Your November N ewsletter
Elfreth's Alley in Old City--Photo:  Ryan Mohl, Instagram.

A Season for Gratitude 

Life simply feels different in November, as 2019 draws to a close, and we prepare for the busy holiday season. Maybe it has to do with the "extra" hour of sleep. Or perhaps we've had one too many pumpkin spice lattes. 

The list here at the Preservation Alliance is long, but it must begin with news of three zoning bills, which were unanimously passed by City Council at the beginning of November. These three bills will soon make life easier for historic property owners and we are grateful to the many parties involved, particularly Councilman Mark Squilla and the City Planning Commission. Cheers!
The yuletide celebrations seem to be off to an early start this year, and it is in the spirit of gratitude that we invite you to join us in appreciating the many blessings we share. 

Have a great Thanksgiving!

--The Preservation Alliance Team
Advocacy Update
Three Alliance-backed bills are on their way to becoming law in the New Year --Photo: Wikipedia Commons.
Three Preservation Bills Passed by City Council 
Three preservation-sensitive amendments to the city's Zoning Code have been passed by City Council with unanimous support.
The bills allow Accessory Dwelling Units (sometimes referred to as "granny flats" or "in-law suites") within the envelope of historic single-family houses; eliminate and/or reduce parking requirements for historic rehabs; and provide greater flexibility for conversions of special purpose properties such as churches, schools, and former factories. All three will be effective on January 1, 2020.
And next month, Council's Rules Committee will consider an amendment to Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts (NCOs). Bill No. 190866 proposes that a demolition permit within an NCO must be sought in tandem with a building permit (i.e. an applicant would not be allowed to demolish a property without a viable building permit also secured).
 The Hotel Powelton as it stands today--Photo: Bradley Maule, Hidden City Philadelphia.
Hotel Powelton Nomination Recommended for Approval

Our nomination of the former Hotel Powelton to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places has been recommended for approval by the Committee on Historic Designation.
Constructed as a hotel in 1893, this Queen Anne building later hosted the A.C. Barnes Company. It was here that Dr. Albert Barnes pioneered his pro-arts education programming and laid the groundwork for the Barnes Foundation. 

In a dramatic third life, the building achieved renown as the Powelton CafĂ©--a hot stop on the Philadelphia jazz circuit that hosted luminaries such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, among others. The nomination will be up for final review at the December 13 meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission.
Homes line Sherwood Road in Overbrook--Photo: Kimberly Paynter, WHYY.
Overbrook Farms Historic District Formally Added to Philadelphia Register

At long last, the Overbrook Farms Historic District has been added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. 

Since 2013, the district had been in a troublesome pending status, triggering permit reviews with official status as a historic district. 

That uncertainty has been alleviated. Overbrook Farms is  the largest historic district to join the Register since Old City was added in 2003. Congrats to all involved!
Alliance Recap
Alliance President Paul Steinke addresses Cornerstone Society members--Photo: the Preservation Alliance on Instagram.
Alliance Hosts Cornerstone Society at Furness Church Residence
The jaw-dropping Gothic Revival Chapel was on everyone's mind Wednesday, November 13, when the Preservation Alliance hosted a get together for its Cornerstone Society Members inside a historic Frank Furness Church. 

Thanks to careful adaptive reuse, many of the defining features of the church have been artfully maintained. So much so that the home garnered a Grand Jury Award at this year's Preservation Achievement awards.

Thank you to all who attended and an enormous thank you to Randi Zemsky and Bob Lane, our hosts. For more information about our Cornerstone Society,  click here.
Alliance members inside Linode HQ with CEO Chris Aker during a special tour--Photo: the Preservation Alliance on Instagram.
Linode Leader Takes Group through Award-winning Adaptive Reuse at Corn Exchange

On November 12 Linode CEO Chris Aker led a group of Alliance members out of the cold and  into the bank vault during a behind the scenes tour of his company's new historic office in Old City.  

This c. 1906 building has served many inhabitants over the years, starting as the Corn Exchange National Bank, then as a setting for an MTV show, and now as a tech headquarters for this local cloud computing company. 

The Linode HQ was the recipient of a Grand Jury Award at this year's Preservation Achievement Awards and continues to be a high-water mark for adaptive reuse in the region. Thank you to the Linode Team for letting us in for an unforgettable tour!
Gift Certificates can be applied to the cost of an Alliance Architecture Walking Tour. 
Preservation Alliance Gift Certificates Available Now!
Is there a preservationist on your Christmas List? Preservation Alliance Gift Certificates are a great way to show love and appreciation for the person in your life for whom old buildings, guided tours, and historic trivia are essential. 

Gift Certificates are for:
  • Tours
  • Memberships
  • Building Philadelphia  Speaker Series
For more information or to purchase a gift certificate please contact Look for our Speaker Series Passes (with special member discounts) in early December!
The Preservation Achievement Awards honor those who go the extra mile for historic preservation in Philadelphia--Photo: SSM Photography. 
Nominations Open for Preservation Achievement Awards Monday, December 2

Each year the Alliance presents the Preservation Achievement Awards to a select group of individuals, organizations, and businesses for projects throughout the region which exemplify outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation. 

The Preservation Alliance is continuing this tradition and invites the public to participate in its open nomination process beginning Monday, December 2; more details are forthcoming.

Visit the Alliance website for more information on Grand Jury and Special Recognition Awards and to see past years' winners.
Happening Soon:
Tickets include a "continental'' breakfast and coffee--Photo: the Preservation Alliance. 
Dec 10. The Sustainability and Historic Preservation Panel 
Presented by the Preservation Alliance with Marvin  

The interests of historic preservation and sustainability are as closely aligned as you are likely to find in the building world. The reuse of historic buildings reduces material consumption, puts less waste in landfills, and consumes less energy than demolishing buildings and constructing new ones. 

Come and learn from a panel of experts on the benefits, challenges, and opportunities inherent to historic preservation and sustainable building practices.

Tuesday, December 10
Diversified Lighting Associates
111 S. Independence Mall E. Suite 960
7:30 AM to 9:30 AM



Annual memberships start at just $50!

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