ADVOCACY UPDATE: A Public Interior, a Jazz Landmark and Two New Historic Districts Added to Local Register!!

We are pleased to share that the former Jacob Reed’s Sons Store, Main Sales Floor interior (1424-26 Chestnut St) has been formally added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, making it the fifth such public interior listed on the local register. Completed in 1905, the former Main Sales Floor is a remarkably intact early 20th century commercial interior, designed by William L. Price. The space also features ceramic tile work by Henry Chapman Mercer’s Moravian Pottery and a series of murals by Gertrude Monaghan. When recent tenant, CVS Pharmacy, abruptly closed in October 2021 the Alliance quickly pursued local designation. The Alliance has played an integral role in most of the five interiors currently on the register and welcomes the opportunity to pursue more in the future.  

Left: Sun Ra rehearsing at the Arkestral Institute, 5626 Morton Street in Germantown, c. 1978 (via PHC nomination)

Also of note, the formal listing of the Sun Ra House in Germantown and two new historic districts, Victorian Roxborough and 4208-30 Chester Avenue (note: 4200-4206 were removed from consideration).

At 343 properties, the Victorian Roxborough Historic District is among the largest added since the Commission resumed processing district nominations in 2017. The district features a variety of architectural styles ranging from “Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire and Queen Anne, as well as late nineteenth and early-twentieth century revival styles including Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Dutch Colonial, and American Four Square.” Kudos to the Central Roxborough Civic Association for their diligent efforts.

A full list of recently successful nominations and video recordings of previous Philadelphia Historical Commission meetings are available here

Morris House Hotel Inducted into Historic Hotels of America®

Congratulations to the owners/operators of the Morris House Hotel (225 S. 8th St) on being inducted into Historic Hotels of America®, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Federal-style historic house and garden was constructed in 1787 for financier John Reynolds and is listed as both a “Significant” property in the Society Hill Historic District and as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. It has operated as a popular boutique hotel since coming under new ownership in 2000.

Historic Hotels of America® recognizes over 300 historic accommodations across the country. Participating sites must “be at least 50 years old; [d]esignated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.” The Morris House joins South Broad St.’s Bellevue Hotel as Philadelphia’s only Historic Hotels of America® inductees. 

May Preservation To-Do List

Enjoy the beautiful weather with Preservation events around Philadelphia. This month celebrate National Historic Preservation Month with historic walks around Philadelphia, get involved with Love Your Park week, join the Philadelphia Arts Rally, and much more!

Click here to view more preservation-related events around town this month. 


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