PlanPhilly

Preservation

    • Bunting House demo on Ridge Avenue.

Planning Commission puts hold on Ridge Ave demolition ban moratorium

In late September Councilman Curtis Jones introduced a bill that would institute a one-year moratorium on demolitions along Ridge Avenue, a central thoroughfare that runs through Philadelphia’s northwestern neighborhoods. He worries…

    • Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church, at Grays Ferry and Fitzwater, was converted into the Sanctuary Lofts apartments.

Proactive preservation workshop comes to neighborhoods on the edge

In many areas on the periphery of Greater Center City, there has been little effort to identify – let alone protect – significant historic buildings. Some neighborhoods have fewer than five…

    • Point Breeze | Credit: Neal Santos, © National Trust for Historic Preservation

City asks public for preservation perspectives

On Tuesday night a couple hundred Philadelphians squeezed into the upper floor of the Independence Visitor Center to ruminate collectively about historic preservation. The meeting is the work of the Kenney…

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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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