Haddington Historic District

Bounded by 60th, Market, 61st and Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia

Significance: The Haddington Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, recognized as the best-preserved of the early twentieth century developments that followed the construction of the Market Street Elevated Line in West Philadelphia. The majority of buildings in the district were designed by E. Allen Wilson, a prolific architect who gave shape to many of West Philadelphia’s speculative development projects.

Threat: Reconstruction of the El tracks in the 2000s triggered a wave of commercial vacancies which the district is still struggling to overcome.  The 6000 block of Market Street retains its architectural integrity, but is growing increasingly blighted. A major new transit-oriented development is proposed for an adjacent block at 59th and Market Street, and the 60th Street corridor to the south is slated for an ambitious infill construction campaign. Yet reinvestment in the existing historic building stock remains elusive and misguided calls for wholesale demolition are gaining traction.

Recommendation: Multiple owners control the district’s iconic Market Street commercial block. Coordinated parcel consolidation could facilitate a major federal rehabilitation tax credit project for this row, just as ACHIEVEability CDC used historic tax credits for their award-winning restoration of the Von Louhr Building, also within the Haddington Historic District.

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