PlanPhilly

Preservation

    • Roger Ross will rehabilitate 365 Green Lane. He plans to move in with his wife and two kids. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks)

Community relieved by new plans to rehabilitate historic Green Lane property

Applause broke out at the Central Roxborough Civic Association meeting on Thursday evening when Roger Ross — a lifelong Roxborough resident and new owner of 365 Green Lane — took to…

    • 5101 Rochelle Ave. in Oct. 2013. (Neema Roshania/WHYY)

Roxborough property owner faces conservatorship battle over once-neglected pizza shop

The dangerous conditions that resulted in Licenses & Inspections violations have been repaired. Delinquent taxes have been paid. And the owner of the property at 5101 Rochelle Avenue in Roxborough said…

    • Spafford House 626 Front St., then and now

Historical Commission approves redo for Georgian jewel and amends hardship case language

One of our finest examples of early Georgian architecture, the William Spafford House at 626 Front St., came before the Philadelphia Historical Commission - once again - and Friday the full…

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ABOUT PRESERVATION

Historic preservation is a professional endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historic significance. Urban design practitioners have assigned the preservation of historic sites and properties varying levels of importance over the last century. However, the importance of maintaining a sense of context and understanding for the forms that preceded us has increased over the last thirty years for many reasons. The market, as well as the urban design discipline itself, has moved us to understand and appreciate that a site’s history and context is an integral part of urban planning.

Government has responded accordingly; the federal branch has established a process by which tax breaks are awarded to developers renovating historic sites, and many local governments have the power to permanently ban demolition of any structure with a certain level of historical significance.

There are now local and regional historical commissions charged with protecting local jewels of the past, though many buildings of the same typology were destroyed decades ago without concern.  In Philadelphia, the Historical Commission reviews any proposed change to properties on the Local Register of Historic Places, which prevents these property owners from making significant exterior changes without approval.  The Register is mainly comprised of individual properties, though there are “historic districts” that are protected, such as Society Hill.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN PRESERVATION

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