Take Action: Protect Philadelphia’s Undesignated Historic Properties

With a mere 2.2% of Philadelphia protected as historic, the Quaker City has a long way to go before we, as preservationists, can accept the “you can’t preserve everything argument.” In fact, even if we doubled the number of properties listed in the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, we would have roughly 4.4%, which is just a smidgen above the national, 50-city average of 4.3% protected.

What can I do to protect an endangered building, site, and/or place?

As the preservation ordinance stands, “anyone” may nominate a building. However, the Keeping Society understands that not everyone can compile and submit a nomination successfully with a demolition and/or alteration threat looming. We have completed dozens of successful nominations for endangered buildings, and have a small team of dedicated Philadelphians who take time out of their lives to protect the architectural heritage of our city. More and more Keeping Philadelphia is asked to “file a nomination” or take action on an endangered property.

These are the options for an endangered property:

  1. Engage the Keeping Society to file a nomination.
  2. Work with the Keeping Society to file your own nomination.

In many cases, we are able to assist with nominations free of charge, but, increasingly, the organization is ¬†under pressure to complete time sensitive documentation that requires several professionals at a moment’s notice. Within no funding whatsoever, the best method to see an endangered property nominated is to make a donation to the Keeping Society that would essentially allow us to incentivize these labors that must be completed in an expeditious manner. We cannot guarantee a result, but our track record is one that is fraught with success with only one nomination of dozens voted down by the Philadelphia Historical Commission. We also stand for compromise, and encourage our associates and partners to do the same.

If you wish to engage the Keeping Society to complete and/or assist with a nomination, please email keeper@keepingphiladelphia.org. As a 501c3, we accept charitable donations to assist with this type of work. Some nominations can be put together in 24-48 hours, while other, more complicated, properties could require weeks of work. Again, contact us at the email shown above and we can discuss the cost of nominating a property.


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