Repair Or Demolish Notice At Divine Lorraine


Preservationist Shawn Evans reports that L&I has given the owner of the Divine Lorraine 30 days to fix or demolish “entire building.”


According to the Historical Commission, after this week’s fire, L&I issued violations. Today’s notice is in reference to these new violations. The city will accordingly take additional additional steps to prevent trespassers from entering the building: starting today, a contractor will use masonry to infill openings, remove lower sections of the fire escapes, demolish a small shack out building and repair the fence. For Peter Woodall’s plea to the city to act to safeguard the building, published here Wednesday, click HERE.

The property owner has given the City permission to do the work, the cost of which will accrue in a lien. Says Historical Commission executive director John Farnham in an e-mail to John Gallery, executive director of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, made available to the Hidden City Daily, “the City is not
considering demolishing either building at this point in time. The highest levels of the administration have authorized this action.”

Further, writes Farnham, “it is good news, not bad news.”

About the author

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book is the novel Lion and Leopard (The Head and The Hand Press). He is also the author of Song of the City (Four Walls Eight Windows/Basic Books) and The Possible City (Camino Books). He is senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine. Popkin's literary criticism appears in the Wall Street Journal, Public Books, The Kenyon Review, and The Millions. He is writer-in-residence of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.


  1. Can we get one of these for the F*ING ROYAL THEATRE?

  2. So what they discovered is that after years of weather, neglect, abuse and the stripping of the inside for anything of value this building is not up to code. Who could have guessed?

  3. It’s our own fault for talking about it so much.

  4. Well, if they seal that entry way then access to the building will end. I hope they don’t demolish it, it seems like the Major really wants to save and restore it so let’s hope that matters.

  5. Please check out Old Images of Philadelphia on Facebook they have so many historic pictures of Philly dated from the late 1800’s to the 1990’s It’s the most loved Philly page and I have a photo from the Divine Lorraine hotel back in 1915

    • I bought a few old postcards on Ebay that had been sent from guests styaing at the hotel back in it’s heyday. It has turned into such an eyesore. Wouldn’t it be wonfderful if it actually were restored one day?

  6. If I had a dollar every time I have seen on of these on a building that is up at least two years after the 30 day time limit I would have at least a couple thousands dollars.

  7. It costs $8-10/SF to demolish… the city has no $!


  1. The Divine Lorraine - Page 25
  2. Is City maneuvering on Divine Lorraine with violations?
  3. Left Behind: Demolition or Restoration for North Broad’s Divine Lorraine? | Generocity

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