Effort underway to designate Wayne Junction SEPTA station area a national historic district

Should the area around the Wayne Junction SEPTA station be designated a National Historic District, recognizing the area’s industrial past? The city Planning Commission thinks so, and is inviting public input at a meeting tonight.

The meeting will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Universal Missionary Baptist Church, at 4401 Germantown Ave. Northwest Community Planner Matt Wysong will lead discussion at the meeting, which will be co-hosted by the Nicetown CDC and Southwest Germantown Neighbors Association.

“This designation will recognize the industrial legacy of Wayne Junction Station and its immediate surroundings,” an announcement for the meeting says. “It will also provide incentives for the redevelopment and revitalization of this area.”

The historic district would stretch roughly between Germantown and Wayne avenues, and from Roberts Avenue to near Berkley Street. On Feb. 7, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Review Board will review the nomination.

The Wayne Junction Historic District is another outgrowth of the 2009 Germantown and Nicetown Transit-Oriented Plan (TOD), which also spawned a nascent effort to revitalize the Chelten Avenue streetscape. The TOD plan cites former industrial buildings on streets around Wayne Junction station as key opportunities for mixed-use development.

“The Wayne Mills complex on Berkley Street is an attractive opportunity with its wonderful collection of historic buildings and proximity to the station. This facility could house a community of artists and craftsmen with workshop galleries and housing,” according to the plan.

The historic designation is a slightly different process, which could make property owners within the Wayne Junction district eligible for tax credits to offset rehabilitation costs, but places no restrictions on property owners’ rights.

Look for a full report on the meeting Tuesday on NewsWorks.

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Contact Amy Z. Quinn at azquinn@planphilly.com.

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