Which historic sites in Roxborough would you preserve?

Historic preservation experts came to Roxborough this week with a wealth of information about forming a National Historic District, but their biggest piece of advice was the most basic: Look around.

Take a closer, longer look at the familiar places and things that give the streets between the Manayunk Canal and Henry Avenue their very character, said Patrick Hauck of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

The proposed area for the Roxborough-Manayunk Historic District includes much of Central and Lower Roxborough and Manayunk, with neighborhoods from the Main Street-Ridge Avenue intersection to Fountain Street.

The story of the hillside community includes mill and factory buildings, surrounded by rowhouses once full of workers' families. Then the larger homes managers' homes up the hill, and the small farmhouses and grander properties along the Ridge where the owners lived. There are the cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks, Gothic Catholic churches full of marble and prim Protestant ones with intricate ironwork. Pharmacies and banks, significant schools and city buildings whose variety of architectural styles reflect their eras.

Much is still intact and none of it currently protected by national or local historic designation.

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About the author

Amy Z. Quinn, NewsWorks Northwest reporter

Amy Z. Quinn developed an interest in planning and land use while covering rapidly-developing South Jersey suburbs for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and later wrote extensively about urban and beachfront redevelopment for the Asbury Park Press.

Over more than 15 years of local reporting, opinion writing and blogging, Amy has cultivated a distinctive voice and desire to get right to the heart of an issue. She also trains tomorrow's news professionals as a popular journalism instructor at several area universities. 
A Manayunk native now living in an average suburban development, Amy covers Northwest Philly as part of PlanPhilly's partnership with WHYY's NewsWorks.

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