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New plan looks to preserve Philadelphia’s chief asset: its history

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New plan looks to preserve Philadelphia’s chief asset: its history

April 6, 2019
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia officials have announced a new effort to save the city’s lesser-known historic buildings. The plan came out of a task force that met for two years to figure out a balance between development and preservation.  

The first step will be a city-wide survey to identify historic properties that haven’t yet received official recognition. Too often, these buildings only come to attention when a developer plans to demolish them.

This sets off a fight with winners and losers, the loss of buildings or owners with crumbling relics on their hands.

Councilman Mark Squilla says the survey will avoid that.

“We want everybody to know what we have in our City of Philadelphia, and how we cherish it and how we want to protect it,” he said.

Squilla says he’ll also introduce a package of bills to increase incentives for preservation: a zoning bonus for developers to create a historic preservation fund and relaxed rules for redevelopment of historic buildings, such as reducing parking requirements.

“This is just the beginning,” he said. “There’s a little flower and it’s just started to bud and hopefully by the time we’re done legislation, we’ll see a full bloom of historic preservation here in our City of Philadelphia.”

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