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
As Philadelphia Celebrates Its Growth, A Call To Be More Inclusive

As Philadelphia Celebrates Its Growth, A Call To Be More Inclusive

April 19, 2019  |  News

Last week Pew Charitable Trusts released its 2019 State of the City report. The study shows a stark divide between Philadelphia's economic growth and disparity. Kimberly Haas has the details > more

Historic Designation Committee To Consider West Philly District, Institute For Colored Youth, And Churches

Historic Designation Committee To Consider West Philly District, Institute For Colored Youth, And Churches

April 16, 2019  |  News

Starr Herr-Cardillo has the details on local register nominations up for consideration at the April meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission's Designation Committee > more

For Callowhill Neighborhood, Whose BIDing Will Be Done?

For Callowhill Neighborhood, Whose BIDing Will Be Done?

April 12, 2019  |  News

Longtime Callowhill residents and real estate developers clash over the creation of a Business Improvement District as the neighborhood begins to transition. Kimberly Haas has the story > more

Public Space Rises From The Stacks At Parkway Central

Public Space Rises From The Stacks At Parkway Central

April 10, 2019  |  News

Michael Bixler has this preview of the three new public spaces opening on Friday at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Parkway Central branch > more

Photo Collection Project Takes A Walk In Ed Bacon's Shoes

Photo Collection Project Takes A Walk In Ed Bacon’s Shoes

April 5, 2019  |  News

Fisher Fine Arts Library at Penn is digitalizing a treasure trove of slides from the personal collection of Philly city planner extraordinaire Edmund Bacon and they need your help. Michael Bixler has the details > more

Riding The Rails With Philly's

Riding The Rails With Philly’s “Little Engine That Could”

April 3, 2019  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. takes us on a field trip to the Franklin Institute where a 181-year-old locomotive has captivated railroad history buffs since 1933 > more