ANTHONY H. WILLIAMS
HISTORIC PRESERVATION
ANTHONY H. WILLIAMS
HISTORIC PRESERVATION
Philadelphia can be an exciting global city that takes care of its neighborhoods. Philadelphia can be a city that enjoys dynamic growth while preserving the heritage that is the fabric of our communities. It is time for Philadelphia, a World Heritage City, to have a worthy Historic Preservation and Cultural Resources Plan.
As Mayor, I will declare a new day for preservation in Philadelphia.
Today, Philadelphia endures unprecedented development pressure. Inadequate preservation planning and under-resourced city agencies are challenged to preserve Philadelphia’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, and character. The Philadelphia Historical Commission could do more in an advocacy capacity to preserve Philadelphia’s history and the character of its neighborhoods.
Serious inadequacies with the administration of the existing preservation ordinance exacerbate the preservation crisis in the city. The routine misapplication of the concept of “economic hardship” leads to the loss of storied structures and the lack of code enforcement leads to demolition by neglect in too many cases.
Enhance The City’s Preservation Efforts
Philadelphia’s preservation efforts require additional resources and expertise. As mayor I will:
  • Appoint a staff archaeologist on the Philadelphia Historical Commission staff and give the PHC an important say in construction matters in the city’s historic districts
  • Appoint a staff archaeologist on the Philadelphia Historical Commission staff and give the PHC an important say in construction matters in the city’s historic districts
  • Provide the Philadelphia Historical Commission with the jurisdiction to determine the mapping of the city’s historic districts.
  • Appoint an official in the managing director’s office who understands current Philadelphia Historical Commission procedures and how they can be strengthened.
  • Appoint a managerial-level preservation engineer in the Department of Licenses and Inspections to make an independent determination as to the status of a structure as “imminently dangerous” to encourage more properties to be repaired and reused and reduce demolition by neglect.
Protect Philadelphia’s Heritage
Only a fraction of Philadelphia’s built heritage is actually protected and preserved for future generations. As mayor I will:
  • Create a list of not-yet-designated (unprotected) historic properties that would be subject to an enhanced review process for demolition-permit applications.
  • Expand the buildings on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places to include buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places and institute a citywide demolition review for buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and buildings more than a century old.
  • End the 10-year abatement in its current form and implement an abatement to encourage reuse and repair of existing properties.
A new mayor and a new day for preservation in Philadelphia can ensure that the city’s past is preserved for posterity even as the city adds new vitality and growth to make the modern city prosper
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Williams For Mayor
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