Your April  Preservation Newsletter
30th Street Station Interior Designated as Historic

Another landmark interior was added to the Philadelphia historic register at last Friday's Historical Commission meeting. The Preservation Alliance's nomination of the interior of 30th Street Station was unanimously approved for the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, making it only the fourth interior so listed. The others are City Council Chambers, Family Court (nominated by the Alliance in 2010) and John Wanamaker's Grand Court, which was nominated by the Alliance last year.
Also designated historic on Friday was the former St. Leonard's Academy at 3819-31 Chestnut Street, now an office complex. The convent and school operated from 1867 until 1981. It was founded by Mother Cornelia Connelly (1809-79), a significant figure in the history of the Catholic Church who was proclaimed "Venerable" - a step towards possible beatification - in 1992. The former academy structures retain much of their original architectural character and reflect the development of West Philadelphia as a prestigious section in the immediate post-Civil War period.
Six other properties received historic designation on Friday, including the Camac Baths, nominated on the strength of its LGBTQ history.  In addition, plans to convert a historic church building to apartments at 5250 Wayne Avenue in Germantown were approved.  Finally, a plan to build a midrise condominium building behind the Dilworth House on Washington Square was also approved.
Somber News on Jewelers Row

As has been reported in   the press  , a number of tenants on Jewelers Row have recently been sent eviction notices, effective the end of May 2019. This is an early indication that Toll Brothers may be preparing to demolish five buildings on Jewelers Row, in anticipation of the eventual construction of a residential tower. Despite the considerable efforts of the Preservation Alliance and others over the past three years, these buildings are unfortunately not protected from demolition, and their owners hold demolition permits deemed valid by the City of Philadelphia.
In the interim, the Alliance is preparing to defend its nomination of the entirety of Jewelers Row as a local historic district. Our district nomination would not prevent the demolition of the five aforementioned buildings, but it would place 52 additional buildings along the 700 block of Sansom Street and the 100 block of S. 8th Street under the authority of the Historical Commission, safeguarding them from further demolition or insensitive alterations. The full nomination and inventory of properties is available  here.
The district is next scheduled for review before the Historical Commission on August 9, 2019. Thanks to the Preservation Alliance's nomination, any permit activity between now and then requires the review and approval of the Historical Commission.
We are deeply saddened by the potential loss of five buildings along Jewelers Row, and the upheaval this presents for many of the tenants in the affected buildings - not to mention the permanent disruption to the historic character of one of Philadelphia's most famous and distinctive commercial districts. But we remain hopeful that the rest of Jewelers Row will be recognized as it should, as a local landmark and historic enclave well worth keeping.
PA Historic Tax Credit Reauthorization Effort Takes Major Step
Last week legislation was introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to reauthorize and expand the Pennsylvania historic tax credit.  The bills, introduced by Senator David Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) and Senator Judith Schwank (D-Berks) (SB 541) and Representative Robert Freeman (D-Northampton) and Representative R. Lee James (R-Butler/Venango)  (HB 1173) would increase the annual allocation from $2.5 million to $30 million and the per project cap from $500,000 to $2.5 million.  The current tax credit law, passed in 2012, will expire in June 2020.
Celebrate Preservation Month with the Alliance 

May is National Historic Preservation Month, and the Preservation Alliance is celebrating with a full slate of events. On Wednesday, May 1, join Alliance members, volunteers, and supporters for a reception at Reading Terminal Market . Enjoy food, drink and a talk by special guest, transportation historian Dr. John H. Hepp. RSVP Required - Click HERE to Register

May is also the start of our Architecture Walking Tour season.    We are proud to open our tour season by co-sponsoring 3 free walks, offered as part of Jane's Walk weekend:
Saturday, May 4 at 1:00 PM - Norristown: History and Change in a River Borough
Saturday, May 4 at 4:00 PM - Girard Estate Stroll: A Surprise in South Philly
Sunday, May 5 at 12:00 PM - Camden from Countryside to City
Join us on these and over two dozen more Jane's Walks citywide to talk neighborhood treasures and pressures, explore layers of history, and create civic dialogue about the city we share. View the full Jane's Walk schedule here or map here

Visit the  Alliance Tours page  to see full Architecture Walking Tour schedule for May and June.
Wednesday, June 5th
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Tickets on Sale Now for the 2019 Preservation Achievement Awards

Tickets and sponsorship information are now available for the 2019 Preservation Achievement Awards! The event will be held on Wednesday, June 5th at Vie, 600 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia.
Tickets and more information on the Alliance website.

Annual memberships start at just $50!

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Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia
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