Credit: J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
Glossary Of Terms
Programs & Services
Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credits (RITC) are the most widely used historic preservation incentive program. Certain expenses incurred in connection with rehabilitating an old building are eligible for a tax credit. RITCs are available to owners and certain long term leases of income-producing properties. There are two rates - 20% for a historic building and 10% for a non-historic building, with different qualifying criteria for each rate. To find out if a property is listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, contact the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has released program guidelines, application forms and application submission dates for the new Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program.
The Developer Services Program helps large real estate projects get through the approval and regulatory process more easily by connecting developers to key City departments.
This program reimburses owners of commercial buildings and businesses within designated commercial corridors who make storefront improvements.
The Art Commission is Philadelphia’s design review board. It must approve the design of all construction projects located on City property or funded with City money. The Art Commission must also approve the design of anything constructed or installed on or over the public right-of-way (such as projecting signs), as well as all public art to be acquired by the City or placed on public property.
The Urban Design Division is responsible for guiding the design and visualization of public policies developed by the City Planning Commission. Among its duties, the Urban Design Division administers the Civic Design Review process, and reviews proposals for building facade improvements along the City's major commercial and cultural corridors, including South Broad Street between City Hall and Washington Avenue, and on Market, Chestnut, and Walnut Streets from 6th Street to the Schuylkill River.
The Development Planning Division is responsible for reviewing plans for new development, and examining the implications of such plans with respect to the Zoning Code, Land Subdivision Ordinance, federal and State environmental regulations, and other City and State land use controls. All site plans and land subdivisions within the City of Philadelphia are reviewed by the Development Planning Division.
Philadelphia Register Map
DISCLAIMER: Please note that the Philadelphia Register is updated regularly, and mapping errors are periodically discovered, therefore the online Register can never be entirely accurate. It is provided online as a courtesy, but is not the official Register. For the latest information on the Register, please call the Historical Commission at 215-686-7660
The National Register of Historic Places was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS). In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) manages the National Register program.
PHMC's CRGIS is a map-based inventory of the historic and archaeological sites and surveys stored in the files of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO). The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has been collecting information concerning archaeological sites and historic resources for the greater part of a century.
Guides & Manuals
These NPS Publications help historic building owners recognize and resolve common problems prior to work. The briefs are especially useful to Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program applicants because they recommend methods and approaches for rehabilitating historic buildings that are consistent with their historic character.
The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties are nationwide preservation standards intended to be applied to a wide variety of resource types, including buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts.
Reports & Case Studies
This report by Econsult found, among other things, that historic district designation had a positive effect on property values.