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.
Street Historic District
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.
Estate Historic District
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.
Street Paving Thematic District
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.
Island Park Historic District
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.
Avenue (Mall) Historic District
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.
Residential Historic District
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
Hill Historic District
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.
Garden Historic District
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.