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Philadelphia Historic Commission To Consider Some Unusual Applications

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The squat brick row-house in the 900 block of Snyder Avenue looks like lots of others in the neighborhood.

Nothing leaps out as historic, but the application before the historic designation committee notes it's associated with a person of significance in the past.

That would be mob boss Angelo Bruno, rubbed out in 1980.

Applicant Celeste Morello doesn't argue Bruno was admirable but, she says, he was significant: "He did enough criminal-wise to warrant one of the first organized crime strike forces in the United States and that happened in 1968 so, there's your history," said Morello.

Morello has also applied for historic designation for paintings inside the Cathedral Basilica and St. Augustine's church, explaining: "I think that others should know about the historic value of the paintings and respect them and the artists who did them."

Nearly every Catholic church in the city has received historic designation, but when you suggest designating artwork within the churches, the Archdiocese thinks you've gone too far.

Archdiocese attorney Michael Phillips says they're sacred religious objects and he'll argue the first amendment prohibits a government designation.


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