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Historic Philly cathedral to be preserved

The fate of a large cathedral, erected in 1855, has been decided. Thanks to a recent agreement, the cathedral, which is located on 38th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia, will be preserved.

The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia struck a deal with both the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral and Radnor Property Group just recently. Originally, Radnor Property Group and the Cathedral teamed together to use the land for development use. The project was staged just south of the church. That project was forcing developers to demolish some buildings that were located along Chestnut Street. Even though the Philadelphia Historic Commission green-lighted the project, the Preservation Alliance appealed it.

However, the Preservation Alliance chose to stop fighting the approval with the recent agreement. Per the terms of the agreement, the Cathedral will use money from the development project to continue preserving the church.

A sum would be immediately set aside in order to stabilize the cathedral. The money will also be used to perform maintenance on the building for the following 50 years. In its current state, the cathedral is in dire need of some repairs.

The Cathedral dean voiced his pleasure over the deal for a number of reasons. Not only would the agreement help make room for the development project, which would bring residential, retail and office space to the area, but it also ensures that the Cathedral would remain vibrant and continue to have a strong presence in the community.

The president of Radnor Property Group echoed those sentiments, pointing out that the project would cost $100 million and would bring new jobs and tax revenues to Philadelphia.

This story highlights the legal red tape that developers must dodge on the way to making their project a reality. Knowing the legal ins and outs of developing land is paramount in these situations.

Source: Weekly Press, "Philadelphia Preservation Alliance, Philadelphia Cathedral and Radnor Property Group Agree on Development Project and Preservation of Historic Church," Haywood Brewster, March 20, 2013

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