Philadelphia is a city rich in history. It is full of dynamic stories and traditions that we can celebrate and pass on to the future through preservation. But how?
These stories and traditions are examples of cultural resources. Cultural resources are woven into the everyday fabric of our community. They reveal themselves through cherished traditions. They imprint themselves on the spaces we gather to celebrate and mourn, to honor and protest. They tell of experiences shared throughout our neighborhoods. They provide context for the communities in which we live today.
When we travel around Philadelphia neighborhoods, we see these stories represented all around us. They are in architecture, landmarks, shops, parks, sculptures, public art, bridges, and streetscapes.
Yet the process the City uses to recognize these histories leaves many stories unheard. This means some of our most valuable cultural resources go unprotected.
Treasure Philly! is a first-of-its-kind effort to preserve cultural resources in Philadelphia. Treasure Philly! will explore new ways to identify and record these resources. This pilot project is part of the Philadelphia Historical Commission. The Commission wants to bring to light the many histories of Philadelphia that were previously overlooked. Treasure Philly! is a test to find new ways to improve the Philadelphia Historical Commission's ways of documenting, designating, and protecting our city's history.
This project comes from the 2019 recommendations of the Mayor's Task Force on Historic Preservation.
The Philadelphia historical commission
is developing a Survey Plan
What are we working on?
that is generated by community members and neighborhood residents
that reflects previously overlooked or ignored histories and does not rely solely on architectural importance or integrity
that explores new avenues for preserving
expressions of cultural heritage
Germantown & erie
In Summer 2023, Treasure Philly! will launch in the neighborhoods surrounding the Broad, Germantown and Erie intersection. This pilot project will survey the area for cultural resources, relying on community engagement to uncover and protect cultural resources.
Philadelphians from across the city came to virtual and in-person town halls to talk about cultural resources and share their histories. The Philadelphia Historical Commission used this feedback to develop a survey methodology that can be implemented citywide.
What neighborhood stories are important to you?
Put them on the map!
We're starting with the BGE area, but we want to hear about what's important to you across the city!
We want to know about the neighborhood histories and traditions you value. Use the map below to point them out - just drop a pin where a cultural resource is located.
A resource can be anything!
A cultural resource is any place where you experience community history or culture. This can be a building, a park, or a store. It can even be the place where a parade happens, or a restaurant everyone goes to celebrate big life events. It can even be something that is not associated with a specific place, like a ghost story or locally made handicraft. For cultural resources that are not tied to a specific place, write about it on the Community History Message Board or reach out to us at email@example.com.
To use the map below:
click on the Layers List tab which looks like three overlapping boxes
check the box next to Treasure Philly Survey.
now click on the Point and Pencil icon to the right.
click the Treasure Philly Survey button so that it is highlighted
you should now be able to drag your mouse to a point on the map and add information about that place.
This information will be publicly available on this site and used to inform the Treasure Philly! pilot and future neighborhood surveys.