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Controversy Surrounds Cemetery Work

The Philadelphia Historical Commission is investigating allegations that work being done at the Knights of Pythias Greenwood Cemetery is being done without proper permits.  The Historical Properties committee at the Historical Society of Frankford raised the issue in response to neighbors concerns.  The cemetery appearance has improved greatly over the last two years, However the issue is the historical significance of the property and its preservation.

Response from the Historical Commission:

I visited the site myself on Friday, June 15 and photographed the area in
question. One of my staff members tried to contact the property owner for
two weeks, but no one returned his calls or answered his emails. We
therefore requested that the Department of Licenses & Inspections issue a
violation to the property owner for failing to obtain the Historical
Commission’s approval for the work. The Department is also issuing a
violation for failing to obtain a building permit for clearing more than
5,000 square feet of land. After receiving the violations, the property
owner will have an opportunity to take the appropriate corrective actions
(ie seek the Historical Commission’s and Department’s approvals for work to
remedy the situation). If an appropriate action is not taken, then the
Department and Historical Commission will seek to enforce the violations
through the courts. Thank you for your vigilence.

Jonathan E. Farnham, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Philadelphia Historical Commission

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Historic Greenwood Estate at Rush Farm

If you have time on Friday, don’t forget the groundbreaking for the restoration of this old house.  As a result of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America involvement, the Knights of Pythias/Greenwood Cemetery is seeing some long overdue, monumental changes.  The ceremony will be on Friday April 30th at 10:00 AM.

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Benjamin Rush House Planning


FROM: Greenwood Cemetery Board of Directors

Knights of Pythias Greenwood Cemetery will host a community discussion on the potential use of the historic Benjamin Rush house.  The house has been inhabitable for many years however; under new ownership the cemetery has plans to renovate and restore the house. Please see for the full details.

The guest facilitator will be Ann Barton Brown. Ms. Brown brings a wealth of knowledge, including thirty-five years experience as a curator, collections manager, strategic planner and fundraiser for museums and non profit arts and community organizations. With your input we hope to determine the most effective use of the house, not only for the cemetery but for the community as well.  Therefore, your participation is greatly appreciated. The meeting will be held in the Medical Office Building at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in the third floor conference room on August 3rd from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

If you have any questions please call 215-533-2967.