PlanPhilly

Preservation

    • 4046-48 Chestnut Street / Photo by Joe Kavanagh for PlanPhilly

Stay of demolition in place for 4046-48 Chestnut until October, pending appeal and designation hearings

In an opinion issued July 20, Court of Common Pleas Judge Linda Carpenter ordered that the stay of demolition for 4046-4048 Chestnut Street is to remain in effect until October 15,…

    • neighborhood potters 3

Fairmount Ave filling in, growing up, searches for identity

The changes are coming fast, if not furious, on Fairmount Avenue from the scaffold-clad Divine Lorraine at Broad, to construction projects on the corridor and restaurants westward toward Parkway. Though this…

    • 4046-4048 Chestnut, next to 4050 Chestnut

Pending demolition and designation on Chestnut Street in Spruce Hill

The wall clock in Judge Linda Carpenter’s City Hall courtroom is stopped. But in preservation questions, as in life, timing is everything. Time is the elemental issue in a case before…

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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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