Historic local landmark gets $60 million overhaul, including a new pool, dog park, and a gourmet outdoor kitchen (?!) plus rumors of first-floor retail. What else is going on in this far corner of East Falls?
Alden Park sits at Schoolhouse Lane and Wissahickon Avenue — the dividing line of East Falls and Germantown. The 1920’s Jacobethan Revival towers are currently undergoing a thorough overhaul including all 750+ units and the campus’ sprawling grounds.
Alden Park’s new owners (NYC real estate investment company L3C Capital Partners) aim to make the community a local landmark once again, and broadcast our area’s fantastic location and natural resources. “Its close proximity to essentially everything Philadelphia and the surrounding areas have to offer makes Alden Park a prime property to invest in,” said the company’s chairman in a recent press release that we somehow got a hold of (no comment).
The plan is to preserve Alden Park’s original architectural integrity while completely modernizing the apartments, clubrooms, and health spa. Perhaps the return of Alden Park’s restaurant? Although, Alden Park denies rumors of first-floor retail, residents have been buzzing as workers clang and bang thru the day.
Of course, there have been growing pains. Paula Holesworth Dougherty is a former resident who actually moved out after hassles from construction in the Cambridge building proved too much: “Jackhammers, burst pipes, hijacked elevators, noise, water shut-offs… The overall result will be beautiful but the process stinks.” Certainly, living thru a home renovation is no picnic!
But for those who stick it out, Alden Park aims to delight with fully-modernized units in a retreat-like atmosphere plus resort-class amenities: a new dog park, indoor & outdoor pools, state-of-the-art fitness centers, and something called a “gourmet outdoor kitchen” which apparently is a thing now.
And what about those amazing windows? The effort & expense to heat rooms with walls of antique glass has always proved challenging. To address, Alden Park will be installing modern, thermally-efficient replicas, keeping in line with each buildings’ unique architectural profile.
These upgrades are exciting news: when we compared historical living options last year, we found Alden Park breath-takingly beautiful, but the units we looked at were kinda drafty and outdated. In fact, the whole place was on that line between feeling historic and feeling… old. This revitalization could mean less seniors & students at Alden Park, and more families & professionals.
Check out the upgrades slated for this architectural gem in our backyard (artist renderings):
(looks like the vintage retractable roof stays).
It’s been over 23 years since Alden Park’s been refurbished. The last overhaul took from 1989 to 1993 — this one, they hope, will be finished within 24 months (some upgraded units are already available). With so many new residents choosing East Falls these days, a revamped Alden Park is well-poised to step back into the local limelight.
While the buildings are amazing, Alden Park’s team agrees the complex’s unique location — a part of Wissahickon Valley Park! — is its strongest asset, “It’s a haven — an escape from the city for Philadelphians, while still being super accessible to anything you may want or need.”
PS: Insider Tip for Alden Parkers — fantastic certified Iyengar yoga teacher right next door:
Does anyone know anything about the old white stone home next to the main entrance of Alden Park on Wissahickon Ave? It’s been abandoned since I moved here in 2004. It’s a beautiful structure and would be a shame to see it fall into further disrepair.
I know the house you mean! I have a ton of pics of it but couldn’t find any info. Perhaps I should step up the research….. it is intriguing.
Check out oak cloisters. Its on Wissahickon Ave, down & across the street from Alden Park. Its a private residence, but you can walk up the driveway to take a look.