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Open House!

Mark your calendars, save the date!  Toner Architects will be opening our office doors for Bok Night from 4-7 on Friday, October 12 for Design Philadelphia.  Please stop by for a visit!

You’ll get a chance to see our new office and have a look at what we’ve been working on. While you’re here, you can check out our office-mate Chris Landau’s work, as well.

We are located in Bok (A hub for Design Philadelphia this year) at

1901 South 9th Street (corner of 9th and Mifflin)
Room 425
Philadelphia, PA 19148

In addition to our open house there will be multiple other companies hosting events that night at Bok including but not limited to:

Bicyclette Furniture

Firth and Wilson Transport Cycles

Gnome Architects

JV Collective

Klip Collective

Lobo Mau

made@bok

Milder Office Inc.

Mozilla

Nuance Jewelry

Remark Glass

Roantree Weaves

Stover Ceramics

Urban Aesthetics

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Adult Science Fair

by Justyn Myers

A while back I was given the chance to participate and compete in a local science fair.  When presented with the idea, the inner kid in me got real excited as images of trifold presentation boards and short sleeved collared shirts ran through my mind.  What kind of project would have the most impact, would be the most fun to build, and is something I could use after it was done?  I had figured the volcano was played out, and robotics would be too complicated given the short 2-week time frame.  I had always wanted to make a trebuchet and this was the perfect time to do so.  Now I have the opportunity to explore how it was made by going through those motions and get a chance to really understand how to maximize its potential (energy).   I’m going to run through the steps of how to make one and explain my conclusion and explore what I would do differently when I build the next one. 

The trebuchet is an ancient siege engine used for throwing large rocks. It was invented in China in about the 4th century BC, came to Europe in the 6th century AD, and did not become obsolete until the 16th century, well after the introduction of gunpowder.  Trebuchets were so popular because an army would show up to invade a castle and use the surrounding trees to build the catapult, thus relieving the army of having to carry this large thing around when travelling.

A classical trebuchet involves a falling counterweight which accelerates the throwing arm and the sling attached to it. A small speed on the counterweight provides a large speed on the end of the throwing arm and an even larger speed on the projectile in the sling because the arm and projectile have a much larger radius from the fulcrum than the counterweight does. Ideally, the sling will release when the projectile is traveling at a 45-degree angle to the ground, and the counterweight should impart all of its energy to the projectile. I decided to make a trebuchet that would use a case of soda as a counterweight, and would throw a single can of soda as far as possible.

treb 1.jpg
treb 2.jpg

Aside from the basic components of the trebuchet there are other factors to consider when building a trebuchet.  After building the initial small-scale model I made changes and added these items:

WHEELS: As the counterweight swings down, the trebuchet rolls forwards and then backwards. The forward motion adds to the velocity of the projectile, much as the forward motion of a baseball pitcher add to the velocity of a ball. The forwards motion of the trebuchet also helps to smooth out the motion of the swinging beam, adding to the control of the projectile.

COUNTERWEIGHTS WERE OF TWO TYPES: fixed or hinged. Fixed counterweights were easier to design and build. However, in an effort to harness the full energy of the falling mass, hinged counterweight trebuchets were built.  I used both and found the projectile went further with a hinged counterweight.  The hinge allowed the counterweight to fall at maximum velocity without any horizontal drag.

THINGS I WOULD CHANGE
There are a couple things I would change when I tackle this project again.  One thing would be to increase the amount of counter weight used from (1) case to (2) cases of soda because generally in a trebuchet as the weight increases the distance increases as well.  We should have cut the hole in our arm further so that the arm could reach the trigger without additional string. This would make our trebuchet more efficient.  And lastly, I would create an adjustable pin mechanism to adjust firing angle on the battle field.

CONCLUSION
This trebuchet model was an enjoyable and surprising project. The design and construction were both challenging and interesting, and this small project allows you to exercise both your mind and your hands. It was surprising because the mathematical model corresponded so well with the range and actual performance in the field. I think it can be said with certainty that the more soda you drink out of the can to be thrown (making it lighter), and the more soda you add to the counterweight, the distance travelled by the projectile increases. In addition, the greater the height above the ground the counterweight is held, and the greater the angle the projectile turns through, the greater the displacement of the projectile. For an object that is 36" tall and works on only gravity to fire an object 33 feet (as mine did) attests to the beauty and pragmatism of the trebuchet design.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanks, Sara, for a great card design this year!

