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
Digging Up Vine Street In Search Of Old Skid Row

Digging Up Vine Street In Search Of Old Skid Row

April 26, 2017  |  Vantage

Public health scholar Steve Metraux exhumes the heart of Philadelphia's Skid Row, buried under the Vine Street Expressway by the hands of urban renewal. > more

Khmer Monastery In Kingsessing Enlightens The Schuylkill

Khmer Monastery In Kingsessing Enlightens The Schuylkill

April 24, 2017  |  Vantage

Dan Papa celebrates the Cambodian New Year with a look at the Wat Khmer Palelai Buddhist temple under construction in Southwest Philly > more

How Franklin’s Grave Became A Monument And Philadelphians Were Persuaded To Like It

How Franklin’s Grave Became A Monument And Philadelphians Were Persuaded To Like It

April 19, 2017  |  Vantage

Nearly 70 years after Benjamin Franklin’s death, public outcry demanding honor for the Founding Father transformed a battered, overgrown gravesite into a popular tourist destination. But the real story isn't at all what we've been told. Join Mark Dixon as he uncovers truth and public deception behind the hole in the wall at Benjamin Franklin's grave > more

A Powerhouse Of Footwork And Fitness On Delaware Ave

A Powerhouse Of Footwork And Fitness On Delaware Ave

April 18, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

On the outskirts of Fishtown, a dance club and rock climbing gym keep spirits high inside an old 19th century trolley car power station > more

Engineering & Architecture Ride The Rails At Athenaeum

Engineering & Architecture Ride The Rails At Athenaeum

April 15, 2017  |  Vantage

An exhibition at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia illuminates the history of railroad architecture through drawings, photographs, and more. Michael Bixler has the review > more

Ghost Station At Art Museum Rises From The Dead

Ghost Station At Art Museum Rises From The Dead

April 13, 2017  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. walks us through the origins of the mothballed "Art Museum Station," now being renovated at the PMA, and one man's visionary plan for mass transit in Philly that never came to be > more