Solomon saves historic church property from wrecking ball

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 10 – State Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., today thanked members of the Philadelphia Historical Commission for their vote to add the Parish House at the Trinity Oxford Church to the local historic register, thus forestalling plans to demolish it in place of a Royal Farms gas station.

“Today is a great day for Northeast Philly. We will now work collaboratively to bring new revitalization to our business corridors,” Solomon said after the hearing. “I nominated this building because it holds a special place in the hearts of so many Northeast residents and is integral to the rich – and often underappreciated – history in Northeast Philadelphia. Today’s successful designation was the product of so many of these residents, along with key partners like the Preservation Alliance, working together towards this shared goal.”

Solomon and the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, along with many near-neighbors and activists, testified in support of the nomination at the Nov. 10 Historical Commission hearing at 16th and Arch streets. The commission voted to support the nomination, affirming the recommendation of an earlier subcommittee that in September voted unanimously to add this building to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

Solomon said, “While I am thrilled with today’s vote, much work remains. Since Day 1 of this process I have been committed to working closely with the Church community, the Episcopal Diocese, preservation partners, neighbors and community leaders to find a viable, long-term use for this property. With today’s decision it is my hope that all these parties will quickly meet at the table to do just that. Let’s get to work.”

The commission voted unanimously in favor of designation. It is unclear what the church and Royal Farms will do in light of today’s decision.