Preservation Easements

A preservation easement is a binding legal agreement between a property owner and a qualified easement holder that insures the long-term protection of the property’s intrinsic historic value.

The easement is recorded as part of the deed and insures that current and future owners maintain the property’s historic character, preventing adverse alterations or demolition. An easement is the most effective legal tool for property owners interested in permanently protecting their historic properties. In many cases, easement donations also qualify as tax-deductible charitable contributions. The Preservation Alliance is a qualified easement holder.

Qualifying Properties

Any property owner that has legal title to an historic property can donate a preservation easement, and an easement can be written to cover any interior or exterior element of an historic building or site. However, for an easement to be eligible for a tax deduction, the property must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places or included in an National Register Historic District, and the easement must include the entire exterior envelope of the building. The easement must also be granted in perpetuity. For more information from the National Trust for Historic Preservation on the tax benefits of easement donations, click here.

Easements in Philadelphia

Over 225 historic properties in Philadelphia and across the region are protected by preservation easements held by the Preservation Alliance. These properties are inspected annually to ensure their proper maintenance and compliance. To learn more about the Alliance’s easement program, click here.

Map of Easements Held by the Preservation Alliance