Unable To Supplant Owner, L&I Maintains Historic Germantown Home

 

Photo: Neema Roshania, for NewsWorks

Photo: Neema Roshania, for NewsWorks

  • The historic house of the Cope merchant family at 5357 Knox Street has been cleaned and sealed for the eleventh time, says NewsWorks and Plan Philly. Besides the aesthetics, problems have abounded for years (neighbor Julie Baranauskas has dealt with water leakage and mold issues for a decade now) and attempts to purchase and flip the house have been rebuffed. With the structure judged as being “unsafe but not imminently dangerous” and all property taxes up to date, there’s little for L&I to do than stabilize, commiserate with the rightfully upset neighbors, and wait. “L&I does abatement work around public safety hazards,” says communications and policy officer Rebecca Corcoran Swanson, “but we’re not keeping the man’s property for him. We don’t fix up old houses.”
  • At a heavily attended hearing yesterday, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez‘s land bank bill has already been approved by the Committee on Public Property and Public Works, reports Plan Philly. Key provisions were amended to the bill by Council President Darrell Clarke, such as the need for any transfer of property to be approved by the Vacant Property Review Committee (“a group comprised of the heads of many city agencies”) in addition to City Council. In fact, Clarke would prefer for the VRPC having more control over the process, by requiring its approval to acquire any plot. “The Land Bank could become the assignee of tax liens, could request that a tax-delinquent property be put up for upset sale or judicial sale, and would get dibs on deciding whether to pursue a property being sent to sheriff sale. It would be instructed to ‘maintain a preference’ for keeping owner-occupants in their homes.”
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

Send a message!



Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
New Life For An Old Coal Country Outpost In Society Hill

New Life For An Old Coal Country Outpost In Society Hill

March 20, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow takes a stroll down to Society Hill where business is stirring at an old 19th century coal company headquarters after 12 years of vacancy > more

New Exhibition Gives Movement To The Philadelphia School

New Exhibition Gives Movement To The Philadelphia School

March 17, 2017  |  Buzz

Two fans of Modernism re-evaluate architectural history with the exhibition, "What Was the Philadelphia School?" > more

Tracking The Evolution Of Industry At 34th And Grays Ferry

Tracking The Evolution Of Industry At 34th And Grays Ferry

March 16, 2017  |  Vantage

The site of Penn's new riverside research campus has a long, decorated history of industrial enterprise. Contributor Madeline Helmer dives deep into the backstory > more

Emergency Excavation In Old City Reveals Lack Of Oversight

Emergency Excavation In Old City Reveals Lack Of Oversight

March 15, 2017  |  News

The last-minute salvage excavation of First Baptist Church Burial Ground in Old City has the archaeological community up in arms. Is the City or the developer to blame? John Henry Scott reports > more

Ode To Old Philadelphia

Ode To Old Philadelphia

March 10, 2017  |  Buzz

Inspired by photographs from Hidden City's 2016 calendar, aging Philadelphians share their thoughts and memories of the city through poetry. Ann de Forest has the backstory > more

Marked Potential: Graffiti Pier

Marked Potential: Graffiti Pier

March 9, 2017  |  Marked Potential

Shila Griffith is back with a new edition of Marked Potential. In this month's proposal she envisions Graffiti Pier as the city's next great public park > more