August 13, 2016
A petition to stop a construction project that would permanently alter an iconic street in Philadelphia is compiling a lot of signatures.
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia started the "Save Jewelers Row!" petition on Thursday and it has already gathered more than 2,000 supporters as of Saturday night.
News of the project was first reported by philly.com:
"Toll Washington Square was granted a zoning permit Wednesday for an 80-unit building with ground-floor commercial space near the southeast end of that block of Sansom Street, said Karen Guss, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections.
L&I inspectors should finish considering a separate application by the Toll subsidiary - needed so that it can clear the development site, which covers the five properties between 702 and 710 Sansom St. - by Sept. 1, Guss said."
The project would replace those properties with a 16-story residential building.
That did not sit well with Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia members, who quickly mobilized to protest the development.
"A suburban developer wants to demolish six buildings on Philadelphia's Jewelers Row in order to put up a new luxury apartment tower. Jewelers Row is America's oldest diamond district and the second largest in the nation. Its enduring charm comes from the intimate small scale shops and storefronts that have lined this brick-paved thoroughfare for 150 years. Gouging out these six buildings will forever alter Jewelers Row and ruin one of our city's most iconic destinations. Please help stop this outrageous and destructive land grab. Let's help them find another place for their project," the group's petition reads.
According to the group, only three percent of the city's buildings are protected by local historical designation and nearly all of Jewelers Row is unprotected.
The petition will be sent to the city's Director of Planning and Development, Anne Fadullon.
To view the change.org petition, click here.