PlanPhilly

Preservation

    • Central Roxborough NCO

Planning Commission hears about Central Roxborough conservation district

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission approved the creation of the Central Roxborough Neighborhood Conservation Overlay, just the second neighborhood in Philadelphia to have regulations protecting its small-town character. The ordinance…

    • Will Universal sell the neglected Royal Theater and its two side lots? For the right price.

Planning Commission seeks more time to consider Royal Theater rezoning

Saying that developers and nearby residents could use more time to hash out potential issues with the proposed redevelopment of the historic Royal Theater on South Street, the City Planning Commission…

    • Architect Cecil Baker shows Historical Commission members design details

Historical Commission calls for 500 Walnut design approval

The Scannapieco Development Corporation's concept for a 26-story, multi-family, uber-luxury residential tower on a currently vacant lot at 500-05 Walnut Street came before the full Philadelphia Historical Commission Friday with the applicants…

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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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