. Rather, it is a remarkable, thriving and unique community comprised of trained and caring staff who are dedicated to providing quality and compassionate care to each and every resident each and every day.We promote independence and well-being while offering support and

assistance as and when it is necessary.



To learn about more about new construction and active living options at Pine Run, call 800.992.8992 or visit EOE

777 Ferry Road, Doylestown, PA 18901 FALL




Call (215) 947-8477

Hours: 7am - Dusk

1700 Huntington Pike Apartment Homes & Golf Club Meadowbrookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Executive Golf Course is Open to the Public Explore new golf cart paths throughout the 63 acres, wooded beautiful golf course in the heart of Abington and relax with our autumn ale selection at our lounge. Bring this ad and first time visitors enjoy a round of golf for only $10 call for details.

Meadowbrook Golf & Tennis Club 1700 Huntingdon Pike, Huntingdon Valley PA 19006




    Stylish Apartment Homes

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Chandler Hall A Kendal Affiliate, 99 Barclay Street, Newtown, PA 18940; 888-603-1973 or 215-497-0905; Since 1973, Chandler Hall has provided high-quality care for older adults in Newtown, Pa. Founded as a 55-bed nursing home, Chandler Hall now offers a wide spectrum of services for individuals at all stages of the aging process. Adult Day Health, Community Living and Personal Care, Residential Hospice, Home Hospice, Home Health, Independent Living, Respite Care, and Skilled Nursing Care are just some of the programs currently offered. Foulkeways at Gwynedd, 1120 Meetinghouse Road, Gwynedd, PA 19436; 215-643-2200/7575; Guided by Quaker values, Foulkeways has been setting standards of excellence in retirement living since 1967. Whether your plans include a cozy studio, mid-sized apartment or spacious, cottage, Foulkeways provides proven financial stability, comprehensive health care and a community where friendship, caring, dignity and respect are a way of life.

Greenfield Senior Living of Perkiomen Valley, 300 Perkiomen Ave., Schwenksville, PA 19473; 610-287-1822; At Greenfield of Perkiomen Valley we combine all the comforts of home with the services, accessibility, and expertise of highly trained staff who love what they do â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and who are proud to make your family our family. With access to top rated healthcare providers and countless opportunities for social, intellectual, and emotional growth, seniors in our community can truly thrive and pursue their passions in a safe, nurturing environment. Meadowbrook Golf and Tennis Club, 1700 Huntingdon Pike, Huntingtom Valley, PA; 215-947-8477; Apartment homes and golf course. Explore new golf cart paths throughout the 63 acres, wooded beautiful golf course in the heart of Abington and relax with our autumn ale selection at our lounge. Morris Hall Meadows at Lawrenceville,Meadow Circles Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ. 609-896-0006: FALL



SENIOR LIFESTYLES Morris Hall Meadows at Lawrenceville was conceived and developed with innovative ideas about engaging the mind, body and spirit of our Elders. Morris Hall Meadows is an elder-centered model that places the maximum possible decision-making authority into the hands of the Elders or those closest to them.Following The GREEN HOUSE® model developed by Dr. Bill Thomas, we emphasize three core values: a Meaningful Life, Empowered Staff and a Real Home. We focus on community, compassion and comfort for every individual, in an environment that provides outstanding physical and emotional support.Morris Hall Meadows elders live in actual homes offering more privacy and comfort than traditional nursing home settings. Each of the thoughtfully designed single-level homes has ten private bed-and-bath suites overlooking our beautifully landscaped grounds. Oaks of Bensalem, 6400 Hulmeville Rd., Bensalem, PA 19020;



215-752-9140; Oaks of Bensalem is a welcoming, caring senior community. Offering comfortably furnished rooms to fit individual preferences and budgets. “Oaks” is unique in providing highquality compassionate care. Visit us and discover why so many choose to call “Oaks” home! The Park at Westminster, 600 Vally Road, Warrington, PA; 215-313-3324; Stylish apartment homes. Renovated kitchens and baths, private balcony, pool, playground, spin room, community garden and 20 acre nature trail to creek. Pickering Manor, 226 N. Lincoln Ave., Newtown, PA 18940; 215.968.3878; Located in the heart of the historic Newtown, Pickering Manor offers its community opportunities to enjoy vibrant and comfortable lifestyles at affordable prices. Our Independent Living Cottages, Apartments and our Personal

Care and Rehabilitation, as well as our wide range of community activities and services are designed to enable our residents to live life to the fullest. Pine Run Retirement Community, 777 Ferry Road, Doylestown, PA18901; 800-992-8992; Pine Run provides and active and engaging lifestyle for men and women age 65+ with shared and diverse interests. Pine Run is a haven for artists, gardeners, teachers and travelers, who want to explore new avenues for continued education, fitness, and fun. Reinventing yourself is for now; come explore our new cottage designs tody. The Villagers at Pine Run Retirement Community will soon enjoy expanded amenities, such as a sunlit fitness center, heated indoor swimming pool, classrooms, and multiple dining venues, to give even more choices for active living on campus. The Yorkhouse, 5325 Old York Road, Philadelphia, PA 19141; 844-296-5927; Come home to The Yorkhouse Apartmentsâ&#x20AC;Ś Philadelphia's premier 55+ active lifestyle community, just minutes from Elkins Park. Stylish apartments with all utilities included and NO entrance fee. Activities, dining, free shuttle, physicians office and pharmacy.

Your Classicalâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;and Jazz Station

Woodriver Village, 3200 Bensalem Blvd., Bensalem, PA 19020; 215-752-2370; Wood River Village is an Independent LifeCare Continuing Care Retirement Community spread out over 20 beautiful acres in Bensalem, PA. Conveniently located outside of Philadelphia, PA and serving the residents of Bucks County and surrounding areas for over 30 years, Wood River Village feels like home from the moment you walk through the doors.





Lighting A Narrow Path A narrow path leads to lightâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;to a holy effulgence that blinds those taking a much broader path and shows the way to all who are elected to come. The mystery of this incomprehensible distinction is hidden in the One who calls light out of darkness with a fearsome command that challenges all our natural sensibilities.







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Montco Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Fall 2017  

Living in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania a Philadelphia suburb. This issue highlights interior design, dining out, historic town of Phoenix...

Montco Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Fall 2017  

Living in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania a Philadelphia suburb. This issue highlights interior design, dining out, historic town of Phoenix...