Overbrook Farms near the Lower Merion Township border has been designated as a historic district by the Philadelphia Historical Commission, granting protection from demolition to hundreds of century-old mansions and buildings, writes Caitlin McCabe for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
With the unanimous vote, the commission ended a battle to obtain historic protection for more than 500 properties in the neighborhood that lasted for nearly 15 years.
The proposal was met with fierce opposition by some residents for years. Most worried that they would be forced to spend more on renovations and maintenance. Still, at the last week’s meeting, nobody spoke against the Overbrook Farms Historic District, in a stark contrast to years ago when numerous residents protested.
Now that the neighborhood has been designated a historic district, all exterior alterations or demolitions have to be approved by the 14-member commission.
Overbrook Farms was established on what is today the border of Philadelphia and Montgomery County in 1892. The homes were designed by renowned architects, including Horace Trumbauer. To this day, the majority of the homes in the neighborhood resemble their original condition closely.
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