new digs

New Digs: Love at First Sight at Kensington Yards

How many people can say that a window sold them on their new home? For Michael McTigue, the stunning circular cut-out window in his new Kensington Yards unit may have been the clincher. This compelling architectural detail is beloved amongst the Solo Real Estate crew, and we’re delighted to see such a great owner inhabit this special space.

Old Friends, New Construction

In September of 2018, with Phase Two of Kensington Yards still under construction, Michael asked Deborah Solo for a walk-through. After seeing the huge master bedroom, the unexpected views of downtown, the open floorplan, and- of course- that gorgeous window- he said “I’ll take it” on the spot.

Michael, a Philly native who works in Corporate Communications and Government Affairs, bought his first home in Northern Liberties from Deborah 20 years ago and maintained a connection to Solo throughout that time. “I like that she’s an architect,” he said, “she has a really good language for describing spaces.”

Growing Up & Growing Out of Philly Rowhome Living

As a longtime resident, Michael recalls how the city has changed in recent decades. Coming from northeast Philly, he would take the El to see shows in Center City, which he says felt like a “ghost town” at that time. “I remember when there weren’t even street lights on Market Street,” he says. “When I moved into my house in Northern Liberties, I was the only person living on the block. One of my neighbors down the street had a pet wolf. And now, that neighborhood is fully grown up.”

Though he loved his place in Northern Liberties, Michael felt it was time for a change. He had already invested in a beautiful top-to-bottom renovation of his expanded trinity rowhome about 10 years ago, and knew he was looking for something different this time around. He was drawn to the quality of the construction at Kensington Yards, and all the artisanal details put in by Solo’s collaborators. After living in a rowhome for so long, Michael says “I wanted to try a different kind of space in the city.”

Thoughtful Details at Every Turn

His new space is bright, beautiful, and full of original artwork collected over the years from local artists. In the living room, each piece of furniture is well-thought-out and placed in harmony. The original Noguchi glass tabletop rests on a custom wooden base made by a friend, mimicking the glass inside the famous circular window just feet away. Patterns and a neutral palette make the whole house feel warm and lived-in.

Michael has a lot of hope for the kind of community the Kensington Yards project can foster. With the shared outdoor garden space and generous entrances to the Kensington Yards buildings, there’s plenty of communal space to enjoy impromptu gatherings. Proximity to the vibrant maker-centric neighborhood of East Kensington provides an exciting backdrop for these one-of-a-kind apartments.

Find more Kensington Yards stories:

New Construction Means New Possibilities 

Kensington Yards Fuses the Old with the New

Featured Collaborator: Apiary Studio

Featured Collaborator: Bright Common

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