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You are viewing 65 articles by the author Jake Blumgart concerning Preservation

    • A demolition permit was filed for the  19th Street Baptist Church.

19th Street Baptist pulls demolition permit for landmark church

A Philadelphia church designed by celebrated architects Frank Furness and George Hewitt is headed to the afterlife. The 19th Street Baptist Church secured a zoning permit Thursday to demolish its iconic…

    • he National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia on South Broad Street.

Shrine of St. Rita on South Broad protected from wrecking ball

The National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia won admission to the local register of historic places, preserving the immense Catholic church facing the Broad Street Diner from demolition or serious…

    • 2019 01 11 e lee corey loftus 1515 arch philadelphia historical commission penn student preservation advocate 2

23-year-old superfan wins protections for West Philly gingerbread houses

Between the University of Pennsylvania and Cedar Park in West Philadelphia lies what is believed to be the largest collection of Victorian homes in America. Only a handful of them are…

    • Historic Garsed-Bromley house, aka Northwood Frankford Community Y, February 2014

Frankford Y's new owner promises he won't bring opioid recovery center to historic mansion

After a decade of vacancy, a new owner has taken control of a neglected 19th century Northeast Philadelphia landmark. The brownstone mansion at 4704 Leiper Street, which most recently operated as…

    • The 5600 block of Ridge Avenue sits within a new historic district.

Historical Commission approves Ridge Avenue district

The Philadelphia Historical Commission granted protections to 188 buildings along a five-mile stretch of Ridge Avenue in Roxborough on Friday, creating the largest new historic district the city has seen since…

    • Germantown Boys and Girls Club

Historic Germantown Boys and Girls Club spared wrecking ball

High atop the municipal building at 1515 Arch Street on Tuesday morning, the long battle over the future of the Germantown Boys and Girls Club appeared to end in détente. For…

    • Hickman Temple AME Church, its facade reinforced and its doors open for its first Sunday service since April 2017.

Hickman Temple AME celebrates a win in the effort to preserve its historic church

Hickman Temple AME dominates the corner of 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia. This block-long, century-old church of slate and stone is a neighborhood icon in Cedar Park, a…

    • Freedom Theatre's exterior, where some flaking of the facade's surface can be seen above the sign facing Master Street.

Freedom Theatre's venerable home struggles to rebound from a very wet season

Freedom Theatre is having a tough year. For decades, this sprawling 1850s-mansion in North Philadelphia served as a vibrant hub for African-American artists, but the building — and the historic institution…

    • The Royal Theater's facade

No about-face on facadectomies in Philly just yet: They're still pretty rare here

On South Street, the front exterior of the Royal Theater still stands, encased in steel. The ornamented brick façade of the historic entertainment complex is all that is left of the…

    • Jewelers' Row, September 2016

Historic preservation task force notes other cities' policies as it charts its own course

On Thursday, Philadelphia’s Historic Preservation Task Force released an outline of preservation challenges facing the city paired with policies other major American cities have adopted to protect notable aspects of their…

    • A view of St. Laurentius from Palmer Cemetery in 2015 | Michael Klusek, EOTS Flickr Group

St. Laurentius still stands in Fishtown, though more precariously

Fishtown’s St. Laurentius has seen better days. The 130-year-old-plus former Catholic Church is surrounded by a scraggly fence. Scaffolding wraps around its base, and black strips of netting covers stretches of…

    • Flowers in Spruce Hill

New historic districts proposed for 3 Philly neighborhoods

After years of only protecting individual properties from demolition, the Philadelphia Historical Commission recently unveiled three new proposed historic districts. If they are approved at the June meeting, the commission…

    • The William & Letitia Still House, an Underground Railroad station, is newly protected by historic designation.

Found in South Philadelphia, an Underground Railroad station

From the outside, 625 South Delhi Street looks like an average Philadelphia rowhouse. But in the 1850s, it was home to Underground Railroad leaders William and Letitia Still. Within the house’s…

    • Garages on Lombard Street

Why forbidden garages keep popping up in your neighborhood

If you ask Fishtown resident Matt Karp, garages that open onto the sidewalk are a plague afflicting Philadelphia’s rowhouse communities.  They reduce the number of eyes on the street and intrude…

    • Harbison milk bottle

Iconic Kensington milk bottle protected from wrecking ball

Kensington’s iconic milk bottle-shaped water tower and the aging industrial building it perches upon can no longer be demolished without a fight. In a unanimous Friday vote, the Philadelphia Historical Commission…

    • Dorothy Shipley White Residence in the snow

Chestnut Hill's modernist trio, fully historically protected in 2017

Even in a city known for its architectural heritage and historic buildings, Chestnut Hill stands out. Long one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Philadelphia, this sylvan community is home to rambling…

    • Students share converted Victorian homes in the Spruce Hill section of West Philadelphia.

Spruce Hill zoning remapping is backdoor historic preservation

Late this year, a bill quietly slipped through City Council that is intended to protect the iconic Victorian homes in Spruce Hill from demolition. The neighborhood enjoys what experts believe is…

    • spruce hill in winter

Historical Commission to begin considering historic districts after years, sometimes decades, of delay

For the past decade, Philadelphia’s Historical Commission has only granted protections to a handful of individual properties each year. As the pace of development escalates, and more remarkable buildings are leveled, preservationists…

    • ridge ave

Ridge Avenue demolition moratorium spurs demolition requests

A proposed demolition mortarium on Ridge Avenue, in Northwest Philadelphia, has spurred a wave of demolition applications. The bill, introduced by Councilman Curtis Jones, would apply to a five-mile stretch of…

    • Christian Street Baptist Church, image from Google Streetview

Blocking Babylon: Historical Commission prevents demo of church properties in Bella Vista, Lawncrest

UPDATE: On Monday, November 20th, the Historical Commission announced a reversal on its vote to add Christian Street Baptist Church to the loal historic register, following notification that the Commission's…

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You are viewing 65 posts by the author Jake Blumgart concerning Preservation







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