Save the Historic Germantown YWCA Building

A group of Germantown residents and community stakeholders have joined forces to launch savethegermantownywca.org and galvanize support for the historic Germantown YWCA building at 5820 Germantown Avenue in Northwest Philadelphia. The building is once again under threat. You can help save this icon of American history and civil rights from demolition and preserve it for future generations by becoming a Friend of the YWCA. 

Sign this online petition, launched February 24, 2014, directed to City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and do your part to save the historic Germantown YWCA building. Read the full text of the petition below, already endorsed by 21 members of Germantown’s diverse community, and sign the petition at change.org today!

change

Save the Historic Germantown YWCA Building

We, the undersigned, hereby petition the government of the City of Philadelphia to save from demolition the at 5820 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144. We recognize the historic significance of the Germantown YWCA (the “Building”) as an . The 100-year old Building is a monument to the black and white women of Germantown who, in 1946, made the YWCA a beacon and safe place for racial integration, and civic and social engagement. Its physical presence in the Germantown Avenue business district reminds us everyday of this neighborhood history. We are seeking to save this Building from demolition and to preserve it for future generations with a use that will contribute to the vitality of Germantown’s “Town Center” and the adjacent Vernon Park as community treasures that bring pride to Germantown and all of Northwest Philadelphia.

We, the undersigned, hereby petition the government of the City of Philadelphia to save from demolition the historic Germantown YWCA building at 5820 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144. We recognize the historic significance of the Germantown YWCA (the “Building”) as an icon of American history and civil rights. The 100-year old Building is a monument to the black and white women of Germantown who, in 1946, made the YWCA a beacon and safe place for racial integration, and civic and social engagement. Its physical presence in the Germantown Avenue business district reminds us everyday of this neighborhood history. We are seeking to save this Building from demolition and to preserve it for future generations with a use that will contribute to the vitality of Germantown’s “Town Center” and the adjacent Vernon Park as community treasures that bring pride to Germantown and all of Northwest Philadelphia.

We hereby acknowledge the following facts as true and correct:

The Building is owned by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (“PRA”);

For the past five years, the PRA has not prevented the deterioration of the Building; the Building is currently open to the elements and unauthorized entry and has numerous open, broken and missing windows, as of February 23, 2015;

Councilwoman Cindy Bass has committed $1.5 million toward the costs to stabilize the Building; total stabilization costs are estimated at $3 to $4 million dollars; and

The PRA has expressed its desire to save the Building.

Specifically, we petition the PRA to take responsible and immediate action to stabilize and secure the Building and prevent demolition. In order to facilitate the PRA’s work, we urgently petition City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter to authorize the outlay of government funds to cover the cost of stabilization as well as to secure the Building for the period of time needed to identify and approve a re-development proposal that will contribute to the revitalization of one of America’s most historic neighborhoods and also be endorsed by the Germantown community.

Sign the petition to show your support for this great building.

Join the first Friends to Save the Germantown YWCA: Catherine Adams, Julie Baranauskas, Connie Bille, Julie Stapleton Caroll, Amelia Carter, Susan Christian, Emaleigh Doley, Susan Guggenheim, Yvonne Haskins, Harold J. Haskins, Kristin Haskins-Simms, Lisa Hopkins, Ann Perone, Jill Saull, Robert A. Seeley, Ingrid Shepard, Jeff Smith, Luke Smith, Rev. Lorelei Toombs, Ray Torres, Andrew Trackman, and YOU!

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