The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia is a membership-based, nonprofit organization that promotes the protection, importance, and appropriate use of historic buildings and urban landscapes in the region. Through advocacy, planning efforts, and community programming, the Preservation Alliance looks after and restores Philadelphia's historic built environment, with programs that support homeowners and community leaders. With Center support in 2012, the Preservation Alliance worked with the owners of the vacant John Coltrane House in North Philadelphia to plan a program strategy for the jazz great's former home. In 2016, the Preservation Alliance received Center support to plan a contemporary restaging of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission's 1947 Better Philadelphia Exhibition—a pivotal historic project that helped define the city's urban redevelopment.
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia developed a new strategic plan that defines the areas of emphasis and the types of programs and services the organization should focus on through 2016. The Preservation Alliance prepared this planning work at a critical time of change and reflection. The staff weighed the value and reach of its core programs, its relationships to the community and the preservation field, and an eventual change in executive leadership. The new plan has enabled the Preservation Alliance, as a service and advocacy organization, to prioritize which programs to continue as well as identify new initiatives to pursue; to create and maintain effective collaborations with other preservation organizations; to outline staffing and funding necessary to carry out proposed educational programs; and to develop a succession strategy for executive leadership that relates to these issues. Staff conducted external interviews, focus groups, an online member survey, and a peer evaluation by three like-minded organizations that evaluated how the Preservation Alliance is perceived and how it can improve upon its current offerings. The plan paved the way for the organization's long-serving executive director, John Gallery, to retire in 2012, and for the hiring of Caroline Boyce in March 2013. [fn]Management grants, through the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, were awarded from 2009 through 2013.[/fn]