Solomon Takes First Step to Stop Royal Farms

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 9 – State Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., today in partnership with the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, announced that he had taken initial steps to preserve the historic buildings at 6901 Rising Sun Ave., site of a popular former Police Athletic League center and of a proposed Royal Farms store.

Surrounded by community leaders, Solomon and Preservation Alliance President Paul Steinke heralded the submittal of a nomination to the Philadelphia Historic Register of the buildings at Longshore and Rising Sun avenues. This nomination at least temporarily and potentially permanently places the buildings under the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia Historical Commission and prevents their demolition.

“These buildings are unlike any other on Rising Sun Avenue and occupy a special place in the hearts of the people of Lawndale and Northeast Philadelphia as a whole,” Solomon said. “I am grateful for the immense work of the Preservation Alliance in researching and submitting this nomination.

"I am all for development in Lower Northeast Philadelphia, but it needs to respect the interests, character and history of the community. Razing these historic buildings to put in a gas station doesn’t cut it. This is one of the few green spaces in our neighborhood and presents the possibly of business corridor development that can move our neighborhood forward. We are here to work closely with Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, Councilman Al Taubenberger, the Preservation Alliance, the community leaders in Lawndale, and of course, the Trinity Church Oxford itself to find a redevelopment we all can be proud of.”

Preservation Alliance President and Northeast native Paul Steinke noted the unique contributions these buildings make to the historic fabric of Lower Northeast Philadelphia.

“As someone who grew up just blocks from here, I know the rich history of Lawndale and am thrilled to participate in the effort to preserve this important part of it. People often forget the wonderful historic assets in the Northeast, which can be easily overshadowed by those downtown. But we as an organization need to be proactive in preserving the wonderful buildings like these on Rising Sun Avenue for posterity.”

As of Monday, the buildings – which most recently were used as the Gibbons PAL and a day care – are under the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia Historical Commission. They will be the subject of two hearings in the fall to determine if they should be formally listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.