Philadelphia has fortunately steered clear of recent natural disasters compared to our neighbors down at the shore and up north. But that doesn't mean the city isn't at risk of being wiped out, which is why Philly has started putting together a natural disaster protection plan for its many historic buildings.
It's the first major metropolitan area in the country to do so, according to Plan Philly, which recently reported on the city and state's ongoing pilot program, Disaster Planning for Historic Properties.
Philly and three other counties in the state are part of the program, which aims to figure out how to protect the area's historic structures from natural disasters.
Based on preliminary findings in the first phase of the study, there are 505 historic structures in Philly that are located in flood hazard areas and would be destroyed in a category 1 hurricane. Many of them are located in Center City, Manayunk, and the Navy Yard. Historic areas that are under threat are Fitler Square, Fort Mifflin, the Schuylkill Historic District, and Boathouse Row, according to the article.
Fortunately, Philly's iconic colonial properties like Independence Hall, are not likely to be destroyed from a storm surge. We can thank William Penn for that one: He planned out the city so that its important buildings were constructed on higher ground.
The study's second phase will involve developing measures to protect 25 different historic buildings in the city from natural disasters.
- Philadelphia to be first big city with disaster plan to protect historic buildings [PlanPhilly]
- Integrating Hazard Mitigation and Historic Preservation in PA [PA Historical & Museum Commission]