top of page


Photo by P. Meyer for Visit Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia is developing a Survey Plan
and pilot

to broaden how we define preservation, history, & storytelling

What are we working on?

Strategic and equitable designation that is generated by community members, and neighborhood residents

Documentation that reflects previously overlooked or ignored histories and does not rely solely on architectural importance or integrity

Protection that recognizes that preserving many spaces, sites, and expressions of cultural heritage can and should be accomplished through means other than designation

  • HSPVTF_ColumnIcon_GreyFill
  • city-of-philadelphia_bell
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon

© 2022 Philadelphia Historical Commission | 1515 Arch Street, 13th Floor  |

Philadelphia is a city rich in history. It is full of dynamic stories that we can pass on to the future through preservation. But how?


These 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, public spaces, sculptures, public art, bridges, districts, and streetscapes.


Yet the process the Philadelphia Historical Commission uses to recognize these histories leaves many stories unheard.  This means some of our most valuable cultural resources go unprotected.


The Cultural Resources Survey and Pilot will provide a pathway to preservation for these histories. As part of the project, the Philadelphia Historical Commission is working to better understand histories that were previously overlooked. Over the next two years the project will explore new ways to identify and inventory cultural resources. It will test methods for improving the City’s processes for documentation, designation, and protection.


This project comes from recommendations by the 2017 Preservation Task Force.

bottom of page