FAQ

 
General
  • How many units are in The Philadelphian?
    There are currently 753 residential units.  This is fewer than the original 776 residential units because a few owners combined two units and another handful of units have been converted to offices.
  • How many people live in The Philadelphian?
    Approximately 1,100 people live here.
  • When was The Philadelphian built?
    • The Philadelphian opened its doors in 1963. Designed by noted architect Samuel Oshiver, it remains a classic of modern architecture. To learn more about our history, visit the About page here.
  • How safe is the neighborhood?
    The Fairmount neighborhood generally has lower crime rates than many nearby areas of the city, such as Center City, East Falls, and University City. Rates of violent crime are especially low.
  • How accessible is The Philadelphian?
    Whether you use your feet, a bicycle, a bus, or a car, you can get to and from The Philadelphian easily. The walk to Center City down Benjamin Franklin Parkway, about 1.5 miles, is lovely. Across the Spring Garden Bridge and through Powelton Village to West Philadelphia is also a nice stroll or bicycle ride. Our own shuttle bus takes you into town, and five city buses stop within two blocks of the building. Nearby ramps for Interstates 676 and 76 add to the Parkway's great car access, while train travel is just a few minutes away at 30th St. Station. Even Philadelphia's airport is just a 20-30 minutes' ride.
  • What are the volunteer opportunities?
    Philadelphian residents tutor students at the local elementary school and beyond; volunteer at nearby institutions, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Eastern State Penitentiary, and the Friends of the Free Library; and participate in nonprofit organizations of all kinds. Some residents find volunteer activities through the Fairmount Civic Association and Spring Garden-Fairmount Concerned Citizens.

Governance
  • Who makes decisions about the building?
    The Philadelphian Owners Association (POA), a nonprofit corporation in which all owners automatically become members, governs The Philadelphian. Owners invest the power to make policy and financial decisions in a seven-member Board, all of whose members are themselves owners. The Board members hold two-year terms, which are staggered so that some terms end each year. POA members vote on candidates for Board positions annually.
  • How can owners participate in the decision-making process?
    Besides running for the Executive Board and voting in elections, all owners can attend the bi-annual open meetings, where they can ask questions and engage in debate. Residents can also write to Board members at any time. They can  volunteer for Board committees, which advise the Board on substantive issues and do much of the day-to-day work that makes The Philadelphian a vibrant community.

Operations
  • How large is the staff of The Philadelphian?
    The POA employs 60 people on its full-time staff, plus additional people on a contract basis. Staff positions range from engineers, maintenance personnel, and office staff behind the scenes to concierges and parking attendants on the front lines. The staff report to the General Manager, who in turn reports to the Board. 
  • When are the front desk and the front door staffed?
    The front door and front desk are staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  This unusual level of coverage contributes enormously to residents' safety and convenience and the building's smooth operation.
  • How do residents move bulk items to and from their units?
    The loading dock at the back of the building provides a convenient place for residents to unload their cars, which can be parked there for 30 minutes.  Residents can also schedule use of the loading dock for major deliveries, move-in and move-out days, and use by contractors working on unit renovation projects. A freight elevator in each wing and loaner shopping carts and trolleys help, too.  
  • What are the building's digital services?
    A basic cable service is included in your monthly assessment, and many residents contract with the provider for expanded Internet, telephone, and television services. Free WiFi is available in the social rooms and Fitness Center.
  • Is space provided for bicycle parking?
    The building has a number of spaces on the first floor for bicycle parking. Like car parking, these spaces become available on a first-come, first-serve basis and require an annual payment.  You can also keep your bicycle in your unit, but not on your balcony.

Pollicy
  • What is the smoking policy?
    The Philadelphian is a non-smoking building.  The only people who may smoke in their units are residents who lived here before the no-smoking policy was passed by the Board.
  • What is the pet policy?
    Residents of The Philadelphian may keep fish and small birds. Otherwise we are a no-pet building except for Assistance Animals, which help people with disabilities live here comfortably.
  • What is the policy for owners who want to rent their units?
    Owners may rent their units for terms of at least one year. The POA provides a form for the lease, and owners must turn in a signed copy to the management office.

Renovations & Repairs
  • What are the restrictions on how I can change my unit?
    To ensure adherence to all legal and safety regulations, owners must receive approval from the management office before undertaking any work. These regulations can affect considerations as varied as placement and type of clothes dryers, the load on electrical circuits, and fire safety elements. Condo rules also regulate the use of spaces visible from outside our units, such as balconies, windows, and front doors.  Other than these considerations, spelled out in greater detail in the residents' handbook (which an owner receives at the time of purchase), you can change your condo as you like. It's your castle!
  • What is the division of responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep between the owners association and individual owners?
    The Philadelphia Owners Association maintains common elements, such as the heating/cooling system in our units; all the building systems in the walls; and the common spaces, such as the lobby, hallway, and social rooms. Individual owners are responsible for everything else inside their units and the pipes under the bathroom floors. The residents' handbook, which you will receive at the time of purchase, spells out each party's responsibilities.
  • How does The Philadelphian handle unexpected costs for major repairs?
    For more than a decade, The Philadelphian has been able to handle unexpected expenses through its normal budgeting process without special assessments. One example is a $13 million project, spread over 5 years, for work on the balconies and other areas of the facade. We were able to complete this project without special assessments because the POA assigns a sizable portion of our annual condo fees to a capital reserve fund. While the POA cannot guarantee that owners will always be able to avoid special assessments, the Board makes this an extremely high priority.