The Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia is switching things up a bit with their new Places to Save list. Usually, those reporting on the built environment page through their thoughtfully put together, yet all too sad reminder, end-of-the-year Endangered Properties List. Places to Save will feature four properties every three months in order to " encourage more timely and strategic responses to threats" by highlighting the risks and opportunities associated with these historic treasures of our past. The first installment is big-time: Lower Merion's William Penn Inn, North Philly's Legendary Blue Horizon, Mount Moriah Cemetery's Gate House on the border of Philly and Yeadon and the Fairmount Park's Welcome Center, aka LOVE Park's very own space ship. You can nominate other places to save as well through their website.
William Penn Inn — Wynnewood, Lower Merion Township
The Details: Built in 1799 by John Price, the William Penn Inn just received a 90-day reprieve from demolition/redevelopment. Claiming the upwards of $2M cost of historically restoring the property, Rayer Builders wants to throw five single-family houses on the site. Price was an anti-slavery kind of guy and new evidence suggests the Inn might have been a stop along the Underground Railroad. A secret pulley system that lead to a hidden room was recently found and provided enough evidence for a three month delay on the development process.
The Legendary Blue Horizon — North Broad St. near Master
The Details: It's called legendary for a reason: Ring Magazine named the best place to watch a boxing match back in 2005. It's seen many a prize fighter stick and move around its squared circle. Backed with $6M in city funds, Mosaic Development Partners want to turn it into a hotel that mainly services Temple University. Originally a mansion and mentioned as boxing's Yankee Staduim, the pugilist's palace could very well be demolished in the near future.
Mount Moriah Cemetery Gate House —
The Details: The sprawling cemetary used to be an exclusive place of rest for the area's elite. Now, it's a vast, overgrown plot that has seen better days, just ask em>Slate. Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery was recently established to care for the grounds, but its the Gate House that's most at risk. Due to it resting in both Philadelphia and Delaware Counties, the cemetery's future is in limbo. The Gate House, which is equal parts majestic and spooky, was constructed in 1855 by Samuel Decatur Button.
Fairmount Park Welcome Center — LOVE Park, Center City
The Details: According to the Preservation Alliance, the building actually predates LOVE Park by five years. With a popular #savethesaucer campaign, it's clear that the mid-century modern space ship has a cult-like following. Hidden City reported in February that plans from 2011 mandated the saucer's preservation have since been abandoned with the recent talks of the park's redevelopment. Darrell Clark's plan called for seven new restaurants to reside within the park, with or without the building designed by Roy Larsen in 1960.
· Places to Save list, October 2014 [PAGP]
· More Preservation Watch Coverage [Curbed Philly]