Update: June 16, 2011
Councilman Frank Dicicco has amended the proposed bill to exclude historic structures! Thank you for your support!
On Thursday June 16, Philadelphia City Council will vote on Bill #100720 to create the Market East Advertising District, which will allow large format signs to be placed on ALL the buildings between 7th and 13th Street along Market Street. The area includes four important historic buildings — the Lit Brothers Building, now Mellon Independence Center; the former Strawbridge & Clothier Building; the Reading Terminal Head House and the PSFS Building, now the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.
Proponents of the Bill say that the historic buildings are protected because they are all listed on the Philadelphia Register and owners would need Historical Commission approval for any signs of this type. While we would hope the Historical Commission would reject such signs, there is no guarantee it would. The Commission is a political body, appointed by the mayor and six of its members are City employees.
The Preservation Alliance feels that even encouraging property owners to think they could put signs of this magnitude on these important historic buildings is a mistake. We are urging City Council to amend the Bill to state that: “Large format signs shall not be allowed on any buildings listed on the Philadelphia Register.”
Thank you for your support.
John Andrew Gallery
Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia