Advocating for Historical Preservation

During the August 30, 2021 meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, ACHS Recording Secretary, Chris Gibbons, spoke in support of the Historic Designation for the buildings of John W. Hallahan High School. “The original building was the first All-Girls Diocesan Catholic High School in the country”, Gibbons told the Commission.  

“These buildings not only represent the history of Catholic education in the country, but they are also a very real and tangible representation of integrated education as Hallahan counts among its alumni thousands of African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American women. Long before integrated education was the law in this country, in these buildings it was the standard. The alumnae who were educated in these buildings were integral to the growth and strength of the Delaware Valley. So, I ask the Philadelphia Historical Commission to consider the historical significance of what these buildings truly represent, not only for Philadelphia, but for our nation as well.”  

The Commission also heard from many other supporters of this initiative, and unanimously agreed to move Hallahan’s designation to the next phase of the approval process in October.

Image: “Hallahan Opening Day” courtesy of the Catholic Historical Research Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.