PlanPhilly

Preservation

    • green chestnut

Want to preserve more of Philly's history? Start with a survey.

Philly has roughly half a million buildings. Just 2% of those buildings are designated historic through listing in the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. About 4% are listed in the National…

    • Court of Common Pleas reverses L&I Review Board decision on Church of the Assumption

Councilman proposes funding committee to register more historic buildings

Councilman Jim Kenney introduced a bill on Thursday aimed at stepping up the city’s efforts at historic preservation. The measure would create a “Special Committee for Consideration of National Register of…

    • Historical Commission, 109-131 N. 2nd St.

Mixed-use apartment complex proposed for historic Old City building

A group of developers doing business as National Patriot LLC are hoping to redevelop a historic Old City building into a mixed-use apartment complex. The building, formerly National Products, was certified…

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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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