Field Notes Blog

Demolition Watch: Bunting House

Four nineteenth-century buildings at the corner of Ridge and Roxborough Avenues face imminent demolition after a new owner pulled a demolition permit earlier this month, surprising neighbors and former tenants who were told that the houses would be rehabilitated.  Included on the demolition permit is the Bunting House at 5901 Ridge Avenue, one of the finest […]

A Digital Future for Lit Bros?

In June 2011, City Council passed an ordinance creating the Market Street East Advertising District between 7th Street and 13th Street.  Intended to spur the revitalization of Market East, the ordinance allows property owners to erect large-format animated digital signage in exchange for major  property improvements.  The bill excluded historic buildings from the district except in cases […]

Edison Fire

Even though the former Edison school had been slated for demolition anyways, yesterday’s four-alarm blaze at the long-abandoned site is a disturbing reminder of just how vulnerable so much of Philadelphia’s great architecture sits today.  Though the cause of the fire isn’t yet official, a short list of probable causes is easy to guess– arson,  […]

Preservation is Good Business

Katherine Dowdell, a principal with Blackney Hayes Architects and former chair of the Preservation Alliance’s board of directors, makes the case for preservation in the newest edition of DAGspace, a monthly column published by the Design Advocacy Group.  CLICK HERE to view a .pdf of her full article. Her argument in a nutshell? “Preservation projects […]

Mount Moriah Cemetery: Cleanup Date Announced

Mount Moriah Cemetery, straddling Cobbs Creek in Southwest Philadelphia and Yeadon Borough, is one of the area’s largest and most historic burial grounds. At a reported 380 acres, it’s bigger than Laurel Hill, Woodlands, and Greenwood Cemeteries combined. It is also virtually abandoned, slowly being engulfed in a forest of weeds and a plague of  illegal dumping. […]

Visitation Matters! Vote Now!

By guest author Kimiko Doherty, Manager of Community Development, Archdiocese of Philadelphia The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual This Place Matters national competition is underway this month. Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) was the only site in the City of Philadelphia included in the list of 100 and must now garner the […]

Demolition Watch: Poor Clares Monastery

The former Poor Clares Monastery at 2012-30 West Girard Avenue is slated for demolition. The site, part of the Girard Avenue National Register Historic District, has been vacant and neglected for years by absentee owners who are now proposing two new apartment buildings on the site. Their plan for 42 new 800-square-foot units and a […]

Unlisted: A. Pomerantz & Co.

Written and drawn by Ben Leech Unlisted is a series of portraits highlighting unique Philadelphia buildings not yet listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.  To learn how to protect a building by nominating it to the Register, click here. Address: 1525 Chestnut Street Architect: Simon & Bassett Built: 1916 This edition of Unlisted will linger a […]

Tube Tuesday: Gimme Shelter

Still a functioning SEPTA bus shelter at 33rd and Dauphin, the Strawberry Hill Bus Barn was built in 1901 as Philadelphia’s first and only trolley depot. Meet the neighbors who are fighting to protect this neighborhood landmark from demolition– the sad fate of so many other pieces of Philadelphia’s transit history, including the Fairmount Park […]

These Places Matter

Two area sites are among 100 historic places nationwide selected for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s This Place Matters Community Challenge. Philadelphia’s Visitation BVM Parish and West Chester’s Lincoln Biography Building are competing for a share of $40,000 in grants in the Trust’s annual contest.  You can vote for your favorite project now through […]