Thanks, Sara, for a great card design this year!

We like sending Thanksgiving cards--maybe you got one? It gives us a chance to focus on all that we have to be thankful for. We work in a growing city, with clients who value what we do. We love our work, and are grateful for those who make it possible. Have a safe and happy holiday.

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Our Team is Growing!

Well, it's finally happened. We've grown to the point that we needed more help. Lucky for us, Sara was ready to go.

Sara Shonk, our newest team member, is a licensed Architect, Interior Designer, and LEED AP. Since her time at Kent State University, she has had over 10 years of experience in residential, higher education, K-12 facilities, health care, preservation, sustainability, commercial, retail and hospitality design. 

Sara's experience will be a great benefit to our clients. She has a thorough knowledge of the complex building and accessibility codes that are applicable to larger projects. She has a strong work ethic that helps her develop creative solutions to design challenges and stay on schedule. And her interiors expertise means that at the end of the project, the final product will not only function, but will be beautiful as well.

Welcome Sara!

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Our New Home

Well, we're finally moved into our new home. We've relocated to the Bok building in South Philadelphia, just a few blocks from our former location. It's been an exciting move.

The building is a former Vo-Tech high school, built in 1936 in an art-deco style. It is a beautiful building and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Plus, it's over 340,000 square feet! So, there were lots of spaces to choose from.

Despite its great pedigree, the building was left in disrepair when the School District of Philadelphia left it at the end of the 2012-13 school year. Here's what we started with:

It was a little messy.

It was a little messy.

The first thing to do was to measure and draw up what we wanted for a new layout. We wanted a mostly-open space, with a small room set aside for a kitchenette, storage, and printer. We drew up the plans (naturally) and the building owner, Scout, worked with us to get the improvements done. We wanted to make sure we were planning ahead for future growth.

Planning ahead is a good idea.

Planning ahead is a good idea.

After we got the plan nailed down, it was time to pack and wait for construction to get finished. Packing was a lot of work! Finally, it all came together. It took us a few weeks to get settled in, but we're excited with the results. We even included some custom desks, a coffee table, and some built-in shelves from one of our new neighbors, J&K Lockerby.

Maybe you'll stop by sometime to have a look? 

Our new address is 1901 South 9th Street, Suite 221, Philadelphia, PA 19148.

See you soon!

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Project Roundup: Week of 10/26/15

It was a busy week here. Wednesday was a trip up to New York to watch a first-year graduate student review at Columbia University. I didn't take a whole lot of pictures of the students' work, but I did take some photos of the room we were in. Back when I was visiting colleges with my parents, my dad made the observation that architecture buildings always seemed to be the worst on campus. I didn't see much of the building I was in, but the specific room was definitely underloved. Here's an example of the kind of delicate, thoughtful detailing I observed:

If the review hadn't been so interesting, I would have probably spent more time trying to come up with a backstory for these things. But fortunately, the students kept my attention. Congratulations to the students and their professor, Adam Snow Frampton of Only If, on all the progress.

After returning to Philadelphia, I made the rounds of projects in progress:

2028-32 East Arizona Street

Last week you only got to see the exterior of this project, but the real excitement this week is happening inside. Each of the three houses are in different stages of completion:

Here, sprinklers are going in. Insulation just went in this week, too.

Next door, drywall is up and you can really start to get a feel for what the completed spaces will be like. Here, you can see the sunlight coming in through the double-height glass in the dining room and washing across the kitchen wall.

In the finished basement, the electricians are working hard to finalize all of the circuiting for lighting and outlets.

On the second floor, the hardwood flooring is in and the painters are working away.

2136 East Firth Street

This one is a total gut-rehab of an existing three-story rowhouse. It's right next door to our soon-to-start-construction Parish House project (more on that in a few weeks). Here, you can see that insulating foam has been applied to the exterior of the old brick walls, and will soon be ready for an application of stucco. The system provides good air sealing and a little extra insulation to the overall wall assembly. 

On the horizon, we'll be working on a house for this tiny 13' x 43' lot in the Kensington section of Philadelphia (it's the one in the middle):

See you next week!

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Thankfulness

For most of us, Thanksgiving is a time when we gather with family and eat a lot. Maybe there's football, too. There might even be a brief moment, as we start eating, when we reflect on what we have to be thankful for in our lives.

