Philadelphia buildings to receive preservation honors

Several buildings in Philadelphia will receive awards from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia this year for their historic and well preserved appearances.  Among the most noteworthy honorees are two family businesses, a classic Philadelphia row home, and an outstanding reconstruction of a historic North Philly townhome.

Shayne Confectionery
Shayne Confectionery

On May 8 at the annual Preservation Achievement Awards, Shayne Confectionery, 110 Market St., and Termini Brothers Bakery, whose flagship location is at 1523 S. 8th St., will receive awards for their well kept store fronts and well preserved interiors.  These two Philadelphia family run businesses will be rewarded for their efforts to preserve and restore the historic character of their properties, their attention to historic detail throughout the refurbishment process, and providing the community with a unique sense of culture.

Shayne Confectionery dates back as far as 1863 and is known as one of America’s oldest candy shops.  In 2010, the Berley brothers, the fantastic duo behind the Franklin Fountain, bought the Market Street candy company and worked tirelessly on restoring both the inside and the outer facade to their original appeal.  They even went as far as to include ornate light fixtures from the building’s original time period.  Not only does Shane Confectionary serve up delicious turn-of-the-century sweets, but it offers clientele a historical experience with their working candy factory and store.  The brothers’ hard work reflects their love of restoring businesses to their original historical flair as well as their respect for old-fashioned confectioneries and sweets.

Termini Brothers
Termini Brothers

The story of the Termini Brothers Bakery in South Philadelphia is a quite a unique tale.  It opened its doors in 1938, and unlike most 1930s-style buildings in Philadelphia, this historic location was actually restored to its original state.  Those involved in the rebuilding process restored the exterior with stainless steel, metal ceilings, the original doors and neon signs, iconic of many establishments in the 1930s.  Locals who buy Italian baked goods from Termini Brothers come not only for the fresh treats but also for the culture and the history that is Termini Brothers Bakery.

Among the other honorees are several quintessential Philadelphia row houses.  Like much of the real estate in Philadelphia, residential row houses are marked by their distinctive masonry work and brownstone exteriors, depending on the neighborhood.  Two of the homes on this list are owned by the Power House Development Inc., a company that is relatively new to the strict stipulations of restoring and constructing historic buildings in the city of Philadelphia.  When Audrey and Benito Martinez, owners of Power House, purchased the vacant lot at 1824 Diamond Street in North Philadelphia, they had to follow the guidelines of building in a historic district very carefully.  According to Philadelphia Historical Commission rules, developers can only reconstruct a historic building if they know exactly what the house looked like and its floor plan, which is why the Benjamin Franklin House and the President’s House Memorial are only partially complete. Developers of historic buildings are only allowed to construct the components of a building that they are certain of.  Power House is being recognized not only for constructing a home with historical integrity but also for being able to execute it so well even though they were a bit less experienced with the process.

Other homes being recognized this year include the 2307 St. Albans St. house which was featured in “The Sixth Sense.”  If it weren’t for experienced developer F. Scott Donahue, the commission believes the house would have been lost.

Here’s a list of the other Preservation Alliance honorees.

To find out more about the Preservation Alliance and the Preservation Achievement Awards, visit their events website.

-By Kae Lani Kennedy for

Photo of Shayne Confectionery by Sandy Smith; Termini Brothers photo by the author