Protect the John Coltrane House

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The John Coltrane House at 1511 N.33rd St. in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood of Philadelphia is a National Historic Landmark and currently in danger!

On February 16, 2021, a zoning permit was issued for the complete demolition of 1509 North 33rd Street — the house sharing the southern party wall of the John Coltrane House. Both 1509 and 1511 N. 33rd St. are central to John Coltrane’s legacy and crucial pieces of Philadelphia's Black music history. Coltrane, a legendary jazz saxophonist and composer, lived at 1511 N 33rd St with his family from 1952 to 1958. In this time, he recorded his album Blue Train, composed Giant Steps, and performed in the Miles Davis Quintet. His home was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places in 1985, protecting it from demolition. However, careless demolition of the neighboring rowhome and an exposed exterior wall would put this vital piece of history in extreme danger!

Though Philadelphia has a rich musical history, we don't see that represented or celebrated on the streets of the city. Additionally, Black history more broadly is woefully underrepresented in Philadelphia as well. The Coltrane House is one of the few Black music history landmarks still standing, and it must be protected at all costs!

Jazz Lives Philadelphia, Jazz Bridge, Philadelphia Jazz Project, Jazz Philadelphia,a and the John Coltrane Historical Preservation Society are calling on the Philadelphia Historical Commission, the Philadelphia Office of Licenses and Inspection, as well as members of City Council to halt the demolition of 1509 N. 33rd St. until we can ensure the safety and stability of this vital piece of Philly Black music history.

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