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Meet Your Neighbor: Cambridge Street Studios

Meet your neighbor, Cambridge Street Studios (the place where super powers are made).

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At the 1500 block of Cambridge Street near 15th and W Girard Avenue sits Cambridge Street Studios, a boutique Philadelphia Art School devoted to teaching academic drawing, painting, and sculpture to all people at any level. Boutique in that they cater to a small group of students and teach a specific approach to drawing representational work, otherwise known as realistic drawing.

Okay. Okay. Hold back on your yawns, folks. I swear, this place is super cool! Read on.

The building is an old historic carriage house located in the furthest corner of the burgeoning Francisville neighborhood that has been converted into several large easel filled studios used for different drawing classes including drawing the live model. Remember that sexy scene from Titanic when Leonardo DiCaprio sketched Kate Winslet nude? Yeah... it’s nothing like that. But that was a great scene, right? Anyway, the founders provide tons of support and one on one instruction in a casual and friendly atmosphere. And umm, mostly clothed.

Cambridge Street Studios was founded by Jeremy Deck, Andrew McManus and Anthony Ranalli, three devoted teachers and IMHO, pioneers, in the Philadelphia art scene. The principles they teach bring into the light very learnable classical approaches to drawing that have been left in the shadows by most current large art institutions. The practice at Cambridge Street Studios and belief in looking at art objectively is a “trend on” concept. Think about it. In our strangely obsessed reality based culture, re-examining realism just makes sense. Especially in the visual arts.

Practically speaking, the founders and teachers at Cambridge Street Studios really challenge you to: 1) Develop by eliminating the underlying weaknesses in your drawing ability, 2) Promote self correction, and 3) Cultivate problem solving abilities. Those are skills that will help advance any person no mater what your starting skill set or end goal is. And as Andrew has said to me on several occasions, learning these principles is like gaining “super powers” in drawing. SUPER POWERS! I totally want that! Don’t you?

Below are samples of the co-founders' recent studio drawings. Head over to their website for more info and photos and contact info. Work by (in the following order): Jeremy Deck, Anthony Ranalli, Andrew McManus.


Fresh Address: Double Your Pleasure in Francisville

Double your pleasure in Francisville with two amazing options - buy one or both!

This is Where It's At: 1802 and 1804 Francis Street make for a great opportunity in Francisville, near the Art Museum area. 1802 is a gorgeous lot filled with flowers, trees, and vegetable gardens, a total escape! It can be purchased along with 1804 Francis Street,  a 3 Bedroom 3 Bath Home with 2 car off-street parking. Francisville Playground and Recreation Center are nearby.

Come On In: Enter in to the main living room, which leads to a large eat-in kitchen with a dining room in the rear of the kitchen. The yard can be accessed through the dining room. The rear yard is fenced in with 2 car parking. The finished basement has a full bath. The 2nd floor has 2 large bedrooms a shared hall bath as well as a laundry room. The 3rd floor is the master suite with full bath. Plenty of natural light. All appliances are included.

Come take a tour! Contact the Somers Team for more information.

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Discovering Francisville

While it's so easy to refer to homes around the Art Museum section of the city as "the Art Museum area", we wanted to clear something up.

We have not forgotten Francisville!

We simply use the Art Museum as a point of reference for people who are new to Philadelphia or may not be aware of the smaller, distinctive neighborhoods in the nooks and crannies of Philadelphia (there are oh so many!).

So what exactly defines Francisville, you ask?

One of our readers recently emailed us to  let us know of a listing that is actually in Francisville, which is known as "East of Fairmount, further east of the Art Museum area and north of Spring Garden".  Boundaries for the neighborhood are Fairmount Avenue to the south, Girard Avenue to the north, Broad Street to the east, and Corinthian Avenue to the west.

We regret the error and fixed our mistake - you can check out the updated listing in Francisville here. We also added a Francisville category to our neighborhood categories.

The Francisville website calls it "Historic. Off the Grid. Unique. Diverse. Walkable".  It is all of those things and more. The neighborhood could soon be known as a prime destination for green housing, with plans for a LEED-certified housing development in the works. It's close to some of the city's best restaurants and coffeeshops (Osteria, Mugshots) and is extremely close to local universities and Center City, and of course, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Art Museum, and the attractions of the Parkway.

For more information about Francisville, contact Penelope Giles, President of the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation.

If you have any breaking news or ideas for coverage of Francisville, please let us know! We'd love to add more Francisville content to our blog.


OPEN HOUSE this weekend in Francisville Area of Philadelphia – New Construction 4 Bedroom Home

OPEN HOUSE in Francisville Area of Philadelphia
Sunday, February 20th

1923 Parrish Street, $364,900

Francisville 1-3PM

View Photo Gallery

Welcome to this priced to sell new construction property with elevator, 2 decks, dual-zone HVAC, huge backyard and so much more!

Features include:

  • Open floor plan on first floor with hardwood floors
  • Custom kitchen with plenty of cabinets
  • Private backyard with brick pavers
  • Lots of natural light with this corner property
  • 2nd floor has 2 bedrooms and full bath with washer/dryer area
  • 3rd floor is large master bedroom suite with private spa bath
  • Separate entrance to deck with spiral staircase to the roof deck w/ amazing views of Center City!
  • Finished basement offers additional space for entertaining and another bedroom
  • Full bath in the basement as well
  • Dual-zone HVAC
  • Recessed lighting throughout

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday. If unable to make the Open House, please contact us to schedule your tour.

The Somers Team of Philadelphia


Remax Access, Northern Liberties


Phone: 215.253.6818