Need to Repair Your Historic Home?
Then the Philadelphia
Historic Properties Repair Program
may be able to help you!

Historic houses are an integral part of Philadelphia’s unique neighborhoods. From the early “trinities” of Northern Liberties to the Victorians in Germantown’s Tulpehocken neighborhood, from the Italianate rowhouses of Fairmount to the bungalow twins of Girard Estates, all contribute to the appeal and livability of the city’s many communities. Yet maintaining and repairing older houses is sometimes a financial burden on homeowners, especially for those with moderate and low incomes.

The Historic Properties Repair Program (HPRP) is a city-funded initiative that is administered by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. HPRP assists low- and moderate-income homeowners with grants for exterior repairs to their homes so that the historic character of their neighborhoods can be maintained.

What properties are eligible?
Only owner-occupied residences located in a City of Philadelphia or National Register historic district or residences individually designated as historic. Commercial properties and properties with more than three rental units are not eligible.

What can HPRP grants be used for?
Exterior repairs and restoration work to residential properties. Examples are porch repairs, painting, masonry re-pointing, carpentry restoration, roofing, or window repairs or replacement. Interior work is not eligible.

How much are the grants?
The grant amount is equal to the cost difference between doing basic (nonhistoric) repairs and doing authentic restoration work. For example: replacing porch posts with modern ironwork costs $1,000; replacement with historic wood columns costs $2,500; a HPRP grant would pay the difference or $1,500, and the homeowner pays the base amount, or $1,000. The maximum grant is $20,000 and minimum is $1,500.

Who does the repair work?
HPRP maintains a list from which the homeowner can choose a pre-qualified contractor with restoration experience. Contractors not on the current list may also meet the program’s qualifications.

Who is eligible for a grant?
To be eligible for a repair grant, your total family annual income must be less than the income levels shown below, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:

Number of persons in your household 1 person 2 persons 3 persons 4 persons 5 persons 6 persons 7 persons 8 persons
Income $38,550 $44,050 $49,550 $55,050 $59,450 $63,850 $68,250 $72,650

Are there other programs available to help with the cost of basic repairs?
At http://, you will find information on a city program that offers low-interest (3%) loans of up to $25,000 to resident property owners who meet the income requirements.

Want to know more about the Historic Properties Repair Program?
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia; attention: J. Randall Cotton
1616 Walnut Street, Suite 2110, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tel: 215.546.1146 x 2; fax: 215.546.1180; email:

Satterlee Hospital Commemorated By New Historical Marker
Dedicated at annual Clark Park Veteran's Day ceremony

SATTERLEE USA GENERAL HOSPITAL  One of the largest and most complete Union Army hospitals during the Civil War, from 1862 to 1865.  With 4500 beds in one-story buildings and hundreds of tents, it occupied over 16 acres north of here.  Named for Gen. Richard Satterlee, Union Army Medical Purveyor.The new state historical marker for Satterlee UCA General Hospital on Baltimore Avenue, between 43rd and 44th in Clark Park (near the "Gettysburg Stone") was unveiled and dedicated on Saturday, November 8. The marker is a project of UCHS with finacial support from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Merck & Company, Inc. Wayne Spilove, PHMC's Chair; State Representative James Roebuck; Eric Goldstein, Executive Director of the University City District; Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell; and Nancy Morgan of Mayor John Street's office joined community residents for the dedication.
Croce Volpe of the 53rd PA Volunteer Infantry demonstrates Civil War era surgical instruments.

The marker dedication was part of this year's annual Veterans Day Commemoration, developed by Fran Byers of the Friends of Clark Park for the last 10 years. Fran put together a great group from the students at HMS School, the Boy Scouts and officers from the 18th Police District. Thanks to the efforts of UCHS members Dick Dretsch and Pat Gillespie of the National Park Service, Civil War reenactors representing surgeons, laundresses/nurses and members of the Colored Infantry of the period were available to present their perspectives on the war and the hospital.

Croce Volpe and Helen Sequin from the 53rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry discussed the lives and duties of a Civil War surgeon and nurse/laundress. Herb Kaufman, of the 28th Pennsylvania Regiment, portrayed Civil War surgeon, Henry Earnest Goodman. Joe Becton, a National Park Service Interpretive Park Ranger and member of the Third Regiment, US Colored Troops, discussed the role of African-American soldiers in the Civil War.

The historical marker's text notes that Satterlee Hospital was "One of the largest and most complete Union Army hospitals during the Civil War, from 1862 to 1865. With 4500 beds in one-story buildings and hundreds of tents, it occupied over 16 acres north of here. Named for Gen. Richard Satterlee, Union Army Medical Purveyor." More information about and images of Satterlee are available here.

NEWS: Proposed Tax Credits for PA Homeowners

Earlier this year, two historic preservation tax credit bills were introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The “Historic Preservation Tax Credit” bill 951 was introduced by Representative Thomas Tangretti (Greensburg) and the “Historic Rehabilitation and Economic Revitalization Tax Credit” bill 952 was introduced by Representative Dan Frankel (Allegheny). Representative Tangretti’s bill provides credits for home owners while Representative Frankel’s bill provides credits for income producing properties.

Twenty one states currently have historic preservation tax credits. There is also a Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit. Historic preservation tax credits have been closely tied to improving the economic conditions of local communities as well as helping to preserve our community heritage. A tax credit is very different from a tax deduction. Unlike a deduction, approved costs related to rehabilitating a historic building can be directly used to offset state income tax liability. For example, assume that $150,000 was spent on a rehabilitation project and there was an income tax liability of $31,000 and a 20% tax credit. If all the work conformed to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, then a $30,000 tax credit could be taken. Therefore, instead of having a tax liability of $31,000, the tax liability for that year would only be $1,000. Combining state and federal rehabilitation tax credits can make previously unfeasible projects successful investments.

Both bills would use the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation as criteria for approval of the tax credits.

Details of House Bill 951 / Senate Bill 820
This bill is targeted at homeowners. The main benefits are:

Details of House Bill 952 / Senate Bill 820
This bill is targeted toward owners of income producing properties and is modeled after the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit. The main benefits are:

How to contact your state representative and state senator
If you are a registered voter:

  1. Locate your voter registration card.
  2. On the back side of the card locate the column labeled “PA. Senate.” The number under this column heading is the district number for your senator from the state senate.
  3. To the right the “PA. Senate” column is “PA ST REP.” The number under this column is the district for your representative from the state house.
  4. With the two numbers now located, pull up the following Internet Web site:
  5. To find your representative, click on the link called “The House of Representatives.” In the next web page that appears, click on the link called “By District Number.” The next page that appears will list, in numerical order, state representatives by district number. Match the number from your voter registration card with the number of the web page and then click the representative’s name for full contact information.
  6. To find your senator, go back to the main web page at Now click on the link called “The Senate of Pennsylvania.” Click on the link “Pennsylvania Senate Information.” Next, click on the link for “Members.” You will now see a list of senators by district number. Match the district number with the number on your voter registration card to find your senator.

If you are not a registered voter:

  1. Go the Pennsylvania General Assembly web site at
  2. Click on the link for “The House of Representatives.”
  3. Click on the link “Find your legislator” and follow the on-screen instructions. When you have found your state representative, go back to the main web page at
  4. From the Pennsylvania General Assembly web site, click on the link for “The Senate of Pennsylvania.”
  5. Next click on the link for “Pennsylvania Senate Information” then click on the link for “Members.”
  6. Now click on the link “Who is your senator” and then follow the on-screen instructions.
  7. Register to vote!

For Further Information

See earlier UCHS News Stories.

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