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National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded, nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., that works in the field of historic preservation.

Preservation Organizations

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PHMC is responsible for the collection, conservation, and interpretation of Pennsylvania's historic heritage, which they accomplish through the Pennsylvania State Archives, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Trails of History (historic sites and museums), the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, and the Bureau of Management Services. It manages the National Register of Historic Places and federal tax credit applications in Pennsylvania.

Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

The Alliance is the Philadelphia region’s non-profit preservation leader, dedicated to the protection and appropriate development of Greater Philadelphia’s historic resources - buildings, communities, and landscapes.

Preservation Pennsylvania

This statewide membership organization assists Pennsylvania communities and groups to protect and utilize the historic resources they want to preserve. It also monitors state legislative activity, publishes a newsletter, and administers a grant program for Philadelphia preservation projects. 

Philadelphia Archaeological Forum

The Philadelphia Archaeological Forum (PAF) is a 501(c)(3)non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of archaeological resources in the City of Philadelphia.

Preservation Plans

Phila2035 Citywide Vision, Section on Historic Preservation (June 2011)

Phila2035 is the City of Philadelphia's official comprehensive plan. State legislation and the City's Home Rule Charter require the Philadelphia City Planning Commission to create and maintain a comprehensive plan for the city. The Citywide Vision sets broad city policy for various topics, such as housing, transportation, historic preservation, parks and open space and other topics. More detailed recommendations can be found in the 18 district plans that highlight key issues in each section of the city. For more information on the district plans, go to

A Strategic Plan for Philadelphia: Seizing Opportunities as the First World Heritage City in the Nation (September 2016)

Plan to seize opportunities for increased preservation and tourism as World Heritage City.

Philadelphia Historic Preservation Reports

Atlas of ReUrbanism, Philadelphia Fact Sheet (Nov. 2016)

Blocks of older, smaller, mixed-age buildings play a critical role in fostering robust local economies, inclusive neighborhoods, and sustainable cities. The Preservation Green Lab report, Older, Smaller, Better, leveraged the ideas of Jane Jacobs to show why preservation and building reuse matter for successful communities. The Atlas of ReUrbanism expands this research to 50 U.S. cities, demonstrating that Character Counts.

Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office Certified Local Government Program Periodic Evaluation Report (May 2016)

Findings and recommendations of the most recently completed evaluation of the City’s historic preservation programs by the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office.

Retrofitting Philadelphia: The Partnership for Building Reuse. National Trust for Historic Preservation's Preservation Green Lab and Urban Land Institute (May 2014)

Report recommends policies, incentives and tools to help property owners and investors re-purpose older Philadelphia buildings

The Economic Impact of Historic Preservation in Philadelphia 1998-2008. Econsult (March 2010)

Economic impact analysis found that over $7 billion of historic preservation investment in Philadelphia has resulted in $67 million in tax revenues to the city and $258 million in tax revenues to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Historic Preservation in 2020: A Strategic Vision and Strategic Initiatives. Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia (July 2009) 

Thoughtful assessment of the state of historic preservation in Philadelphia in 2009 that offers detailed recommendations for improvement. 

Survey of Citywide Preservation Planning in American Cities, Randall Mason (May 2008)

An overview of patterns and trends in preservation planning at the citywide scale in U.S. cities.

Historic Districts in Philadelphia: An Assessment of Existing Conditions and Recommendations for Future Action. Cultural Resources Consulting Group (January 2007)

Report examines the survey data available in local district and National Register District nominations for neighborhoods in Philadelphia and concludes that only 4 percent of the properties in Philadelphia had ever been surveyed for their historic significance.

Historic Preservation Task Force on Philadelphia's Historic Districts: Analysis and Recommendations (February 2005) 

Task Force established by Councilwoman Blackwell to explore historic district requirements and impacts offers 16 recommendations.

New Steps to Preserve the Old: The Revised Historic Preservation Legislation for the City of Philadelphia, 32 Vill. L.Rev. 401. Charlotte E. Thomas (1987)

Author analyzes the overhaul of Philadelphia’s historic preservation law in 1984 and its creation of historic districts and requirement that L&I permanently deny a building permit if the Historical Commission objects to its approval.

The Philadelphia Historical Commission: Organization and Procedures, 36 Laws and Contemporary Problems 386-397. Margaret B. Tinkcom (Summer 1971)

Describes 1956 creation of first city-wide Philadelphia historical preservation agency with control over “all alterations proposed for any historic building.” The original ordinance did not define historic and it gave the Commission power to delay demolition for at most six months. Article cites the importance of cooperation between city agencies on historic preservation.

Legal Materials on Historic Preservation in Philadelphia

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