Historic Preservation, Zoning


Designation of Spring Garden as a City Historic District

In 1998-2000, the SGCDC partnered with the Philadelphia Historical Commission to have the Spring Garden neighborhood designated as a City of Philadelphia Historic District, thus preserving our priceless historic architecture and heritage. We assisted the Commission by engaging an experienced historic consultant - - also a Spring Garden resident - - to inventory the neighborhood properties, for the Commission’s staff review, thus saving considerable time in the process. 

Historical Preservation Oversight

SGCDC monitors matters that come before the Historical Commission to assure the continuing protection for, and integrity of, the Spring Garden Historic District, which provides a unique ambiance, and enhanced aesthetics and value to our community.

The SGCDC's Vice President Justino Navarro was appointed by Mayor Kenney to serve on the City's Historic Preservation Task Force.

Preservation of Neighborhood Historic Assets

In the fall of 2018, the SGCDC was named the Court-appointed conservator of the Purvis House, at 1601 Mt. Vernon St., the home of noted abolitionist and Underground Railroad sponsor and participant, Robert Purvis. The property had become blighted and run down over the last 20 years due to neglect and the City was forced to demolish the rear Ell of the property to make it safe. SGCDC is in the process of historically restoring the building.

We also partner with property owners, the City Commerce Department’s Storefront Improvement Program, and others for the restoration of historic facades of homes and business properties, and provide supplemental SGCDC historic facade restoration grants. See, e.g., the dramatic transformation of the façade of the property at 2034 Fairmount Avenue, which earned a Grand Jury Preservation Achievement Award in 2016 from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. 

The SGCDC also works to include historic restoration requirements in every community benefits zoning agreement, where applicable. 

Historical Consulting

SGCDC works with and assists community residents, and business and property owners, on issues of historical restoration and Historical Commission proceedings.

Affordable Housing Historic Restoration

The SGCDC historically restored the facades of over 60 historic PHA buildings (for 150 units of affordable housing), in partnership with PHA. The properties are now indistinguishable from (and in many cases more attractive than) nearby market rate buildings. SGCDC also worked with the Maple Mt. Vernon developer on the historical restoration of its affordable historic properties. The SGCDC-PHA and Maple Mt. Vernon projects also won Grand Jury Preservation Alliance Achievement Awards. 

Neighborhood Zoning Matters

SGCDC assists in monitoring local zoning matters to assure that proposed uses and projects will not adversely affect the community.  See also the section, below, on Pioneering Neighborhood Development and Revitalization .