Say hello to Philadelphia’s newest local historic district, the Conwell House Block. The district was approved by unanimous consent at the April meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission and without owner objection.
The Conwell House Block Historic District is a row of seven c.1885 Gothic/Second Empire twins along the 2000 block of N. Broad St (2010-2022 N. Broad St). They include the former home of Rev. Russell Conwell, founder of the college which later evolved into Temple University. The full nomination is available here
On a disappointing note, we were unsuccessful in designating 1206 Chestnut St, the former Philadelphia Federal Credit Union. Despite strong effort on our part to demonstrate the building’s architectural significance and viable path toward redevelopment, the Commissioners agreed with owner representative’s objections by a vote of 6-3. We are nevertheless grateful to the nomination’s author, Libbie Hawes, and several members of the Alliance’s professional network for their pro bono advice: Janice Woodcock, Marian Kornilowicz, and Lee Casaccio, son of the architect of the building’s 1962 Modernist makeover.
Finally, the Christian Street Historic District has been formally accepted by the staff of the Historical Commission and is tentatively scheduled for Committee on Historic Designation review on Wed., June 15. The full nomination is available for review here
. By virtue of the district’s formal acceptance by staff, a temporary demolition moratorium in place along Christian Street is now lifted, and properties proposed within the district currently fall under the jurisdiction of the Historical Commission. If successful, the district will recognize 154 properties, the majority of which are associated with the early 20th
century rise of the Black professional class and neighboring working-class families in South Philadelphia.