No Historic District in Washington Square West!

We urge Councilmember Mark Squilla, the Philadelphia Historical Commission (PHC), and local leaders to reject the proposed historic district in Washington Square West. Instead, we urge leaders to support individual designation to achieve a balance between preservation and development.

Historic parking lots that will be preserved as part of the historic districtThese are some of the "historic" parking lots (denoted as "contributing properties") that would be "preserved" under this proposal

This historic district will harm district residents, the neighborhood and the city:

  • It will make home repairs more complicated, expensive and time-intensive
    • PHC review can add months to a home renovation project, and the PHC can arbitrarily deny modifications to a property without any way for property owners to appeal
  • It will raise rents and home prices by restricting the supply of new housing
    • Many of the "historic properties" are surface parking lots that are antithetical to a walkable, vibrant neighborhood.
    • Preventing the construction of new homes will cause gentrification in lower income neighborhoods as people are priced out of Washington Square West

We should not be discouraging more residents in this amenity-rich neighborhood &
Residents should not face added cost for repairing their homes

The boundaries of the proposed Historic District


Sign this petition and share with your neighbors if you will join us in opposing a historic district for Washington Square West

  1. E-mail the Historic Commission, Councilmember Mark Squilla, and Washington Square West Civic Association expressing your concerns over the Historic District

    • Click here for a pre-filled e-mail that you can send in two seconds -- include your name & address.

    • Please customize your e-mail - research shows that this is more effective than pre-filled e-mails.

      • For example, if you’re a renter, you can talk about how it might increase rents by restricting the supply of new housing. Or if you’re a homeowner, how you’re concerned about the bureaucracy you’ll have to deal with.
    • You can open a blank e-mail template by clicking here.

  2. Attend the Zoom meetings and speak out! The Historical Commission and its advisory committees are holding remote meetings using Zoom. You can watch/listen and speak during the live meetings.

118 signatures

Will you sign?