McIlhenny Mansion Update: Bart Blatstein’s Basement. Speculation on What Can Go in a 2 Story Deep Basement?

I was running over to the Feastival Patron Party last night and crossed paths with one of my fav buildings on Rittenhouse Square, The McIlhenny Mansion. I remember friends telling me about the fun parties Henry McIlhenny had while he lived there, and the beautiful art work that filled the 4 story mansion. I just finished reading The Andy Warhol Diaries, and Andy talks about his visits there and the dinners that were served. It was the kind of house where after dinner guests would gather around the piano, someone would play and they’d all sing classics.

When Henry McIlhenny died his friends renovated the ornate southwestern “with the dog statues” entrance to him.

There’s a plaque there. He or his butler often walked his dogs in the park.

The dome at the beginning of the garden courtyard
How the building looked last night.
 I didn’t realize, even after all the stories in the press, that only the facade of the 1914 Rittenhouse would remain. The wall you see is from 1912 Rittenhouse Square.
Plan Philly – see the white facade of a historic building
This isn’t unique to Philly, considering the Penn Mutual building in the 500 block of Walnut Street has a notable historic facade with the “modern” bank building office tower behind it. Did you know they used to have an observation deck too, on the 18th Floor facing Independence Hall and Park.

 The graph on the right is the finished property as email to residents of the Center City Residents Association. The top drawing has the facade of 1914 intact, and a new building where the dome of 1916 used to be. The roof lines match at 4 stories.
 Here’s a back shot from the property at 1921 Manning, 
1921 Manning Street on the left and the garage for 1914 Rittenhouse Street is on the right.

 1921 Manning Street sold in Feb for $750ks, and a source told me it was bought by Bart Blatstein, but he’s only holding onto it til the construction is done on his property.
 It’s located on the right, and you can tell it has new windows installed by the stickers on the windows, so it’s not going to be enveloped into this project as far as I know.
What’s really notable in this “new” space is WTH is up with that basement. It has to be 2 stories deep as you can see with this shot and the one above it.
Then there’s this speaker in the construction zone? Anyone?