It's easy to forget those things throughout the rest of the year. We in the United States are very fortunate to be here, to live in a country where an enormous economic meltdown, as painful as it has been, didn't lead to war or massive famine. Where government deadlock didn't lead to a military coup or a complete loss of order. Where most of us can count on having electricity and water whenever we want it. There are lots of places in the world that don't have any of these securities.

But you don't have to be so dramatic about it. There are lots of people right here who don't have a basic education. Who don't have food security. Who don't have a reliable place to sleep at night. Who suffer from domestic violence. Most of us don't have to deal with these concerns.

But you don't have to be so dramatic about it. There are lots of people this holiday season who will be mourning the loss of loved ones. Who will mourn the loss of relationships due to divorce or other circumstances. Who are overseas and can't get home. Most of us are fortunate not to have these burdens.

But you don't have to be so dramatic about it. Lots of people this holiday season won't get awesome presents. They won't get expensive wine with their meals, or a new car. They may not even get that grande chai three-pump-skim milk-lite water-no foam-extra hot latte from Starbucks, because it costs too much.

This year, it's important to me to see not just the big things, but also the little things that make me so fortunate. The little ones add up to a pretty great life. I'm going to keep those things in mind when I have the urge to complain.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

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Greenbuild Wrap-Up

This year I visited the Greenbuild Conference, which was held here in Philadelphia. It's the annual event for all things related to "green" construction. It was held at the Philadelphia Convention Center, and it was enormous. The building takes up four city blocks, and the main exhibition hall is over 560,000 square feet. It was full of exhibitors (over 800) and had two stages as well as refreshment booths and rest areas. The stages had constant presentations going on, and there were seminars in the conference rooms in the rest of the building as well, plus tours of Philadelphia and the surrounding area.

I didn't attend the seminars (see here for part of the reason); my experience was limited to the exhibition floor. Even at a brisk pace, it still took two hours for me to get through everything. Here's the map of the exhibition:

Many of the exhibits were creative and informative. Of course, with topics ranging from Acoustics to Plumbing to Waste Management, there was something for everyone. I was most interested in the building materials and systems manufacturers, and also stopped by the Passive House booth.

The two biggest highlights for me were:

Several manufacturers of SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels). This is an approach to construction that uses prefabricated panels to speed on-site construction time. The manufacturers take your building plans and break the design down into manageable pieces, then build those pieces in a factory. Everything is delivered on a truck, and goes together according to their assembly diagram. The result is a well-built and well-insulated building that goes up faster than if you built it from scratch on site.

Diagrammatic view of a house built with SIPs; image from www.carolinasystemsbuilt.com

There was another type of panel manufacturer there, too, who builds with steel framing. This system is interesting because it combines insulation between the studs (as is usually done) with continuous insulation outside of the stud space. This continuous insulation is more efficient than insulation between the studs. The system comes in panels just like the SIPs, and can even be used for basement walls. This is definitely something I want to find out more about.

Lots of high-performance windows. Windows are one of the weakest points in a building's envelope. While a code-compliant wall has an insulating value of R-13, a code-compliant window is only around R-3. If you have large windows, you're probably losing a lot of heat through them, even if they're good ones. These high-performance windows, though, typically have R-values starting at around 6, and go up to R-14 or higher. They do it by using three layers of glass (called triple-glazing) with special gases in between, and by carefully constructing the frames so that they don't transmit heat from inside to outside (or vice versa).

An energycore insulated window from QuanexI also picked up information on insulation, ventilation equipment, bamboo siding, and some really cool structural connectors. I'm glad I was able to attend. Next year the conference will be in New Orleans.

So, did you or anyone you know attend Greenbuild? What did you think?

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Another Reason to Love the City

Last week was Halloween, which of course means trick-or-treating. It was a great night to be out, whether you were with kids (like I was) or if you were handing out candy. The weather was mild here in Philly, which meant that the crowds were better than last year. I took this photo at 6:30 in the evening.

Say what you will about South Philly (I know I do), but when it comes to kids, the neighborhood really turns out. People love to compliment kids and exclaim how beautiful they are, and are always forthcoming with a hearty "Ga-bless" (short for "God bless you, you wonderful child"). This spirit is really on display during Halloween.

