Back to PSSS home page



THE PHILADELPHIA SOCIETY OF SMALL STREETS  (PSSS)                                            June 4, 2015

Urgent: Need to push restoration of Philip Street!


Dear members:  We have just heard today from a PSSS member on Hutchinson Street that the Streets Department has made the decision on which streets will be restored this year (see email below from Anne Kelley, Councilman Squilla’s Chief of Staff).  It is disappointing that we, The Philadelphia Society of Small Streets (PSSS) were not officially informed, as the only organization in the city that is devoted to this issue, but moving on…


The good news is that American Street, between Spruce and Delancey, is on the list.  The bad news is that Phillip Street, just one street over, is not on the list.  Notice how part of the street has collapsed, taking the sidewalk with it -,+Philadelphia,+PA+19106/@39.9446,-75.145705,3a,15y,191.36h,86.73t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sKX0dVz0CidmR2ph397wqRA!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x89c6c89bab2b89ed:0xba158be370145944!6m1!1e1


Philip Street is in Society Hill, our most important historical and tourist area.  Why on earth would that not be a priority?  Instead, Waverly (between 15th Street and Carlisle) which appears to be used as an alley, lined with apartment buildings, with no or few entrances that face the street, and not in bad shape, will be “fixed” -,+Philadelphia,+PA+19146/@39.94529,-75.166681,3a,90y,102.86h,90.77t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sCu5SCHbGySCx3G94szOIjQ!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x89c6c63b4e4398fb:0x4c35d90d0b977697!6m1!1e1


Funds will also be spent on a design plan for Manayunk’s Maiden Street, an obscure street, not near any shopping or tourist area, that features mainly backyards and garages, see,+Philadelphia,+PA+19127/@40.027167,-75.222915,3a,75y,65.92h,67.64t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sy8BoaBfltRq1UPjAk02Xqg!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x89c6b8eacdb537ef:0xc30ecd9ee4f57cd!6m1!1e1.


What can we do about this situation?  PSSS strongly encourages our members to rally behind Philip Street, to get it fixed this year along with American Street.  We are asking all of our members to contact Councilman Squilla, Streets Department Commissioner David Perri, and the Historical Commission’s Jon Farnham to that effect.;; You might want to post something on Jim Kenney's Facebook page -

We are also asking you to contact any media outlet you can (print, TV, PlanPhilly, etc) and explain your support of fixing Philip Street and other historic streets where historic houses also exist.  Please give them our contact information.  We need our members to rally for Philip and then we can get behind the other streets on our priority list for next year, see

We can do it!


Lynn and Cliff Landes



From Anne Kelley, Councilman Squilla’s Chief of Staff:

Here are the historic streets that we are programming this year.


1.      Maiden Street between Mansion and Silverwood  - We will issue a work order for design work only.  This project is complex and there are several options for the reconstruction of the street. A design consultant will be engaged to perform community outreach, prepare reconstruction options and ultimately produce a set of  biddable construction documents for this project.  When the project goes into the construction phase we will also include restoration of several asphalt patches on similarly paved Mansion St.     


2.      Waverly Street between 15tH and Carlisle  - Reconstruction contract for rebuilding the street using new granite block (pending approval of the Historical Commission).  Street is paved with a combination of several different paving materials. We will salvage the limited blue glazed granite block for reuse elsewhere.  We will also issue a work order for the design of handicapped ramps and a crossing (currently asphalt) at Carlisle St. The ramps and crossing may be incorporated into the reconstruction contract depending upon complexity and scope.


3.      American Street between Spruce and Delancey – Reconstruction contract for the granite block portions of the street. We will not include ramp construction in this contract. Asphalt section at Spruce St. will be replaced in-kind. 


4.      Camac Street (wood block) – Reconstruction of the street using Streets Department in-house forces.

Mansion St. work is added because of similar materials and the  economy gained by adding the work to the Maiden St. project.  Work on Reno Street and Orkney Street (#3 and #4 on the consultant list) in Northern Liberties is on hold because of the high volume of private construction currently in progress in the area.  We will revisit next season and perhaps add more streets in the area to take advantage of staging and similar materials.  


For more info, the link to the consultant’s assessment report is: