Protect historic places and stop destroying our neighborhood!

  • by: Ann Peters
  • recipient: City of Philadelphia, officials charged with protecting our neighborhoods.

Our neighborhood is beautiful but our average incomes are low. Many struggle to maintain their older homes, and rents are soaring. Developers are snapping up beautiful homes at low prices, like the historic Pearson house, 19th century home of a famous painter. Not content to "flip" or subdivide this lovely place, they want to tear it down for cheaply built, overpriced rental housing, treating this majority African American neighborhood as if we were people who don't care about or deserve beauty. To add insult to injury, this house is being demolished so the developer can take advantage of a tax abatement rule that favors new buildings and defunds our public schools. We are organizing to defend our homes and our neighbors from the speculators. The Philadelphia Historic Commission has failed to protect the Pearson house, and are "undesignating" this and other well-built, well-preserved buildings that a developer wants to destroy. We need a petition to city government: the Mayor, City Council members, Licensing and Inspection, and the Historic Commission, to demonstrate how much people do care and to empower all of us to defend our neighborhood.

Update #2about a year ago
We send solidarity, as we all face these issues in our neighborhoods. We’ve tried to block the demolition – on the street, with political representatives, city agencies and in court. Over 3 weeks, the Pearson House has been mostly demolished and we have learned much about cynicism in City Hall. In alliance with other neighborhood organizations, we continue to fight for our heritage and quality of life. You can join us! Help with legal fees! Our non-profit ally is
Update #1about a year ago
Thank you for signing our petition! Our efforts bring neighbors together to express how much we care about trees and old lovely, historic places. Our neighborhood organization worked with lawyers to get an injunction filed yesterday (June 15) to suspend the demo permit. But this morning (June 16) we woke up to demolition and by 9am many neighbors gathered outside the house but part of the chimney and roof had been torn off. We got it stopped for today. Tomorrow we go back to defend the house!
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