Friday, July 29, 2005

Dilworth House [Philadelphia, PA]

There was a meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission on July 28, 2005, the outcome: Philadelphia Historical Commission's Designation Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the commission retain its designation of the Dilworth house as a significant contributing building within the historic district.

What is a designation: Designation means the listing by the Historical Commission of a building, structure, site, object or district on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Cultural resources on the Philadelphia Register include neighborhoods, houses, churches, cemeteries, stores, bridges, street surfaces and horse watering troughs. They all have a recognizable place in the historical, cultural, architectural, archeological and educational values of the City, the State or the Nation. The Commission exercises a jurisdiction over any work that requires a building permit or that changes the appearance of designated properties.

Personally I think this is all bullshit. The Dilworth House located at 223-25 S. Sixth St. is in total disrepair, no one lives in or occupies the house; most recently it was occupied and used as office space. There is no question in my mind that the house should go and I am quite sure given Mayor Dilworth’s “accomplishments” as mayor he would agree that development of the property is more important than the structure, which was at one time his home. The neo-Colonial brick Dilworth house was built by Mayor Richardson Dilworth in 1957; designed by George Edwin Brumbaugh, well known for his Colonial Revival work. The house is seen as symbolic of Dilworth's commitment to Philadelphia. Richardson Dilworth was mayor of Philadelphia from 1956 to 1962. He died in 1974.

State Senator Fumo, who appeared briefly at the July 28th meeting, vowed to fight any demolition on the site and to find state funds to place the Dilworth house in a public trust, should it comes to that. Why should my tax dollars be wasted on this house? I would really love to hear an explanation.

The Society Hill Civic Association, the Queen Village Neighborhood Association, and the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, all oppose altering the Dilworth designation.

1 comment:

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