About The
Spruce Hill District

About Philadelphia
Historic Districts


Further Reading

Frequently Asked



Spruce Hill Historic District
Historic Preservation and Neighborhood Revitalization


Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, and those neighborhoods have historically been served by a neighborhood commercial center. Some of these "neighborhood downtowns" are know nationally for their successful reuse of historic buildings as part of the revitalization strategy - Chestnut Hill and Manayunk are examples.

But there are other neighborhood commercial centers that are embarking on a historic preservation based revitalization strategy. In 1997 five Philadelphia neighborhoods Over the last 18 years in excess of $8.6 Billion dollars has been invested in Main Street districts. There have been 48,800 building renovations, 43,800 net new businesses and 161,600 net new jobs. And leverage of dollars has been incredible. For every $1 used to operate a local Main Street program $35 dollars has been invested.were selected to participate as National Main Street programs. Main Street is a commercial revitalization strategy now at work in some 1300 communities across the country. Originally developed for smaller town downtowns, Main Street has been adapted for urban neighborhood use with programs operating in Boston, San Diego, Chicago and other major metropolitan areas.

One of the Philadelphia Main Street Programs is Frankford in Northeast Philadelphia. With the business and residential community working together Frankford Main Street is already seeing positive changes.

  • Two buildings have been purchased and rehabilitated by the program representing investment of $240,000
  • A third building has been acquired for future rehabilitation
  • In the past two years there has been a net gain of seven additional businesses
  • In the past two years while there has been a net loss of 46 part time jobs, there has been a net gain of 109 full time jobs

Frankford is using the restoration of its historic buildings to restore the economic life of its community.

Excerpted from Economic Benefits of Preserving Philadelphia's Past, a study conducted by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. Used by permission. The full study is available from the The Preservation Alliance, Sixteen Sixteen Walnut Street, Phila., PA 19103
Tel: 215-546-1146. Fax: 215-546-1180. Web site: www.preservationalliance.com

Researched and Written By:
Donovan D. Rypkema
Katherine M. Wiehagen

Project Director: Patricia Wilson Aden
Editor: Elise Vider
Designer: Maryann Devine
Research Assistant: Stephen Cipolone

Copyright 1998 by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. This material may not be reproduced, including electronically, without the written consent of the Preservation Alliance.

This publication was produced by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. The Preservation Alliance actively promotes the appreciation, protection, and revitalization of the Philadelphia region's historic buildings, communities, and landscapes.