Your January Preservation Newsletter
We look forward to continuing to protect and celebrate the diverse history of our region. Thank you for your support and for being such an important part of our work and mission.

-- the Preservation Alliance Team
--photo via Ryan Mohl, Instagram.
Advocacy Update
"We are committed to keeping the church standing," says new owner of St. Laurentius
A happy ending to the St. Laurentius saga appeared within reach after news the nineteenth-century stone church sold to a New Jersey developer broke late Tuesday evening.

The developer says he'd like to keep the Fishtown church standing and is looking into different adaptive reuse scenarios.

The church's future became uncertain after it was deconsecrated in 2015. When the Catholic Church moved to have the property razed, St. Laurentius quickly became a symbol of Philadelphia's neglected and forsaken churches.

The St. Laurentius Church in Fishtown-- photo via Viviana Pernot, the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Policy Resolutions for the New Year
We had a momentous year on the policy front in 2019.

Four Task Force ideas were implemented via City Council, and we’ll hopefully see projects taking advantage of these new changes soon.

But we’re not done.

As we enter 2020, the Preservation Alliance will continue to encourage the adoption of Task Force recommendations.

A Preservation Trust Fund, which would assist low-to-moderate-income owners of historic properties, is close to being introduced. And with city budget season around the corner, we will be pushing for increased funding of the Philadelphia Historical Commission and its associated tasks.

Last year was a big year on the legislative front, but we’re hungry for continued success in 2020!
A trust fund for historic preservation would assist low and middle income historic property owners with restoration and maintenance. -- photo via Starr Herr-Cardillo, Hidden City Philadelphia.
Of Interest
FEBRUARY 7, 2020

2020 Preservation Alliance Achievement Awards

June 3, 2020
On June 3, 2020 , the Alliance will present the Preservation Achievement Awards to 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. 

The 2020 Preservation Achievement Awards will be held on June 3. Nominations for the awards close February 7. Winners will be announced at the end of March.
Penn Meant Well...

Wednesday January 22, 7PM
Gloria Dei (Old Swedes) Church
When the Civil War began on April 12, 1861 Philadelphia should have been a pro-Union, pro-Lincoln city. It wasn’t.
What happened to William Penn’s City of Brotherly Love?

Join Jim Mundy as he recounts the political and social history of the city before the war, and the creation of the Union League as a patriotic social society during the war.

This free program will take place inside the church sanctuary, followed by a reception in Riverside Hall with live piano music performed by Maria Dell’Orefice of The Jazz Sanctuary .

Tension between Philadelphians became shearing during the Civil War. Learn more about this divisive period at a talk later this month inside the Gloria Dei church.
Shake off the winter blues with two amazing historic tours:

Wednesday, Feb 12 @ 5:30PM*
Carpenter's Hall Tour w/ Roger Moss

Join us for an intimate tour of Carpenters’ Hall with Carpenters’ Company Historian Roger Moss. Completed in 1774, Carpenters’ Hall is the home of The Carpenters’ Company, the oldest extant trade guild in the United States. The First Continental Congress met for six weeks on the first floor of Carpenters’ Hall. This meeting formed the basis for collaboration between the colonies to jointly address their grievances with Britain. More Info

*This tour has SOLD OUT. Join the waiting list by emailing .

Saturday, Feb 29 @ 8:00AM
USS Olympia Tour

The Young Friends of the Preservation Alliance is organizing a special behind-the-scenes tour of the USS Olympia's engine room to celebrate the 125th anniversary of its commissioning. Save the date for this amazing look at the country's oldest floating warship. Info coming soon!
Preservation Zoning Reform: Alliance Breakfast Seminar

Thursday, February 27
GPCC at the Bellevue
This year new zoning regulations favorable to the adaptive re-use of historic buildings go into effect in Philadelphia.

Join the Alliance February 27 for a special panel discussion on these changes. The panel should be of particular interest to owners/developers of historic properties, civic association leaders, preservation professionals, and anyone with a general interest in the historic built environment.

Our Panelists (additional panelists to be confirmed):

  • Peter Angelides, PhD; Senior Vice President and Principal, Econsult Solutions
  • Martha Cross; Deputy Director, Department of Planning & Development
  • Andy Meloney; Senior Planner, City Planning Commission

The morning seminar will include coffee and bagels and a selection of other breakfast items.
Building Philadelphia Speaker Series

Individual Tickets on Sale Now
Early Bird Passes Still Available

Mondays & Wednesdays
March 2 -- April 1, 2020
Individual tickets are on sale for Building Philadelphia: Architecture, History, and Politics,  the built environment history series delivered by renowned architects, authors, urban planners, curators, and historians inside the National Park Service Theater on Independence Mall.

The series opens with William Penn biographer Andrew R. Murphy. His new book has been called the most important work on the colonial Quaker in fifty years, and Dr. Murphy’s talk, William Penn and the Founding of the City, offers new insights into Penn’s tenure as Philadelphia’s first city planner. 

The series continues with ambitious urban planning undertakings such as the history of Fairmount Park, Society Hill renewal, and the creation of Independence National Historic Park. Other topics are of more specific interest, such as this region’s superior collection of architectural styles or the city’s industrial heyday. 

Individual Tickets -- $20; $15 for Alliance Members
Series Pass Early Bird Special (Ends Feb. 3) -- $150

The Society Hill Towers (I.M. Pei) under construction in September, 1963--photo via George McDowell Bulletin Photographs, Special Collections Research Center, Temple.
Bids Sought for Rickert Road Bridge in Bucks County
HRD engineers is asking for bids on a three-dimensional survey and measured drawings of the Rickert Road Bridge over Morris Run in Hillstown Township, Bucks County.

For more information contact James Van Dien: / 215-280-6229.
Rickert Road Bridge, Bucks County-- photo via Historic American Engineering Record.
A sad farewell to noted conservationist, Andrew Lins
We were deeply saddened to learn that Andrew Lins, respected Philadelphia art conservationist, passed away on Christmas Day. He was 74.

Andrew Lins was known as an approachable authority on preservation topics and often volunteered his knowledge and expertise to the City of Philadelphia for various public restoration projects. Mr. Lins' passion brought him to the top of City Hall when he supervised the William Penn statue restoration in 2007.

Andrew Lins on site above City Hall overseeing the restoration of the William Penn statue.-- photo via the Philadelphia Inquirer
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