love the building but I am concerned this will narrow the interesting
variety of people here - artist often avoid areas that are over regulated.
am for the district in principle, but am concerned about the details.
primarily concerned about how historical designation affects affordability
of housing especially for long term low income homeowners and renters?
I love old houses but an economic diverse neighborhood is more important
to me. I'm concerned with how this fits in with the zoning changes that
convert sold properties to single family use and upgrading apartments.
It's not okay for this to be a middle class and up only even if its
really diverse. Don't support class segregation!
is not an historical society problem but contractors do not want to
work in this area because there is no parking and the Philadelphia labor
unions can harass them.
New York Times article is unconvincing and uses sp???? logic. Look at
Society Hill, Rittenhouse, Fitler Square,Queen Village and tell us gentrification
doe not push poor people out of the neighborhood. I lived on Woodland
Terrace (historically certified) and it is 99% white and 100% middle/upper
middle class. This will also happen in the rest of the proposed district.
Those of us who value racial and economic diversity are not being heard
and are being answered into patronizing non-answers.
believe that forcing a historical designation on the majority of the
proposed area who are minorities is an insult and discriminatory to
whom history was egregious and painful. Why can not a Federal anti-discrimination
suit be brought?
neighborhoods like Morningside Heights, haven't rents gone up ever ???
lower income people haven't moved out? These people have just been forced
to pay more of their income on rent. For me, a $100 increase in my monthly
rent would force me to move plus, since I'm a renter, I'd get little
benefit from high property values. The neighborhood has improved due
to Penn and will continue to improve as long as the minority has an
interest in its maintenance.
is an important step for our neighborhood - we need this district to
control deterioration and stabilize our neighborhood. We have begun
in the last few years to make headway with rehabilitation of the Spruce
Hill neighborhood. This is an important tool to maintain the progress
we have made. Less robust economic times are coming. We need to be ready
with this historic designation.
like my long time neighbors better than I like the exterior of a house
so if we or they can not afford historic work, I want them over the
architecture. It does not seem feasible unless you have significant
income to repair your house in this way and many of us do not who live
was concerned about the renters on our street - working people college
students and retired people are on fixed income who rent there. We work
in our block to keep up the front yards and pick up trash so it remains
a good neighborhood. We are close to stores, Laundromats and food markets
small and large. We all would like to remain there far in the future.
Spruce Hill area is especially attractive because of its openness, unpretentiousness
and vibrant diverse population. The bureaucratic process and often increased
costs associated with Historic Designation will turn a lot of people
who appreciate the current open minded atmosphere away.
than take up time at a crowded meeting, I only want to say I support
the Historic District in case you are keeping score.
Hamiltons were slave owners - Indeed let preserve their legacy by forcing
people of color out
isn't that the spirit of this whole proposal.
money that is intended for historical preservation would be better spent
on improving safety and fixing the streets in and around Spruce Hill
including many condemned/dilapidated buildings. Wouldn't this proposal
force out many minorities, students, elderly and foreigners who are
on a fixed income? Can't this neighborhood be improved without forcing
everyone's homes to look authentic.
owners bought their properties under the current non historically designated
status. It isn't fair to change the rules on them now. The historic
designation should only take effect when the property is sole to new
owners (not to a family member, ex. inherited property)
the unique character with all its diversity of this neighborhood which
is being cited as worth preserving really in the harmonious diversity
of its residents rather than its bricks and mortar.
it's longer, I prefer the official name. It is descriptive in a much
more complete way. And by naming West Philadelphia, it will be much
more recognizable to others in the City and to tourist.
Philadelphia Independent Media Center ( a community media project) is
doing a feature on the debate over the Historic District on our web
site. We welcome everyone to post their opinions about the designation.
Go to http://www.phillyimc.org and click the submit story" at the
top of page. Follow the east instructions and post your thoughts in
the space for text stories. We will use all submissions as links in
think those who are for the historic designation should strongly emphasize
that the designation will protect development by Penn. Many residents
resent Penn for tearing down buildings and areas like dog parks where
the new school is.
am in full support of historic district designation. As a homeowner,
I believe that character, diversity and historical significance of this
neighborhood should absolutely be protected and regulated by the Philadelphia
Historic Commission. It is these criteria which originally attracted
me to live in the neighborhood and it is these criteria which led me
to buy a home here. It would be a shame to destroy any bit of this neighborhood's
character and appeal by not approving historic designation. It is important
that we value the character and history of the area I which we live;
at the same time, it is important to regulate change to the neighborhood
which could affect us all. I know I am willing to adhere to such regulations
- but as history has shown us, not all are willing (or care) to do so,
and therefore it is absolutely necessary to approve the Spruce Hill
Historic District so that we might hold on to what we still have left.
strongly desire to have the community preserve what is valuable and
irreplaceable in this unique neighborhood. The demolition of our major
alterations to historic buildings that are all salvageable should be
stopped. Trees should also be protected. Landlords, who often are not
residents of the neighborhood, should be prevented from making ill conceived
changes to buildings simply to fit as many people into a building at
the least cost to themselves. I would not, however want university city
to be converted into a Society Hill. I would like to see this neighborhood
keep its diverse character by maintaining mixed rents with places for
blue collar would be and starving artists as well as professionals.
I also believe that residents should have flexibility in expressing
personal aesthetics in décor.
am completely for the Historical District I think it will preserve the
beauty of the area and keep absentee landlords from doing cheap repairs
to unique buildings in our area that deface the authenticity of the
Victorian heritage of this area.
entire process, at least at first glance, has a veneer of democracy
in that public meetings are held, neighbors are mobilized and discussion
increases - But upon further review, the democratic façade vanished
- the process concludes with an entirely undemocratic vote by a group
with no vested interest in the community rather than by allowing the
neighborhood the right to self-determination. Many of the buildings
whose in the slide show have been taken over (bought) by the very institutions
the speaker claimed the designation would protect us from. Are we preserving
buildings for the benefit of these entities?
these questions address very specific situations. Without knowing the
subject property's address or having photographs showing the existing
conditions, it is difficult to give answers that take into account every
instance that may occur on every building. If you have any follow-up questions,
please do not hesitate to contact the Historical Commission directly at
were grouped into broad categories. Click the category to see that group
of questions and answers.
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Enforcement | Tax
Incentives & Economic Hardship | Impact
Neighborhood Transformation Initiative | University
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