Morning Headlines: Kenney Wants to Preserve and Protect

He would add more buildings to Philly's historic register.

jim kenney philly

As if decriminalizing marijuana weren’t enough, City Councilman Jim Kenney has proposed a double whammy of legislation that could improve the city’s inadequate system of preserving historic properties. From the Inquirer:

City Councilman James Kenney introduced two bills Thursday: One would transfer $500,000 to the [Philadelphia Historic] commission, the other would add at least 1,000 properties to the city’s register of historic places. There are thousands of Philadelphia properties on the National Register of Historic Places that are not on the local register.

“If it’s significant enough to be on the federal list, it could be significant enough to be on the local register,” Kenney said.

Developers have been getting the best of the commission, to put it kindly, for years, allowing some of the city’s most beautiful and historic properties to be demolished. (For evidence, see, well, all posts on Hidden City Daily and videos of the commission meetings on PlanPhilly.)

The Philadelphia register lists 12,000 to 13,000 buildings, while the National Register has at least 20,000 in Philadelphia, Kenney’s office said. The criteria are similar…

Kenney said he was concerned that the commission is not protecting enough buildings in the nation’s first capital.

“This is a significantly historic city,” Kenney said. “I want to make sure it remains . . . historic in character.”

The commission would get a midyear infusion of $500,000 if one of Kenney’s bill were to pass, but so far, the commission’s executive director, John Farnham, has expressed some distaste for Kenney’s suggestions.

Kenney proposes beefing up Phila. Historical Commission

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