By Sheila Dyan
With the venerable bar as its landmark, Center City’s Pine View has comfortable, lively feel.
One of the big attractions at Pine View is Dirty Frank’s, the local watering hole on the first floor, and the close-knit neighborhood it characterizes.
“Dirty Frank’s was one of the main reasons I moved here,” said Andrea DePasquale, 34, a resident of the Pine View apartment building for six years. “It’s a great neighborhood bar, great crowd. I always feel comfortable there, which is how I feel about the whole neighborhood… comfortable. I love the neighborhood… and it is a close neighborhood.
“It’s the central part of Center city, and it’s diverse, with families and singles, and all lifestyles,” she said. “Walk down the street and you know people. It has great restaurants… the Avenue of the Arts I right here, with theaters and all that fun stuff… and neighborhood bookstores, neighborhood restaurants, and, of course neighborhood bars.”
An institution of long standing, Dirty Frank’s needs no formal sign. Found behind an unmarked steel door on the corner of the building, it is prominently labeled by the structure’s landmark feature – artist David McShane’s “Famous Franks” mural, a splashy, fun work of art sponsored in part by the Mural Arts Program of the Philadelphia Department of Recreation. Covering the first stor7y of the corner at 13th and Pine, the mural depicts such notables as Frank Rizzo, Frank “Tug” McGraw, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, Aretha Franklin, Frank Zappa, Frankie Avalon, and the Frankenstein monster, and the hot dog of the group, Ball Park Frank.
The exterior of the four-story brick walk-up circa 1935, is otherwise distinguished by stone lintels, sills, belt courses and quoins, and delicate brick arches at the roofline.
Besides the bar, first-floor commercial space is filled by a sushi restaurant and two antiques/collectibles shops. On the top three floors are 18 apartments, two one-bedroom and four studio units per floor.
Beyond the controlled-access, glass-paned entry doors boasting an arched, stained-glassed transom light, the halls and the units have hardwood floors that were refurbished in 1995. New kitchens, featuring new appliances (electric ranges, refrigerator/freezers, and microwave ovens), were also part of that renovation. A coin-operated laundry room is in the basement. “I like the building because it’s quiet, and no one bothers you,” DePasquale said. “My apartment is sunny and bright, and I have good views of the Kimmel Center and Pine Street.”
“The good neighborhood” was an important reason Anita Dhio moved to Pine View from another Center City apartment building two years ago. Dhio, a waitress in an area restaurant, said “The neighborhood is friendly … and doesn’t feel like a big city. And maintenance is good. When I call, they reply quickly.”
Dhio said she also appreciated the reasonable rent.
Studio units (350 square feet) rent for $510 to $550; one bedroom units (550 square feet) rent for $575 to $640.
Pets are not permitted.
“I can walk to work; I’m equidistant to all parts of the city, like Old City and Rittenhouse Square,” DePasquale said. Regarding maintenance, she said, “They come when I call.”