Spruce Hill Association fact sheet click here
Questions below from Spruce Hill fact sheet answered by the HC.

Can I paint my house whatever color I want? Or do I have to research and repaint in the original colors?
For wood or metal trim (doors, windows, cornices, porches), the Commission does not regulate colors - you may use any colors you wish. For masonry (brick, masonry or terra cotta), painting may cause severe damage over time; therefore, the Historical Commission reviews the painting of masonry. *

*The mural was previously painted stucco and was painted over numerous times due to grafitti problems which persist to this day. There are numerous buildings in all "Historical Commission" fiefdoms that have painted brick or stucco. On the same block of 400 S. 15th St. several buildings have painted brick.

How does the Historical Commission decide what work can be done?
The Historical Commission, its committees and its staff must follow a set of standards when reviewing permit applications. The Commission has adopted the federal guidelines established by the Department of the Interior, called the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Buildings. These are objective standards and they cover work ranging from roofing, to windows, to additions, to ADA compliance. A proposal is never judged in terms of "like" or "dislike" or whether something "looks good."* Instead, the Commission reviews the work in terms of the preservation of the historic fabric and if the proposed design is consistent with the architecture of the building.

*Several commissioners openly expressed dislike for the mural. One gave a statement to the press expressing her dissatisfaction with the mural. These statements are mysteriously omitted from the official minutes of the HC. One called it an advertisement in an earlier meeting. Ultimately, the Historical Commission can use very fuzzy and arbitrary guidelines and approve or turn down any project as it sees fit. Peirce College, an past opponent of the mural put in replacement windows knowlingly that they are expressly not approved according to the HC guidelines. Their approval was never in question. See below

                                                         Can I use vinyl windows or stock wood windows?
Vinyl windows with snap on muntins or interior muntins, which attempt to mimic divided light windows, are not acceptable as substitutes for these windows.


   Detail of approved window at Peirce College property* in direct contradiction to the guidelines. It is a replacement window with interior snap-on muntins. Also, the brick is painted red. Less than one block from the mural. Peirce College originally objected to the mural. Their original complaint was based on the mural  " not going thru the process".  The mural has been subjected to more "process" possibly more than any project of comparable size in modern Philadelphia history.
   *Peirce has sold these properties. They have downsized and is possibly undergoing a devolving process to on online university.

  Detail of mural approved project on the corner of 13th and Pine. The HC staff in the minutes of the 2002 meetings stated that murals are not approved on walls of corner properties. This mural is on a business (tavern), has paint on the stone, and is a Murals Arts project. A tax payer funded project.


 Detail of Campaign sign approved by Historical Commission at 305 South 3rd St. Opposed by Society Hill Civic Association. Source: Paul Boni President: Society Hill Civic Association