Shiny & bright at the Kelly House! Recent landscaping improvements make us hopeful for more royal updates for Grace’s childhood home.
Wow this corner of Coulter & Henry is sprucing up nicely these days, thanks to Prince Albert, pictured above with the whole clan at the royal digs in Monaco. This Christmas, his mother’s home is in the family once again — and he’s clearly serious about rehabbing the property.
Big trees came down last weekend, clearing the view for camera-happy lookie-loos like yours truly. They also took down the fence in the backyard, and cleared lots of brush/dead trees & shrubs.
Christmas lights and an American flag make the perfect finishing touches, of course. Looking forward to seeing a flag of Monaco flying whenever the Prince or his family is in town…
Thank you to Prince Albert & his foundation for making this local landmark shine again! We look forward to more improvements and hopefully maybe a public viewing at some point in the future — apparently he told EF Historical Society that he’s planning on living here when he visits the area, and might be open to house tours or events.
Happy Holidays to Monaco from East Falls, Philadelphia! Warm welcomes to His Serene Highness and family, please make yourselves at home…
Original Post 10-26-16:
Prince Albert’s officially a Fallser, folks! Allow us to suggest some local links fit for our royal new neighbor.
East Falls made International news today, as His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco reconnected with family history at the stately old colonial his mother grew up in (peek inside here!), which he purchased last September. Philly.com reported this afternoon that the Prince stopped by to inspect the home — he waved but did not speak with reporters.
“It feels good, ” he told PEOPLE magazine last week, “I’m very happy to have saved this old family home from a near certain death or development…”
“We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do with it. We’re looking at having it contain some museum exhibit space and maybe use part of it for offices for some of our foundation work.
“The house was very beautiful and very special to our family.”
I’ll say! His grandfather built it, his mother grew up here, and Prince Albert himself even has memories of playing here, and watching traffic out an upstairs window. He’s eager to introduce his own toddler twins (a boy and a girl) to this neighborhood where a whole branch of his family tree is rooted.
Let us help! We’ve put together a handy guide of local businesses for anything a family could want here. It’s a bit exhaustive, though, so I’ve narrowed down a few highlights just for our new royal neighbors:
EAST FALLS FOR GRIMALDIS
- Prince Albert is a huge environmental advocate — in 2008 he was named a “Champion of the Earth” by the United Nations Environment Programme. No doubt he’d enjoy a visit to the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in nearby Roxborough.
The Schuylkill Center’s wildlife rehab program is incredible, and they’ve also got trails & educational programs. Plus a gift shop, with local crafts, toys, books — I’m sure he’d find some special items to help young Jacques and Gabriella appreciate our natural wonders here.
- Princess Charlene’s a former Olympic swimmer (for South Africa) so we’ll tip her off to the awesome pools/indoor water park at the Kroc Center, right around the corner in Nicetown. Open all year, nominal fees. Lessons and competitive swimming, too.
Another suggestion: the pool at Alden Park is amazing! With vintage Art Deco tile and a retractable roof, this historic pool has recently been spectacularly renovated. It’s private property, though, she might need to pull some strings to see it…
- Fiorino — Chef Franco’s food is fit for a king, and the service couldn’t get any more warm and welcoming. His cuisine hails from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, which is only a few hours’ drive from Monaco. (We’re guessing the dishes here might remind the Prince of home.)
Another good choice for European palates: In Riva on Kelly Drive. (Sometimes, I entertain daydreams about their crispy-fried artichokes.)
- Like his uncle and grandfather, the Prince is an avid rower — he’d no doubt enjoy a paddle down the Schuylkill. He’ll love Philadelphia Canoe Club‘s headquarters in an 18th century mill across from the Wissahickon waterfalls on Ridge.
Regular trips and social events for members and the public, plus really awesome instructors. Schuylkill scenery? Once you see East Falls from the river, you’ll never quite look at us the same way again.
- With a family full of athletes and over-achievers, the royal twins must be a challenge to tire out. Last December, their doting parents described the then 1-year-olds to the Daily Mail as “very active, very playful… and a lot of work!””Fun” and “adorable,” too, but still. Sometimes, you need to wear little batteries down.Kids at Play‘s sprawling indoor gym & playground provides a bright, safe, clean wonderland that children of all abilities can enjoy. Ball pits, zip-line, archery, kinetic sand, and more. A diverse, supportive environment where no one is “special” and even young royals can feel like one of the gang.
For more ways to get the most out of living in East Falls, visit EastFallsInsider.com and be sure to follow East Falls Local on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and reviews — new photos every day.
Welcome, Grimaldis! Hope to see you around…
BUSINESSES MENTIONED ABOVE:
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
Over three miles of varying trails through fascinating “Piedmont Plateau” habitats including forest, field, meadow, and wetlands. Indigenous trees, flowers, and wildlife (150+ species of birds have been observed here!). Diverse, educational hiking for all ages & abilities.
8480 Hagys Mill Road (in nearby Roxborough)
Kroc Center of Philadelphia
Indoor water park (featuring party packages) plus a fantastic playground and stroller-friendly walking trails.
4200 Wissahickon Avenue
Gated complex of historic Jacobethan Revival towers with landscaped gardens on the edge of Wissahickon Valley Park. Currently undergoing $60 million in upgrades to include modern appliances, fitness center, dog park, and outdoor pool with gourmet kitchen.
5500 Wissahickon Avenue
Italian food to die for at this quaint neighborhood BYOB on one of the loveliest & most historic streets in East Falls. Check out his casual group cooking classes for insider tips plus a peek into his magical kitchen.
3572 Indian Queen Lane
215-843-1500 (reservations strongly recommended)
Wood-fired pizza and northern-Italian inspired cuisine in this modern, urban restaurant with riverview patio and enclosed dog-friendly yard.
4116 Ridge Avenue
Philadelphia Canoe Club
Canoeing and kayaking on our stretch of the Schuylkill. Trips, training, and events are open to the public — no membership needed. Paddling for all levels plus social activities, too, in a beautiful historic lodge right off Ridge (near Wissahickon Transfer Center).
4900 Ridge Ave
Kids at Play
Indoor gym/playground includes zip-line, ball pits, slides, swings, archery, kinetic sand, and more in two-levels of bright, clean, padded fun for all abilities — seriously, don’t let the “special needs” thing throw you, this place is a wonderland with something for all kids to enjoy. ($)
3502 Scotts Lane (Sherman Mills)