Critical Day Tomorrow For Two Major Preservation Cases

 

Courtyard view of Levy-Leas mansion, 400 S. 40th

Courtyard view of Levy-Leas mansion, 400 S. 40th

Tomorrow at 2PM, the Board of L&I Review will rule on the appeal of the demolition permit for the Church of the Assumption at 11th and Spring Garden Street. That ruling will be announced without testimony taken and is based on the Historical Commission’s own finding of economic hardship for the owner, John Wei, who wishes to tear the historic church down. There is still an appeal pending on the case in the Commonwealth Court; lawyers for the Callowhill Neighbors Association, disputing demolition, will likely then appeal the case to the Court of Common Pleas. Read the latest on that case by our reporter Christopher Mote HERE.

After that ruling comes down, the Board will hear the final arguments (45 minutes each for and against) the University of Pennsylvania’s plan to tear down the historic Levy Leas mansion at 400 S. 40th Street in order to build graduate student housing. Read about that case HERE and HERE.

In both cases, the Historical Commission has granted hardship to the owner to allow demolition.

The hearing will take place at the Board of L & I Review Hearing Room, 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor. It is open to the public.

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 also senior writer and script editor of the Emmy-winning documentary series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment” and the fiction review editor of Cleaver Magazine.



1 Comment


  1. Why is it when they need to tear down somthing it’s a hardship because you can only look at this property by itself , but when their raising money you have to think of the university as a whole ? This is crap ! 40,000 + vacant lots and these knuckle daggers HAVE to tear down this beautiful old mansion . They can’t build anywhere else ? The historical commission should just RESIGN ! They are an embarrassment at preservation . The
    university should be stripped of some of its nonprofit status because profit is all they care about !
    Makes me wanna just spit .

Recent Posts
Taking Back Taney: All-Star Little Leaguers Make Good A Sullied Name

Taking Back Taney: All-Star Little Leaguers Make Good A Sullied Name

August 20, 2014  |  Vantage

Taney Dragon fever is boiling red hot and we couldn't be prouder. Ryan Briggs looks into the name behind the team behind the street behind the gang behind the man. > more

Stay Of Execution For Furness Church On 47th

Stay Of Execution For Furness Church On 47th

August 20, 2014  |  Buzz

The West Philadelphia Church, designed by the firm of Frank Furness, was feared lost this June. But a concerted effort to save it has paid off, sources say > more

Smokin' Joe Almost Ready For Bronzin'

Smokin’ Joe Almost Ready For Bronzin’

August 20, 2014  |  Morning Blend

Boxing champion's memorial statue to be ready for April unveiling, partial building collapse in Queen Village, Roxborough residents question the viability of a Wendy's on Ridge Ave, and a talk tonight on neon signs in Philly > more

In Loft District, Upcoming Restaurant Aims To Bolster A Sense Of Community

In Loft District, Upcoming Restaurant Aims To Bolster A Sense Of Community

August 19, 2014  |  Morning Blend

The Brick & Mortar of a neighborhood, former leaders talk about closed transitional living program, expert says housing boom imminent, Convention Center labor agreement doing the trick, and inside Think Brownstone’s new Center City office > more

Saddle Up! Lacey & Phillips Building May Ride Again

Saddle Up! Lacey & Phillips Building May Ride Again

August 18, 2014  |  The Shadow Knows

The Lacey & Phillips building has sat vacant for the last eight years. With a new owner taking the reigns, there may still be another life in it yet. The Shadow gives us the history; whips, bits, spurs and all. > more

Church’s Commercial Replacement Cheats West Philly Of Appropriate Scale

Church’s Commercial Replacement Cheats West Philly Of Appropriate Scale

August 18, 2014  |  Morning Blend

The design of a one-story commercial development adds insult to injury, Blatstein preparing to demolish McIlhenny facade and dome, the history of the KYW Building, gleaning data in the Wissahickon, and the 12th Financial Empowerment Center opens > more