I grew up in a small town, with large houses on big lots. You really had to put in some effort if you were going to get around to enough houses to fill your bag. Long front walks (NEVER walk across someone's lawn to take a shortcut) and separated houses really separated candy collection points, and on top of that you had to ring the doorbell and wait for the person to answer it.

Not so in Philly. Here, the houses are only sixteen feet (or less) wide, and everyone's out on their stoop. You do more of a candy drive-by,  just holding out the bag and getting your bounty. Easy on the kids, plus lots of people on the street makes for a fun environment. In about an hour, my kids had their bags full and were ready to go home.

There's a lot of talk out there about walkability in cities, as one of the may key things that make them successful. Community events like trick-or-treating really showcase a neighborhood's strengths. Ours shone brightly this year, and it's part of why I'm  proud to be a Philadelphian*.

*I would be remiss if I didn't mention that you're not technically a Philadelphian if you weren't born and raised here. Just ask anyone at your neighborhood deli.

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The End of the Suburbs?

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Leigh Gallagher, author of the new book The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving. The event was hosted by the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance and was held at a restaurant on Passyunk Avenue, which is featured in the book as an example of one type of neighborhood that people are choosing over suburbia.

About one hundred or so people were in attendance, including neighborhood leaders, real estate brokers and developers, designers, and even our City Councilman. On stage were Ms. Gallagher and Inga Saffron, a journalist for The Philadelphia Inquirer who covers architecture, design, and planning. Prompted by questions from Ms. Saffron, Gallagher gave a brief synopsis of the book and then took questions from the audience.

The two main points of the book, extremely briefly:

  • The suburbs--with open space, cars, and single-family home ownership--defined the "American Dream" for a period of nearly 70 years. This definition of success was directly opposite from the image of city life.
  • In recent years, the housing crisis exposed problems with the suburban style of development, exacerbating long-running economic, societal, and demographic issues. The nuclear family is no longer the dominant social structure, rising oil prices and long commutes have turned the younger generation away from cars, and cities are experiencing a renaissance that has led to the smoothing over of their rough edges.

Gallagher does not argue that the suburbs are going away, but she does make the point that recent data show a change is happening. Cities are getting healthier. People are tired of commuting for work and play.

Of course, it's not all roses in the city. In particular, the issues surrounding public education are overwhelming, and Gallagher acknowledges that a lack of quality public education might be the biggest thing holding most cities back. There may be a "sweet spot" in the middle--older "streetcar suburbs" with their own downtowns (for example, Media, PA, where Gallagher is from) offer many of the benefits of both the city and the suburbs.

Some questions I thought about during and after the presentation:

  • If the more affluent leave their suburban homes and move back to the city, improving (gentrifying?) neighborhoods and raising property values, where do the poor, who were originally left behind in dying cities, going to go? Those with limited financial means are the least equipped to re-populate the suburbs, with their dependence on cars, large plots (=higher taxes per home), and lack of adequate social services.
  • If the suburbs are left abandoned, what happens to the homes and infrastructure that's left behind?
  • How will cities react to increased population? What vestiges of their old suburban lives will those new transplants bring with them? Will they be able to make themselves comfortable with less space, less stuff, and fewer cars? Or will the city begin to take on some aspects of suburban culture?

Do you have a story about moving from suburbia to the city, or vice versa? What was your experience?

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"Stronger Than the Storm"

I spent last week on vacation in Stone Harbor, NJ.  Sitting on the beach and observing the results of Hurricane Sandy's power--and the Borough's reaction to it--got me thinking.  How do we choose when to fight the inevitability of nature?  Who should pay for it?  When, if ever, do we admit defeat and treat our coastline as a fluid, rather than rigid, boundary?

As you can see in the photo above, the water has really scoured the beach, causing almost cliff-like conditions at the high-water line.  Higher up on the beach, the large and well-established dunes were eaten away by the hurricane.  It's fortunate for property owners on the island that these dunes have been the subject of a lot of focus in recent years.

