Eschewing Responsibility At Lancaster Mews

 

The south side of Lancaster Mews, the historically designated 3600 block of Lancaster Avenue once more threatened with demolition. | Photo: Clem Murray, for The Inquirer

The south side of Lancaster Mews, the historically designated 3600 block of Lancaster Avenue once more threatened with demolition. | Photo: Clem Murray, for The Inquirer

  • Inga Saffron once more bemoans the Philadelphia Historical Commission’s penchant towards the self-abrogation of its charge in protecting Philadelphia’s built history, specifically current director Jon Farnham’s support for AP Construction’s proposed demolition of most of its inventory on Lancaster Avenue’s 3600 block—a set of Victorian Italianate homes and stores supposedly considered historic enough by that body in October to warrant placement on the City Registry. Perfect in scale and fully leased, these Lancaster Mews would only have its façade preserved in a “facademtomy” à la the Boyd Theater, thereby divorcing it of its 1870s context by doing away with its storefronts, and robbing Powelton Village of perhaps its most vital means of continuity with its late-Victorian heyday. Yet there has been kickback; Drexel University, the People’s Emergency Center, and, reassuringly, a commission subcommittee has blasted this perverse notion of preservation. The full commission will hear the case on April 8.
  • In an effort to attract and retain bakeries and other food manufacturers in Philadelphia, Councilman Bobby Henon introduced a bill yesterday that would grant such enterprises a ten-year abatement on their Use & Occupancy taxes, reports Jared Brey of Plan Philly.
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.

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