Philadelphia Historical Commission Adds Five African-American-related Landmarks to Local Register

Wilt Chamberlain boyhood home
Image via Hidden City.
Wilt Chamberlain boyhood home on N Salford Street in Overbrook Park.

In August, the Philadelphia Historical Commission approved six new landmarks for the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, and five of them showcase diverse aspects of the city’s Black history, writes Kimberly Haas for the Hidden City.

This is a continuation of the commission’s ongoing efforts to improve the representation of African-American landmarks on the local register.

Among the five landmarks is the headquarters of the Hotel Brotherhood, U.S.A. on Bainbridge Street in Southwest Center City. The organization was founded in 1883 and was one of the nation’s earliest unions representing Black workers.

The former headquarters of the Provident Home Industrial Mutual Life Insurance Company on Broad Street in Southwest Center City is also on the list. The company was one of the largest Black-owned companies in Pennsylvania in the mid-1900s.

Another addition is the House of St. Michael and All Angels Historic District on Wallace Street in West Philadelphia, which was the campus of the House of St. Michael and All Angels, one of the first institutions in the country to provide services to African American children with physical disabilities.

The childhood home of basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain on N. Salford Street in Overbrook Park and Paul Robeson House and Museum on Walnut Street in West Philadelphia round out the list of African-American-related additions.

The sixth overall new designation was the former campus of St. Michael of the Saints Roman Catholic Church on Germantown Avenue in Germantown.

Read more about the Philadelphia Historical Commission’s efforts to add more African-American landmarks to the local register with five new designations in the Hidden City.


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