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Additional Historic Preservation Resources

Numerous state, local and national organizations exist to assist in the research of and advocacy for historic properties.

Advocacy

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

The Alliance is the Philadelphia region’s non-profit preservation leader, dedicated to the protection and appropriate development of Greater Philadelphia’s historic resources - buildings, communities, and landscapes.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The field office of the private, non-profit organization chartered by Congress in 1949 serves Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. The Trust encourages public participation in preservation, provides limited financial assistance through grant and loan programs, and publishes widely.

Preservation Pennsylvania

This statewide membership organization assists Pennsylvania communities and groups to protect and utilize the historic resources they want to preserve. It also monitors state legislative activity, publishes a newsletter, and administers a grant program for Philadelphia preservation projects.

Local, State and National Tax Credits and Incentives

Bureau for Historic Preservation

This State Commission reviews nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, conducts initial reviews of applications for the federal investment tax credit for the restoration and rehabilitation of historic properties, and provides information and technical assistance. Its Pennsylvania History and Museum Program and Keystone Historic Preservation Grants are available to eligible organizations.

City of Philadelphia Storefront Improvement Program (SIP)

This program reimburses owners of commercial buildings and businesses within designated commercial corridors who make storefront improvements. The program can reimburse up to 50% of the cost of eligible improvements to a maximum of $8,000 for a single commercial property, or up to $12,000 for a multiple-address or corner business property. Many properties listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places fall within these commercial corridors and may be eligible for SIP funding. To learn more, contact Carol Ingald at the Historical Commission (215-686-7660) or Jonathan Snyder at the Department of Commerce (215-683-2153).

Research

National Register in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has entered its complete inventory of National Register and National Historic Landmark properties in the Commonwealth on a new website called ARCH. It includes more than 3000 National Register nominations.

Philadelphia City Archives

The City Archives contains deeds and mortgages from the founding of Philadelphia to 1952, birth, death, and cemetery records up to 1915, and an excellent early photograph collection, all invaluable in researching an old Philadelphia house.

The Library Company of Philadelphia

A rare book and research library with collections documenting the history and background of American culture from the Colonial period to the Civil war.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The Society is an excellent source of materials on Philadelphia history, including census records, old newspaper articles, family histories, maps and atlases. The Society also has a large collection of watercolors and early photographs of various buildings and landscapes throughout the Philadelphia area.

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

The Athenaeum holds an extensive collection of architectural plans and drawings by noted Philadelphia architects and other materials useful in researching old Philadelphia houses.

Free Library of Philadelphia

The Free Library of Philadelphia maintains an extensive collection of materials that can be used to research the history of buildings in Philadelphia. An excellent guide to their collections, as well as other resources available in Philadelphia can be found here.