Preservationists have cause to celebrate.
The Philadelphia Historical Commission granted protections to 188 buildings along a five-mile stretch of Ridge Avenue in Roxborough on Friday, creating the largest new historic district the city has seen since 2009.
“We hope this is a model for other parts of the city undergoing intense short-term development pressure that threatens to undermine and destroy the long-term historic value of the city we all love,” said Paul Steinke, head of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, writes Jake Blumgart of WHYY for the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Stretching along the Wissahickon Creek to the Montgomery County line, the new historic district is the largest approved in the last 10 years.
It marks a significant advancement beyond the four other districts approved in the last couple years, which all of which protected fewer than 10 properties. It is also notable because the Historical Commission’s newly expanded staff conducted the research and wrote the nomination, instead of just reacting to outside activists.
Not everyone, however, is celebrating the preservation win. A handful of property owners within the district said at Friday’s hearing that the designation would drive down their property values and undermine their retirement plans.
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