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Spruce Hill Historic District
Philadelphia's Other Historic Districts

 

In addition to the many individually-listed properties in the city, there are currently eight historic districts on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Nominations for several other neighborhoods in the city are pending, including Spruce Hill, Old City and Penn-Knox in Germantown.

Diamond Street Historic District
The first historic district created by the Historical Commission, North Philadelphia's Diamond Street exemplifies late nineteenth century row house architecture developed for the new managerial, commercial and professional classes. The district contains a variety of styles, including Victorian, Italianate and Second Empire and several architecturally and historically significant churches. Designated 29 January 1986.

Girard Estate Historic District
Girard Estate represented and remains a clear departure from the two- and three-story row house development typically found in South Philadelphia. The influence of the Garden City movement and the vision of the Board of Directors of City Trusts and its architects, James and John Windrim, yielded a suburban development in an urban context. The garden setting and architecturally diverse, semi-detached houses define the unique character of this neighborhood. Designated 10 November 1999.

Historic Street Paving Thematic District
This district illustrates the history of street paving in Philadelphia from the eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. It includes the few cobblestone streets and the one wood block street remaining in the city, and examples of yellow and red brick streets, and of Belgian or granite block streets. For further information on the streets listed in the district, please contact the Historical Commission staff. Designated 9 December 1998.

League Island Park Historic District
From the plan originally conceived by the Olmstead Brothers, League Island Park reflects Frederick Law Olmstead, Sr.'s conviction that the open, rolling terrain of his parks produced a specific, medical antidote to the artificiality, noise and stress of city life. The use of the Park for the Sesquicentennial Exposition in 1926 and subsequent improvements changed the character of the League Island Park east of Broad Street; nevertheless, the plan of the Olmstead Brothers remains highly visible and significant west of Broad Street. League Island Park was renamed Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park in the late 1940s. Designated 9 August 2000.

Park Avenue (Mall) Historic District
The speculative development houses that line Park Avenue remain an excellent example of late nineteenth century domestic architecture. Built in response to a growing middle class and the northward expansion of public transportation, the Park Avenue houses now lie in the heart of the Temple University Campus. Designated 14 November 1990.

Rittenhouse-Fitler Residential Historic District
The Rittenhouse-Fitler Residential Historic District possesses a dense mix of distinguished residential and institutional, architect-designed and vernacular buildings woven into a single comprehensive and coherent district. The uniform streetscape of the many speculative row houses provides an important context for the district's architecturally significant residential, religious, institutional and commercial structures. Designated 8 February 1995.

Society Hill Historic District
Changes in physical development, proximity to the Delaware River, ethnic and cultural diversity and economic forces all shaped the Society Hill of today. The neighborhood reflects William Penn's Holy Experiment of religious freedom, the remnants of once thriving commercial activity, and an integrated building fabric of old and new, high-style and vernacular. The designation of the Society Hill Historic District recognizes the unique social and architectural fabric of this Philadelphia neighborhood from its colonial beginnings to its twentieth-century renewal. Designated 10 March 1999.

Spring Garden Historic District
The Spring Garden Historic District represents the surge of urban development in the rapidly growing industrial city of the mid-nineteenth century. It contains an important collection of both unit designed speculative rows and of dwellings created by architects for the nouveau riche during the second half of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. From Italianate rows to eclectic mansions, the Spring Garden Historic District forms a readily identifiable, intact neighborhood grounded on the industrial wealth of Philadelphia. Designated 11 October 2000.