Awbury Arboretum District Advances; Historic Gem Being Developed as Senior Housing

From the Preservation Alliance monthly newsletter:

Awbury Arboretum District Advances

Fresh on the heels of two new Historic District designations in late 2009 (Tudor East Falls and Parkside), the Philadelphia Historical Commission’s Designation Committee will review the nomination of the Awbury Arboretum District at its April 13 meeting.  The proposed district is a collection of 34 single-family homes constructed between 1849 and 1922 by prominent Quake r Thomas Cope and his descendants.  A number of important architects are represented, including Thomas Ustick Walter, Addison Hutton, and Cope & Stewardson.  The district includes the Awbury Arboretum itself, planted by the Cope family and established as a public park in 1916.  The Preservation Alliance prepared the nomination in 2006 and is excited to see it join the growing ranks of Philadelphia’s protected historic districts.

Historic Gem Being Developed as Senior Housing

There will be a public groundbreaking at Presser Senior Apartments, 101 West Johnson Street, on April 14 at 10:30am. This is Philadelphia’s first housing development to use American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. For ty-five affordable senior apartments are being developed by Nolen Properties, LLC at the c. 1913 Presser Home for Retired Music Teachers in Mt. Airy, with support from the Preservation Alliance. The Presser building is both a distinguished architectural accomplishment and a testament to a remarkable individual. Theodore Presser founded the company that bears his name, which, by the 1930s, was the leading music publisher in the world.  Presser commissioned Davis and Davis to build a grand Renaissance Revival structure adjacent to his own home in Mt. Airy for retired music teachers. The three story gray brick and limestone structure housed about 100 retirees and continued to operate until 1980. If you plan to attend the groundbreaking, please RSVP to info.ohcd@phila.gov or 215-686-9723.

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