You are viewing 222 articles by the author Alan Jaffe

    • Former Rohm & Haas building, 6th and Market streets.

Historic nomination of Rohm & Haas Building takes layered approach

On Friday the Philadelphia Historical Commission’s designation committee will consider an extraordinary nomination for the Rohm & Haas Building on Independence Mall. It is a three-part nomination, “like a Russian nesting…

    • Riverside view of the Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club. (Kimberly Paynter / WHYY)

Girls’ Rowing Club launches campaign to shore up its historic home

The oldest building along Boathouse Row is in need of preservation work to maintain its beautiful façade and structural integrity. The boathouse at 14 Kelly Drive is more than an historic…

    • Lower Dublin Academy, 2016 | Joseph Menkevich

Researcher works with ghosts of history to save Lower Dublin Academy

A Revolutionary-era schoolhouse in an unexpected location has been nominated to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places by an unlikely researcher. Lower Dublin Academy, built in 1803, is surrounded by an…

    • Olympia at Penn's Landing marina, 2016

Will new ways to experience Olympia keep the cruiser afloat?

Come hell or high water, she stays afloat. The cruiser Olympia, Philadelphia’s most historic ship, has survived wars, decommissioning, decades of neglect, a failed fundraising campaign, an unsuccessful search for…

    • neighborhood potters 3

Fairmount Ave filling in, growing up, searches for identity

The changes are coming fast, if not furious, on Fairmount Avenue from the scaffold-clad Divine Lorraine at Broad, to construction projects on the corridor and restaurants westward toward Parkway. Though this…

    • Esherick House exterior, after renovation | © Jeffrey Totaro

Restoration of Louis Kahn's Esherick House honored

One of the world’s best known midcentury modern homes, designed by one of the 20th century’s greatest architects and a renowned sculptor, will be in the spotlight this week for a…

    • Tacony Music Hall

Tacony's new historic district nomination adds momentum to neighborhood revival

All the right signs seem to be there: The first bakery in the neighborhood in 15 years recently opened. The old Carnegie Library is being preserved and expanded with a modern…

    • (Bastiaan Slabbers/for NewsWorks)

With new pocket park along Ridge Avenue, high hopes for Roxborough's commercial corridor

When the first Night Market of the season converges on Ridge Avenue and Green Lane on May 12, the crowds coming for the food trucks will also find a new amenity…

    • Historic Building Elevation Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers | Source: PHMC, Jeremy Young

Philadelphia to be first big city with disaster plan to protect historic buildings

In a city whose identity is so closely associated with its historic sites, the effects of climate change and storms like Katrina and Sandy pose nightmare scenarios. What would Philadelphia be…

    • Mount Moriah Gatehouse | Theresa Stigale, EOTS Flickr Group

Resurrecting Mount Moriah Cemetery's gatehouse

For more than five years, a group of volunteers and preservationists has been slowly bringing the historic Mount Moriah Cemetery in Southwest Philadelphia back from oblivion. Established in 1855, the then-rural…

    • 3811 Main Street (Bastiaan Slabbers/for NewsWorks)

After neighborhood pushback, residential development on Main Street nixed

A request for variances to build a 65-unit apartment complex on Manayunk's lower Main Street, a project that has been opposed by two neighboring civic groups, was denied by the Zoning…

    • The firm of Venturi and Rauch designed this simple but expressive facade for the home of Venturi's mother.

Chestnut Hill to expand what qualifies as historic

Chestnut Hill is about to update its definition of "historic." Since the mid-1980s, the charming section of Northwest Philadelphia has been one of the largest historic districts on the National Register…

    • The Please Touch Museum must raise $10 million by March to meet the terms of its recent bankruptcy settlement. | Please Touch Museum

Please Touch Museum hopes to keep growing with the Centennial District

The dome of Memorial Hall and its statue of Columbia can be seen from across the Schuylkill and from miles away -- a symbolic high point in Philadelphia’s reputation, when 10…

    • Lynn Alpert hangs a heart on the Hale Building, February 2015. | courtesy of Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance

Young Friends bring new meaning and tactics to preservation battles

A growing network of young people is challenging the perception that historic preservation is an old activist’s game. Incorporating new communication and promotional tactics, as well as their professional training, the …

    • Queen Lane Apartments: West Penn St and Pulaski Ave. | Bastiaan Slabbers for NewsWorks

PHA says Queen Lane Apartments on track for December opening

A little over a year since the dramatic implosion of the deteriorating, 16-story Queen Lane Apartments, a $22 million development of rental homes is close to completion on the site. Applications…

    • Jeffrey Allegretti, a member of WICA who wrote the historic nominations for the house at 145 Sumac and its twin home at 147, said that as part of the agreement the nominations have been tabled.

Civic group, developer reach agreement about future of historic Wissahickon property

A civic group's efforts to save a 19th-century Roxborough house have led to an agreement with the owner and developer to renovate the property with "historic sensitivity" and thereby maintain the…

    • (Neema Roshania/WHYY, file)

Neighbors coming around to Chestnut Hill's towering 8200 Germantown Avenue project

They fought the zoning, the density, the size, and the impact of the construction process. But four years after the battles began over 8200 Germantown Avenue, the immediate neighbors are mainly…

    • The Philadelphia Archdiocese has applied for a permits to demolish Fishtown’s St. Laurentius Church. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

A matter of opinion in Fishtown: St. Laurentius estimates

As the battle over the fate of St. Laurentius Church in Fishtown moves into its next phase, a common paradox in preservation debates arises again: dueling estimates. Professionals hired by the…

    • The twin homes at 145-147 Sumac St. are described as rare examples of Eastlake Victorian architecture. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks)

Historic recognition won't save Roxborough house from demolition

Roxborough house that has had a demolition notice on the front door for more than a month was recommended for historic designation earlier this month. The Philadelphia Historical Commission's…

    • The twin homes are described as extraordinary examples of Eastlake Victorian architecture. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks)

Multi-pronged battle ahead for group of neighbors trying to save historic Wissahickon house

Neighbors are fervently trying to save a distinctive 1880s twin house in Roxborough from demolition, but they are waging difficult battles on several fronts. A demolition permit is posted on the…

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