Preservation Alliance Launches “Places To Save” List

 

The crumbling gatehouse at Mount Moriah Cemetery | Photo: Dan Papa

Since 2003, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia has published an end-of-the-year “Endangered Properties” list, highlighting the city’s historic buildings most threatened by development, demolition, or decay. In reevaluating their annual December announcement, the Alliance has decided to take a more timely, strategic approach with the launch of their “Places To Save” list. Announcements will now be made three times a year on the Alliance’s website and in their tri-annual magazine, Extant, which editors here at the Hidden City Daily have helped to create.

The Alliance hopes that spotlighting four new threatened historic assets on an ongoing basis will help underline the need for direct action and illuminate the steps that can be taken to make preservation a reality. “Places don’t wait until December to be endangered,” says Ben Leech, the Alliance’s advocacy director. “The list was always just a snapshot in time, and buildings threatened in January or February were often lost before the next list came around. By spreading the list out throughout the year, we can be more responsive and strategic with what we feature.”

Leech says “Places to Save” will replace the lengthy, somewhat morbid “Endangered Places” list with an “intentional approach that focuses on places where there is a clear preservation strategy—threatened places that we can do something about.” He says with a shorter list it will be easier to give more attention to each place.

Leech notes that although some buildings on the list may appear to stand out more than others, all of them are in equal need of immediate attention. He goes further to bullet point a few reasons why. “The Mount Moriah Gatehouse is losing its fight against gravity and the elements, so in that way is probably the most dire of the four. Stabilization needs to happen soon or there won’t be anything left to stabilize. Planning is also moving ahead quickly on Love Park, and we’re afraid that the path of least resistance will be a new building in place of the Visitor Center. We’re picking up signals that some of the pushing for redevelopment just “don’t get” the building, so we need to quickly demonstrate that there’s strong public support for keeping it. The Blue Horizon is timely because it will be considered for Philadelphia Register designation in November and December, but local designation would be just the first step in trying to find a new owner and use for the building that doesn’t involve demolition.”

See the full “Places to Save” list HERE.

October 2014’s four endangered properties are as follows:

William Penn Inn (527-533 E. Lancaster Avenue, Wynnewood)

Mount Moriah Cemetery Gatehouse (6101 Kingsessing Avenue, Philadelphia)

Legendary Blue Horizon (1314-16 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia)

Fairmount Park Welcome Center (1599 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia)

 

About the author

Michael Bixler is a writer, photographer, and managing editor of Hidden City Daily. He is a former arts and entertainment reporter with Mountain Xpress weekly in Asheville, North Carolina and a native of South Carolina. Bixler has a keen interest in adaptive reuse, underappreciated architecture, contemporary literature and art, and forward-thinking dialogue about people and place. mmbixler.tumblr.com

Send a message!



6 Comments


  1. Why is the William Penn Inn on this list? What’s the context for its “endangered” status?

  2. I can’t see any good reason to protect the Flying Saucer that is the former Love Park visitor center. It’s ill suited for any other use and presumably, Spacely Sprockets isn’t moving in.

  3. Mt. Moriah and the Blue Horizon need to be saved at all costs.

Leave a Reply

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

Recent Posts
Behind The Publicity Stunt At Benjamin Franklin's Grave

Behind The Publicity Stunt At Benjamin Franklin’s Grave

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

North Broad Rising

North Broad Rising

April 11, 2017  |  Vantage

Lights on, graffiti gone. The revamped Lorraine is once again looking divine. Will the rest of North Broad follow her lead? Bradley Maule takes a look > more

La Salle University Preps Victorian Home For Wrecking Ball

La Salle University Preps Victorian Home For Wrecking Ball

April 5, 2017  |  News

More demolition for campus expansion in the works at La Salle University. Contributor Arielle Harris has the story > more