Historic Preservation

In Philadelphia, preserving and protecting historically significant structures in our neighborhood requires proactive efforts by ordinary volunteers to identify and nominate buildings to be included on the city’s register of historic places.

While neighbors are excited about the new construction boon — many have also expressed a strong desire to protect buildings and sites which are contributing to the rich neighborhood history of what makes Bella Vista unique, while also being mindful of sustainability, safety, and environmental concerns associated with demolition.

Consideration for renovations, conversions, and adaptive reuse where practicable, can be encouraged by placing the buildings under the purview of the Historical Commission through the nomination process.

As with many of city functions and services, ordinary volunteers act as important extension of the city process.  Since Bella Vista does not have a historic district, it is up to individuals to identify and put forward a researched and compelling case inclusion on the historic register. There are several well-defined criteria for historic designation, including notable history, architecture, or other characteristic of significance.

How can you get involved?

  • Become familiar with the current list of properties on the city’s historic register (below)
  • Contact BVNA with additional building(s) you believe to be significant and meriting to have any potential demolition approved by the Historical Commission. Community input and support can help guide and prioritize the backlog of nominations.
  • Volunteer with us. Whether it is to photograph the building, research its history (or that of its architect or original occupant), or donating to help fund such work — we always welcome help.
  • Nominate buildings yourself. Anyone can nominate a structure.

Note: State Historical Markers offer recognition, but not protection:

Note: National register offers recognition and some tax credits, but not protection