Paul Steinke, Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia Download

29:47 Download December 13th, 2023

Paul Steinke, Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia discussed the member-supported non-profit, that works to increase awareness and appreciation for the area’s historic and significant building and districts, using preservation as a tool for creating and maintaining sustainable, livable neighborhoods.  He spoke of their resources and advice for people and communities looking to preserve properties, their workshops and speaker series and their popular walking tours.

He described the two main historic designation found in Philadelphia, Local Historic, granted by the Historical commission by nomination application, that protects the exterior of the property from demolition or alterations, and the Federal National register of Historic Places and Districts, which only restricts modifications to a property that also receives Federal funding for operation or restoration or one that sits on Federal property.  Reasons for designation can include architecture or unique engineering, age or a significant story about the properties use, such as Black Doctors Row in South Philly, the first neighborhood to be recognized based on Black history.  He told us of funding available from the city, state and federal government that offer funding for repairing and maintaining homes – including homes not on the protected list.   A guide for seeking a designation and information about existing properties can be found on their website.

He spoke about the impact of preservation on the community, retaining the character that makes each neighborhood unique and the long-range impact on climate change and the environment, restoring cost far less in resources than tearing down and rebuilding.  We discussed the role of City Council on establishing districts and preserving homes and buildings. 

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