Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Clashing visions

A small house on the east side of Washington Square in Philadelphia has become the focus of larger debates about historical preservation versus city development. It's kind of an odd choice, because the house was built in the 1950s (unlike many of its neighbors which are a century or two older) and appears to derive its significance more from its first inhabitant (civic revitalizer and Society Hill pioneer Mayor Richardson Dilworth) than from the structure itself. Anyway, a developer would like to replace the undistinguished three-story house with a 12-story condo building by a laureled modern architect, so folks are rallying to both sides in the matter. The city Historical Commission will have final say in the matter next Friday, when it decides whether to alter the building's historic designation.


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