Historic Preservation Committee

Past Chairs: David O’Donnell, Al Dorof, Cynthia Temple, Amy Grant

The mission of the Historic Preservation Committee is to document and promote the history of Queen Village and to celebrate the cultural traditions and memories of the generations who have called Queen Village home. Through these means the Historic Preservation Committee strives to forge links between past, present and future. Our core values include: working to insure the preservation of Queen Village’s historic buildings, streets and courtyards, and green spaces; working to record and make available Queen Village’s social, architectural, and cultural history as it has evolved over more than three centuries; working to identify and use available resources to support our mission in concert with the Queen Village Neighbors’ Association as well as other local organizations and government agencies.

The core working group of the Historic Preservation Committee includes members of the Southwark Historical Society, who maintain a website featuring articles, historic maps, historic timelines, and a historic home inventory.   Many of the resources which were formerly housed on the Queen Village website have been transferred to the Southwark Historical Society’s archive.

News and Announcements

James Forten (1766-1842) - By Al Dorof This article was previously published at the Southwark Historical Society.  It has been reprinted with permission.   James Forten would be considered a remarkable man in any era, but especially so in Colonial Philadelphia. Born a free…
The First Theaters in the Colonies - By Al Dorof Theater in America owes a debt to William Plumsted (1708-1765), an early patron of the arts in the City.  He owned a large brick warehouse built in 1749 on Water Street between Pine and Lombard Streets. The…
Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon - This was not a “saloon” as you know it today, instead it provided support services to soldiers on their way to or returning from the Civil War. When ships were spotted nearing the wharf along Front Street, a cannon shot would announce to all the volunteers that assistance was soon required.
History of Queen Village - By Steve Sitarski Long before William Penn and the founding of Philadelphia, Swedish settlers arrived in 1638 at a place the local Lenni Lenape Indian tribe called Wiccaco, which means “pleasant place.” The early Swedes established Fort Christina (now Wilmington, Delaware)…
Emanuel German Evangelical Lutheran Church - Few people in Queen Village could tell you where the Emmanuel German Evangelical Lutheran Church is, but almost everyone know the church for its beautiful spire at Fourth and Carpenter Streets, the tallest 19th century structure in the neighborhood.
St. Philip Neri Church and Parish – A Brief History - Founded in 1840, the Church of St. Philip Neri became the 10th Catholic church in Philadelphia and its neighboring districts, joining Old St. Joseph (1733), Old St. Mary (1763), Holy Trinity (1788), St. Augustine (1796), St. John the Evangelist (1830), St. John the Baptist (1831), St. Michael (1831), St. Francis Xavier (1839) and St. Patrick (1839).