Devastation/Development/Disruption on Philadelphia’s Jewelers Row


 Photo- Amanda Stockwell


If you haven’t heard about this yet, check out the following links:


After finding out about this project yesterday, I can’t sit idle and hope for the best. The Hidden City article above mentions that the Mayor and Council could find a way to delay or alter the plans. I am taking that as a call to action and have decided to send the following email to City Councilman Mark Squilla, Mayor James Kenney and all of the At-Large Council Members. Feel free to do the same. My email can be found at the bottom of this post and anyone is welcome to copy, paste and edit the text to use, or write your own, but I encourage something.


You can also sign the petition at

Signing and sharing a petition is a good thing, but continued constituent pressure on elected officials is always a strong tool for change.


Barbara Baur, Jeweler
P.O. Box 22116
Philadelphia, PA 19136

Councilman Mark Squilla

Office of the Mayor

cc: At-Large City Council Members:
Blondell Reynolds Brown
Allan Domb
Derek S. Green
William K Greenlee
Helen Gym
David Oh
Al Taubenberger

Via email

August 13, 2016

Mayor Kenney and Councilman Squilla,
I am appalled to read about the impending demolition on Jewelers Row. It is a travesty to allow development to destroy the fabric of the oldest Jewelry District in the United States.

It is beyond understanding why a major change to a historic district was done secretly with the knowledge of both of your offices, only becoming public in the last two days. Now that the plans are made public, it is your responsibility to address public outcry and correct this situation, no matter how “legal” or “by-right” the arrangement may be. Legality should not be the only standard by which decisions are made in our city.

As a city, Philadelphia recently received the World Heritage City designation. Is this any way to respect our heritage? This is not just a heritage in the past, but a heritage that is continuing today! This short-sighted developer will not be respecting this heritage by having “jewelers on the ground floor” and “keeping the cornice line” as stated by the Mayors Spokesperson.

Allowing this project to move forward is not about just the buildings, it will destroy the rare community of entrepreneurs that exist in these buildings. The occupants of these buildings are a community of jewelers, artists and crafts people that could rival any small business incubator project, no matter how well funded. There are many other properties nearby that would not cause the kind of disruption caused by this project.

I call upon Councilman Squilla to exercise his “Councilmanic privilege”  and find a way to block this demolition. Additionally I request for Mayor James Kenney and At-Large Councilmen to support preserving not just these buildings, but just as importantly, the small business community of Philadelphia’s Jewelers Row.



Barbara Baur

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