Your August  Preservation Newsletter
Advocacy Update

Consideration of our   Jewelers Row Historic District nomination has been continued to December 2019. It is now tentatively scheduled for review before the Committee on Historic Designation on Thursday, December 5, at 9:30 AM. Legal counsel for property owners along the row requested the additional continuance. In the meantime, all properties nominated for consideration remain under the Historical Commission's jurisdiction (our district nomination, however, does not prevent the demolition of the five buildings currently owned by Toll Bros., who had earlier been granted demolition permits for those properties). We look forward to representing the nomination at the December meeting and speaking to the merits of this unique district.
Meanwhile, about two miles upriver, the   Edward Corner Marine Merchandise Warehouse is suddenly in a precarious state. The 1921 building was added to the Philadelphia Register in 2015, owing to its lasting presence on the Delaware River waterfront, lineage to past nautical trades, and its beloved ghost signs, some of the most distinctive in the city.

Philadelphia Inquirer Architecture Critic Inga Saffron recently applauded the building and its planned reuse. And yet, seemingly in the blink of an eye, the property is now facing unsafe and imminently dangerous violations and the current owner has signaled a desire to demolish. The Dept. of Licenses & Inspections has since requested a third-party engineering study, to assess the building's condition and feasibility of reuse. The Preservation Alliance strongly believes this property can be stabilized and rehabilitated back to productive use, and are hopeful a third-party report will indicate the same.

The long-delayed application to add Overbrook Farms as a designated Philadelphia historic district is expected to return to the Philadelphia Historical Commission's agenda this fall.  The Preservation Alliance has been invited by the Overbrook Farms Club to participate in two upcoming community meetings to help homeowners understand the benefits and implications of being part of a Philadelphia historic district.

The Alliance was surprised by the dismantling of the iconic 90 year-old rooftop sign at the historic Tower Theater in Upper Darby this week. We are reaching out to the property owner, Live Nation, as well as to Upper Darby Township officials to register our concern over the loss of this familiar landmark, and to urge them to replace the sign in kind. This action also highlights Upper Darby's lack of a local preservation ordinance. In addition, as of 1999, the theater has been deemed eligible for National Register listing, which would make Federal historic tax credits a possibility in any restoration plan.

This summer the Alliance has been meeting with Philadelphia City Council members to discuss several proposed ordinances introduced in June that would lower barriers to the adaptive re-use of historic properties. These bills grew out of the recommendations of the recent Historic Preservation Task Force. Hearings on these bills will take place this fall. If you have questions please contact Patrick or Paul
Uptown Theater Receives Grant Toward Restoration
By Kimberly C. Roberts for the Philadelphia Tribune

"State Rep. Danilo Burgos recently announced that the historic Uptown Theater will receive $750,000 in state funding to help cover upcoming construction costs. The grant, made possible by the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program will go towards phase three of renovations, including demolition of the basement to the sixth floor; updates to the theater's roof, lobby and security system; new windows, doors and lights, and restoring the subway entrance."

YFPA Partners with Friends of Rittenhouse Square

Join the Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance and the Friends of Rittenhouse Square at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 11th for a tour of Rittenhouse Square -- one of the five original public squares of William Penn's "greene country towne." Friends of Rittenhouse Square's executive director John Armstrong will trace the development of the park from its origins as part of the Governors Woods, its industrial heritage in the 19th century, and the development through today as one of Philadelphia's most beloved public spaces. After the tour, retire to the Black Sheep Pub and Restaurant for continued discussion.

Scholarships Available for APTI Annual Conference
Deadline extended to 8/30

The Association for Preservation Technology-Delaware Valley Chapter (APT-DVC) is excited to once again provide scholarship opportunities for the annual conference of the Association for Preservation Technology International ( APTI). The 2019 conference is in Miami, FL and runs from November 19-23.   This year, APT-DVC will provide registration to the conference plus a stipend for additional conference and travel expenses to two active APT-DVC members: one Emerging Professional and one Student.   The deadline to apply has been extended to August 30.

Friday, September 20th
8:00-10:00 AM
Alliance Partners Breakfast Series: Urban Archaeology

Hosted at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 19 S. 10th Street
Presented by The Preservation Alliance

Join us to discuss archaeological best practices in the City of Philadelphia. Learn from this expert panel about past successes, missteps, and where urban archaeology might go from here.
Enjoy a tour of the Furness Burial Cloister.

Panelists include:
  • Doug Mooney, President of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum
  • Jed Levin, Vice President of the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum
  • Casey Hanson, Archaeologist, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission
  • Rebecca Yamin, PhD, historical archaeologist
  • Moderator: Stephan Salisbury, Art & Culture Reporter, Philadelphia Inquirer
September 28 
2019 Architectural Dinner 
at the 
Philadelphia Lazaretto

The Preservation Alliance's 5th Annual Architectural Dinner takes us to one of the area's most historic yet least recognized landmarks:  The Philadelphia Lazaretto, the oldest surviving quarantine facility in the Western Hemisphere. 

Erected along the Delaware River just south of the city in 1800 by the Philadelphia Board of Health, this handsome Federal era structure was nearly lost in the early 2000's in favor of airport parking. After a faithful restoration, the building now serves as the town hall for Tinicum Township.

The evening will begin with  cocktails on the long front porch overlooking the Delaware River. Then a full-course dinner will be served in the Lazaretto's newly renovated main gallery.  Dr. David Barnes, Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and author of a forthcoming book about the history of the Lazaretto, will speak on the fascinating and multi-faceted tale of this stately landmark on the banks of the Delaware.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:
Firstrust Bank
Inter-Mission LLC
Lazaretto Preservation Association of Tinicum Township
Materials Conservation
Moore Brothers Wine Company
O'Donnell & Naccarato
Tinicum Township of Delaware County
Watts Restoration Company
WMG Restoration


Annual memberships start at just $50!

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