PlanPhilly

Preservation

    • Demolition at 40th and Pine

Historic 40th & Pine house meets the wrecking ball

First, the building on the southwest corner of 40th and Pine streets was a private home for a rich Philadelphian. Then it was a residence for sick elderly people. Later, when…

    • Saint John the Baptist Church, 2015 | Credit: Bradley Maule

Salvation for a neighborhood icon in Manayunk

Father Kevin Lawrence can tell you exactly where he was in the evening of April 29, 2014: sitting at the counter at Dalessandro’s on Henry Avenue in Roxborough, having ordered his…

    • Jeffrey Allegretti, a member of WICA who wrote the historic nominations for the house at 145 Sumac and its twin home at 147, said that as part of the agreement the nominations have been tabled.

Civic group, developer reach agreement about future of historic Wissahickon property

A civic group's efforts to save a 19th-century Roxborough house have led to an agreement with the owner and developer to renovate the property with "historic sensitivity" and thereby maintain the…

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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

  • Sep 11, 2015
  • Oct 9, 2015
  • Nov 13, 2015
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