Natural dunes often occur in a double-humped configuration.  That is, there are two rows of dunes running parallel to the beach.  Because of this, four distinct microclimates are created; the primary (outer) dune facing the beach, the back of that dune, the outer face of the secondary (inner) dune, and the back of that dune.  Dunes serve many purposes.  They create several microclimates where different flora and fauna live.  In the photo below, you can see how the sides of the dunes facing the ocean have more grasses, while the back side has larger plants.  If these dunes are allowed to progress naturally, larger vegetation, including trees, will develop as you move away from the ocean.  This is determined by how much wind, blowing sand, and salt spray each area is subjected to.  (For a more thorough description of this process and a list of the plant species involved, see Ian McHarg's Design With Nature, in the chapter entitled "Sea and Survival".) 

When I was a kid, there were almost no dunes.  Over the past several years, the towns along this stretch of the coast have been developing dune projects, putting in snow fencing to trap sand and planting grasses to hold it in place.  As the wind blows more sand onto the dunes, the grasses extend their roots, creating a dense mat that grips the sand.  It is this network of roots that held most of the dune mass in place during the storm.  The dunes were able to absorb most of the power of the storm, and kept the sea back (mostly), reducing the storm damage to flooding, but not destruction.

Now, the beach is being rebuilt.  The dredging barge has moved in, and large equipment stands at the ready on the sand.  The barge will suck sand from offshore and blow it, along with whatever else is down there, through a three-foot-wide pipe up onto shore.  The sand will be spread into place and will bring the beach back to where it was the last time this process was done (three years ago, I think).  The total sand to be moved will be about 700,000 cubic yards, or the equivalent of 46,667 standard dump-truck loads.  

Fortunately for local property owners, the beach fill project is entirely funded with Sandy relief money, costing the Borough nothing.  But it begs the question: Who should be paying for this beach reclamation, and should they get a vote?  There are strong arguments on both sides.  On the one hand, the Jersey Shore is a vacation destination, filled with memories for those who go there.  On the other, the vast majority of the homes on these islands are second homes, so why should the government pay to keep them safe?

This isn't just a problem that occurs after major storms.  The islands along this part of the coast are barrier islands, made of sand and, in their natural state, constantly forming, changing, and reforming.  It's only been in the last hundred years or so that people have decided to "stabilize" them, putting up barriers to the sea and periodically taking sand that has drifted away and putting it back.

I don't have any clever answers here, but it's food for thought.  In the wake of the storm, there's been plenty written about why we need to replenish these beaches and rebuild.  There are also articles like this one (written in 2004), questioning whether it should be the federal government that foots the bill.  Fortunately, in the case of this storm it seems like people were generally able to put these argument aside and help those in need of immediate assistance.

As Jimi Hendrix said, "And so castles made of sand fall in the sea, eventually".

If you'd like to keep up with the dredging progress, you can do so here.

If you want to be part of the larger discussion, Philadelphia's own WHYY is hosting a series on it entitled "Ready For Next Time?  Rethinking the Jersey Shore After Sandy".  Read more and see a schedule of events, starting July 15th, here.

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Paying Tribute

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a retirement party for my high-school art teacher, Mrs. Little.  There were current and former students, teachers and administrators, friends and family present.  These sorts of events (and the 2 1/2 hour drive to get back to my hometown) give me a chance to reflect on the influence people can have on each other.

Though it's been quite a while since high school, I still feel Mrs. Little's influence.  She respected and listened to her students.  She wanted us to find our own way of expressing ourselves, not just complete assignments.  She was on our side, and often helped us through tough times that had nothing to do with art.  And she didn't hesitate to tell you when your work wasn't your best.

Many of these indirect lessons that she taught have been invaluable to my own work.  I've learned to be a good listener, to see the value in my clients' contributions to the process, and to collaborate with others who have skills I lack.  It's important for me that my clients feel empowered and included in the design process, and that they know that they can count on me to be on their side during construction, when they may feel intimidated by contractors and the building process.

In my own capacity as a teacher I have always tried to help my students find their own creative voice, and to learn the conventions that exist so that they will be able to break them when necessary.  

And for myself, my clients, and my students, I am never satisfied with the status quo.  I'm always pushing all of us to do our best, and then to do better.  I think Mrs. Little would approve.

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Prefab Progress

Well, I was out for the first "set day" on the Main Line Prefab project I wrote about in the last post.  It was a fun day.  The units arrived on Sunday, and were scattered around the project site.  There were also a few units parked around the corner.  I arrived at 9:10 am, and the first box had already been placed.  By 9:30, the second one went down.  The crew worked very quickly, attaching cables to the box, raising it and then lowering it into place, removing the cables, and securing the box to the foundations and to its neighbors.  I stuck around until about noon, and by that time five boxes were in place.

