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Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

The mission of the Preservation Alliance is to actively promote the appreciation, protection, and appropriate use and development of the Philadelphia region’s historic buildings, communities and landscapes.

4 datasets

Historic Sites Map

The Explore Philadelphia map has data on more than 7,000 historic sites in Philadelphia

Inventory of African American Historic Sites

An inventory compiled by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia containing all the known African American historic sites in Philadelphia. Data fields for each site include Site Name, Address, Neighborhood, Significance, Site Type, Date Built, and Architect. This inventory of 400+ structures includes churches, schools, businesses, homes, clubs, benevolent associations, and more.

Inventory of Historic Religious Properties

Founded as William Penn’s “Holy Experiment,” Philadelphia has a centuries-long history of fostering and constructing prominent houses of worship throughout the city. In recent decades, as congregations face declining membership and shifting neighborhood demographics, these historically- and architecturally-significant properties have often suffered from deferred maintenance, insensitive alterations, and partial or complete demolition.

Advocacy organizations like the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and Partners for Sacred Places have focused on this issue for years, highlighting the threats to Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and communities if these structures continue to be abandoned or lost. Over the summer of 2011, in order to more fully understand and address the issue, the Preservation Alliance partnered with Philadelphia Historical Commission and Partners for Sacred Places to develop a comprehensive index of historic churches covering the entire city. Compiling, verifying, and updating data from a number of different sources, University of Pennsylvania graduate student Molly Lester assembled a database which includes every purpose-built house of worship constructed in the city before 1960.

Data elements include: current congregation, original congregation, address, year of construction, original architect and whether or not the build is on the Philadelphia or National Historic Registers.

Mid-Century Modern Architecture Inventory

Mid-century modern architecture and buildings of the recent past are enjoying a resurgence of appreciation and interest nationwide, but here in Philadelphia, our eclectic collection of postwar buildings is often overlooked. To help identify and celebrate these emerging landmarks, the Preservation Alliance is compiling a list of notable structures built within the city between 1945 and 1980. The inclusion of a building in this inventory does not imply endorsement of it for designation or other purposes, nor does its absence imply a lack of significance. Rather, the list is meant to illustrate the breadth and depth of design from an era often overshadowed by earlier periods and styles.