Demo plans for Philadelphia’s Jewelers Row losing sparkle

A luxury homebuilder wants to tear down part of Philadelphia’s historic Jewelers Row to build a 16-story condominium tower.

Despite it being the nation’s oldest diamond district, Jewelers Row is not historically protected. That’s leaving preservationists scrambling to stop the demolition, and stunned workers wondering why no one let them know in advance.

A procedural error is buying some time for building opponents. The city says it prematurely issued a permit for the project; the delay is giving all sides a chance to weigh in.

Developer Toll Brothers says it wants to work with the community and maintain the street’s history and ambiance.

But one jeweler, who has worked her entire career on Jewelers Row, says relocating even temporarily will do permanent damage.

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