The Space

By J. Cooper Robb
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Sep. 21, 2005

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John D'Alessandro
Occupation: Investment analyst.
Neighborhood: Washington Square West.
Style: 1,490-square-foot bi-level condo.

Although the section of Center City that runs from Eighth Street to Broad Street and Walnut to Chestnut is known for its shops and restaurants, it's also a surprisingly bustling residential area, home to more than 13,000 Philadelphians. John D'Alessandro, his wife Christine and their three-month-old daughter Olivia occupy a bi-level condo in the area that boasts huge windows overlooking the Forrest Theatre. The condo isn't only surprisingly spacious for Center City, but it just may be the cleanest home we've ever visited.


What made you decide on this spot?
"We like the size and the location. Buying a home in Rittenhouse Square was too expensive, but here you're just a few blocks away from both Rittenhouse and Old City."

Was the place this beautiful when you moved in?
"No. This was the last unit they constructed, and when we saw the place it was full of tools and the building supplies they'd used on the other units. But they showed us the plans, and we also looked at some of the units that were completed, so we knew what it would look like. The floor-to-ceiling windows on both levels were a big selling point for us."

Since the place wasn't finished, did you have any choices over what went in?
"There weren't a lot of upgrade options. We could've had granite countertops, but we decided against it. We did upgrade the kitchen cabinets, though. They'd planned on installing laminate cabinetry, and we wanted cherry. But the marble floors in the bathrooms, for instance, were already included."

How many bedrooms and baths do you have?
"The place is two bedrooms and two and a half baths."

Your place is sparkling clean-which is unusual for a couple with a baby.
"Both my wife and I are sort of neat freaks."

How do you keep the outsides of the windows clean?
"They have someone come once a year to do it. They have a truck with a lift. You couldn't possibly do it yourself."

You have the luckiest baby in the world. Her loft space is spectacular.
"It used to be an office. We're thinking of getting some sort of glass chandelier to hang just off the loft."

Are all the units here as large as yours?
"This is the second largest unit. There are three two-bedroom units and four one-bedrooms."

Where is your furniture from?
"Everything is from Grossman's. Everyone in my family gets all their furniture there."

Even though the Forrest rarely has shows anymore, Walnut is a busy street, and you're just one story up. Is it noisy?
"We get the helicopter noise from Jefferson Hospital, and there are ambulances and buses going by. People who move from the suburbs think it's noisy. But before we lived here we were on the 35th floor at 1500 Locust St., and this isn't any louder. You live in the city, you get used to it pretty quickly."

Got a great space? Email J. Cooper Robb (jrobb@philadelphiaweekly.com) with your name, neighborhood and contact info.

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