Back to PSSS home page
Lynn's mail [mailto:LynnLandes@earthlink.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 11:32 AM
To: Councilman Mark Squilla; David.Perri@phila.gov; Jon.Farnham@phila.gov
Subject: PSSS Response to The Historic Streets Assessment Report
May 13, 2015
Streets Commissioner David Perri
Historical Commission’s Executive Director Jon Farnham
The Philadelphia Society of Small Streets (PSSS) would like to thank you for all that you and your staffs have done for Philadelphia’s historic streets over the past several years. We truly appreciate it. Below is our response to the January 5, 2015, Historic Streets Assessment Report. We have used bullet statements for ease of reading. In general, we think that the prioritization of the Historic Streets Restoration Program did not work as hoped, for the reasons stated below. Frankly, we are not sure that a computer is capable of making these kinds of determinations. And although we have had meetings with the Streets Department in the past, we were not included in this project. Below are some comments, suggestions, and our PSSS Suggested Restoration Priority List. We hope this assists the Streets Department in your decision-making process.
the PSSS Suggested Profile:
Our main goal is for the Streets Department’s Historic Streets Restoration Program to have “context”. It seems to make sense that the Streets Department should want to give priority to restore those historic streets that are lined with historic homes. First, it is important for residents and tourists alike to have safe and walkable streets. Secondly, it is also important for everyone to enjoy the full historic experience. To that end, we support The Street Department’s policy of restoring streets in clusters, either near each other or intersecting, when at all possible.
In order to best combine residents’ needs with enhancing our tourists’ experience, the Streets Department should start in the center of the historic district and then radiate outwards as quickly as possible. Think of it as triage. The idea is to first restore the streets that fit the profile, then go back to patch and restore the rest.
Top Ten list:
The final Top Ten list presented by the Streets Department appears to be primarily back alleys and side streets of businesses, apartment buildings, and new development. Only one street, the 300 block of American Street, fits the PSSS profile, in that it is lined with historic houses and desperately needs restoration. In addition, many of the streets selected are far from the historic district. The Number 1 street on the Top Ten list is a back street in Manayunk of primarily backyards and garages, and situated over 7 miles from City Hall. Also on the list are 3 streets in Northern Liberties that are in the midst of redevelopment, and 1 street that appears to be an intersection up in Mt. Airy. Meanwhile, several historic streets lined with historic houses within the tourist areas and in desperate need of restoration, did not make the list.
PSSS Suggested Restoration Priority List:
1. Society Hill: (These two streets are next to each other in Philadelphia’s premier historic district)
American Street, 300 block (Society Hill) – In a historic/tourist district,
lined by historic houses, looks like it needs a total reset.
STREET VIEW: https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-75.146088,3a,75y,189.47h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1szycXsyGJJTo_k5o9US80JA!2e0!6m1!1e1
2. Wash West: (These three streets intersect one another in Wash West, another historic district next to Society Hill, and are in the very active community (Jefferson Hospital) at 10th and Spruce, which features lots of cafes, restaurants, businesses, and the historic Bonaparte House - http://www.ushistory.org/districts/washingtonsquare/bonap.htm)
Street (Wash West) – 200 block, lined with many historic houses and some new
construction, needs a total reset
STREET VIEW: https://email@example.com,-75.157082,3a,75y,28.76h,70.53t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sahLZJQ7VbMGsjmlY5HD6JQ!2e0!6m1!1e1
3. South Philly:
STREET VIEW: https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-75.1481885,3a,75y,39.39h,69.79t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9mTtFrgeV8x2CG-CBLf4iA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
Not prioritized, but should be done as soon as possible:
(Schuylkill River/Locust Point neighborhood) –
2400 block, charming street, lined with historic houses, but in bad
shape, needs to be completely reset.
STREET VIEW: https://email@example.com,-75.180423,3a,75y,301.94h,80.94t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sBB-y7bJKaFG9qx52dhp3EQ!2e0!6m1!1e1
See http://www.lynnlandes.com/TopTen.htm for PSSS comments plus Google Map & Street Views of Top Ten Listing of Streets Department and Historical Commission
Lynn and Cliff Landes, founders
The Philadelphia Society of Small Streets