PlanPhilly

Preservation

    • Germantown Boys & Girls Club

In pitched fight over Germantown Boys and Girls Club, Historical Commission postpones decision as both sides dig in

It seemed as though half of Germantown turned out for Friday’s Historical Commission meeting to decide future of the Boys and Girls Club building on Penn Street. The room grew so…

    • 7th and Sansom - Jewelers' Row

Appeal of Jewelers' Row demolition permit denied by Board of L&I Review

*This story has been updated with responses from Toll Brothers and the City of Philadelphia.  On Tuesday, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia faced another defeat in its months-long campaign to…

    • Visionaries Roundtable (l to r): Bryan Hanes, Inga Saffron, David De Long, Richard Snowden |  Marcos Salganicoff, Courtesy of Chestnut Hill Conservancy & Historical Society

Chestnut Hill roundtable looks to the past to plan for the future

For an evening focused on preserving historic buildings and protecting the landscape, there was a whole lot of talk about accepting development and preparing for change. But that was the point.…

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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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