 Cheryl Allison, a reporter from the Main Line Times, attended; you can read her article and see the paper's photos and video here.  The video features Pete Maruca of Orion General Contractors.

Below is a gallery of my own photos.

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Prefab on the Main Line

Recently, I had the opportunity to work on a residential project that involved a high-end modular home on the Main Line (Montgomery County, PA).  The project site was a 1.2-acre parcel containing an existing house and three outbuildings.  When the homeowners contacted me, they had already nearly completed the design of the prefab house.  The plan was to demolish all the existing buildings and replace them with the new one.  However, they had run into an issue with the local stormwater regulations, and needed some help.  

After reviewing the regulations and consulting with Rob Lambert of SITE Engineering Concepts (the project's Civil Engineer), we found that keeping part of the existing structure would help us avoid the most onerous parts of the law, while still allowing us to be good environmental stewards.  My part of the project, then, was to work on rehabbing the existing portion we planned to keep and to develop a connection between it and the new house.

I visited the existing house and was immediately intrigued.  The building had been added on to over the years, starting with a mysterious one-room stone building.  This was the part that really caught my interest.  We decided to keep the stone portion and create a breezeway connection between it and the main house.  As the project developed, I worked on other areas, including a basement and foundation plan for the new house, the connection between the house and the prefab garage, and general design review and coordination.  All in all, a very interesting project with great clients.

If you're interested, you're welcome to visit the project site on January 11th & 12th to watch the prefab modules being delivered and installed.  See the press release for more details on where and when the event will take place, or visit the project's Facebook page.  You can also see images of the project below.

p.s. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention

Orion General Contractors, who is responsible for on-site work, and Simplex Homes, builder of the modular units.

Some views of the project:

Site Plan: Existing stone building shown red, Breezeway shown blue, Prefab house shown yellow, Existing outbuildings to be demolished shown gray, Existing house to be demolished shown dashed.

The existing stone building with the rest of the existing house stripped away.

The restored stone building with new breezeway.


The restored stone building with new breezeway.

Restored stone building with breezeway and prefab house in background.


Restored stone building with breezeway and prefab house in background.

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Second Chance to Chat With an Architect--Tomorrow!

Once again, I'll be setting up the "Architecture, 5¢" booth, this time at the Capitolo Playground at 9th and Wharton.  This year's flea market will likely surround the entire park.  

Ever wonder what an architect does, exactly (lots)?  Think you can't afford one (yes you can)?  Stop by to talk about your project--big or small--or just to say hello.  It should be a beautiful day.

All donations will go to Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia.

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LoMo Flea Market Wrap-Up

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the table to talk architecture at the LoMo Flea Market.  I had a lot of fun meeting some neighbors, handing out some free advice, and collecting donations for Habitat For Humanity Philadelphia.  The weather was a bit colder than expected, but the turnout was still great.  If you missed me this time, keep your eyes and ears open for the next one, coming to a flea market near you!

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Come See the Toner Architects Booth at LoMo Spring Market and Community Fair!

I'll be talking architecture with the neighbors at Lower Moyamensing Civic Association's Spring Market and Community Fair this Saturday, April 30th from 9-3 at the corner of Broad and Snyder.  If you have burning questions about what architects do, or just want some advice on how to stop a roof leak, stop by and introduce yourself.  

I'll also be accepting donations to Habitat For Humanity Philadelphia.

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Ian Does Career Day at PPACS

On April 13th, I had the pleasure of attending the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School Career Day.  The focus was on the creative economy; other presenters were ad executives, event planners, engineers, and lighting designers, to name a few.  I made a presentation about the profession of architecture to three different sixth-grade classes.

I was really impressed by the students at this school.  Not only did they sit quietly and show interest, but they asked great questions.  Special thanks to Avigail Milder, who contacted me about participating.  (Avigail herself is part of the creative economy--see her work at Philly Face Painting.)

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Upcoming Event--Save the Date

Contemplating a home renovation project for the spring?  Want to know how to get started?  Join Ian Toner for an informative talk about design, codes, and the construction process on Thursday, March 3rd at 7pm in the Columbus Square Park Rec Center (12th & Reed).  Visit www.columbussquarepark.org for more info.

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