Your December Preservation Newsletter
Season's Greetings!
Very Best Wishes For the Holiday Season!

You can make the last days of the year (and decade!) even brighter by supporting the Preservation Alliance's Annual Appeal .

The Preservation Alliance is an independent 501(c)(3). We are a small team with a big mission.

Become a Member or Donate Now to ensure the protection of the places you love. Annual Memberships start at just $50!

Your support makes our work possible. Thank you!

-- the Preservation Alliance Team
--Photo via VisitPhilly
Advocacy Update
Hotel Powelton Added to Philadelphia Register
The Philadelphia Historical Commission has approved our nomination and formally added the Hotel / Cafe Powelton to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

The Hotel Powelton (1893) served as a base of operations for Albert C. Barnes and his partners. It was here he developed the patent for the antiseptic Argyrol and began promoting arts and culture among his employees.

Later on the building had a very different life. From around 1945 on, the Powelton Café hosted jazz giants of the age. Luminaries who performed there include Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and Lionel Hampton.

The Alliance is thrilled to see this dynamic history recognized on the local Register. Thanks to Benjamin Leech who prepared the nomination on our behalf.
The Hotel / Cafe Powelton illustrated by Benjamin Leech
Bill Restricting Demolition Passes

City Council passed the fourth bill to emerge from the Historic Preservation Task Force. Bill No. 190866 introduces a new layer of demolition regulation to Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts (NCOs), which are administered by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. 
This bill, which is effective immediately, restricts demolition permits inside NCOs unless a viable building permit has been issued. In other words, you will not be able to demolish a property unless you have a permitted project ready to be constructed on that site. This is intended as a strong check on speculative demolition and is intended to prevent neglected and/or undeveloped vacant lots. 
We thank legislation sponsor Mark Squilla and the whole of City Council for their continued support of Task Force recommendations this Council session.
Abatement Changes Coming

Beginning in December 2020, tax abatement for new residential construction projects will now be subject to a 10% roll down each year (90% in Year 2; 80% in Year 3; and so on). Abatement for commercial and industrial projects will remain as is.

Of particular interest to the preservation community, the abatement value for residential rehabilitation will remain fully abated for ten years.

This is a big first step. New construction has outpaced rehab and adaptive reuse in the city and some feel the abatement is to blame. This change makes rehab more attractive and should reduce the imbalance.

We look forward to pursuing other abatement-related changes in the new year, such as the Task Force’s recommendation of “Zero-Basis Assessment” for substantial rehabilitation projects.
Jewelers Row Continued to 2020
Our nomination of a Jewelers Row Historic District has again been continued. The matter is now scheduled for the February 19, 2020, meeting of the Committee on Historic Designation.

We do not anticipate further continuances at this time. All are encouraged to attend and/or submit your supportive testimony to the  Historical Commission staff.
-- Photo via the Preservation Alliance.
Alliance Recap
2019 Tours Come to a Close
We closed out 2019 with amazing tours!

The oldest extant quarantine station in the hemisphere; a bank adapted to a new tech headquarters; Beaux Arts offices soon to be a hotel; and our resilient Center City commercial corridor--we toured them all.

In November, the Alliance team had the honor of joining a sold-out tour of Beth Sholom Synagogue, a National Historic Landmark designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was amazing!

Be sure to catch Beth Sholom’s pop-up art installation, The Histories , before it closes December 19. Stay tuned for more Alliance and Young Friends tours and events this winter.
The Alliance team toured the Beth Sholom Synagogue last month! -- photo via the Preservation Alliance
Sustainability & Preservation Panel
Thank you to all who attended our expert panel discussion on Sustainability and Historic Preservation on December 10.

A very special thank you to our distinguished panelists. Your knowledge and candor has improved us all!

Craving more? Weren't able to make it? Scroll down for more information on our just-announced 2020 Philadelphia Speaker Series.
Panel discussion at Diversified Lighting Associates inside The Bourse. -- photo via the Preservation Alliance
To-Do List
Building Philadelphia Speaker Series
Join us as renowned local architects, urban planners, curators, and historians explore the political, economic, and design trends that drove Philadelphia’s development. Topics include major urban planning projects such as the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Society Hill, our world-class collection of architectural styles, and Philadelphia’s industrial history.
Nominations Open for Preservation Alliance Achievement Awards
On June 3, 2020, the Alliance will present the Preservation Achievement Awards to a select group of individuals, organizations, and businesses for projects throughout the region that exemplify outstanding achievements in the field of historic preservation.

Visit the Alliance website to see past years' winners, and submit your candidates for consideration for the 27th Annual Preservation Achievement Awards. 

To be eligible, projects must have been completed within the past three years of the submission deadline and must be within the Alliance’s service area; nominations must be submitted using the online system.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, Feb. 7 at 5 PM. 

Young Friends' End of Year Happy Hour
Wednesday, Dec 18, 6PM at Dirty Franks
Wrap up this year’s celebrations with the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance at one of Philadelphia’s hottest spots, Dirty Frank’s!
Come out Wednesday December 18 at 6 PM for food, drinks, and discussion about the challenges facing cultural heritage landmarks, what YFPA is doing to promote these institutions , and how you can contribute to the city’s Legacy Business database.

Photo via VICE Magazine / Neal Santos
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