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Historic designation

Through historic designation, the Philadelphia Historical Commission recognizes and protects historic properties.

Philadelphia Register of Historic Places

The Philadelphia Register of Historic Places is an inventory of historic resources that have been designated by the Historical Commission. To be considered for the register, a property must meet certain criteria for designation.


Historic districts

Historic districts are collections of historic resources linked by a location or theme. The Historical Commission gathers information about these districts, including:

  • Narratives that describe their significance.
  • Inventories of resources within their boundaries.
  • Maps.
  • Manuals for property owners.
  • Miscellaneous documents, such as ordinances.

Information for property owners

Owners of historic properties have certain obligations under the historic preservation ordinance. You must:

  • Get approval from the Historical Commission before you work on the property.
  • Follow the terms of the commission’s approvals.
  • Keep your property in good condition.

If you own a historic property, you can learn about what designation means for you.


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