About the Project
About Mapping Penn: Land Acquisitions, 1870 – present
"Mapping Penn: Land Acquisitions, 1870 – present" is an online mapping application that allows users to access, analyze and map data about University of Pennsylvania properties based on University Archive records. These records incorporate 12 data elements, grouped into two categories:
- Land Purchase and Sale Data
- Parcel and Location Data
The website is designed to assist University-based planning and development, scholarly research and the general public in efforts to analyze, interpret and understand the history of the growth of the University of Pennsylvania campus in West Philadelphia. The online mapping and reporting tools can be used to focus on a specific lot, name, year, or address. Users are able to create maps, reports, and queries.
Users have the ability to access, analyze and map data. Currently, Mapping Penn incorporates eleven data elements found in five layers:
- Penn Acquisitions by Date: Displays distinct color blocks for University properties acquired during 10-year spans beginning in 1870 (e.g. 1881-1890, 1951-1960, etc.)
- Address: Street address commonly associated with parcel. Addresses were taken from the deed records at the Department of Records, City of Philadelphia; the Deed Registry data maintained by the Department of Records; deed records in the collections of the University Archives and Records Center, University of Pennsylvania (transferred from the Office of the Treasurer, University of Pennsylvania); and Sanborn fire insurance atlases in the collections of the University Archives.
- Area: Square foot area measure of the parcel. These figures were calculated with GIS software and not taken from the legal descriptions found in the deed records.
- Book/Page: Philadelphia deed book title, volume number, and page assigned to each land transaction by the Department of Records, City of Philadelphia. All Philadelphia land records are available to the public at the Department of Records. In 2000, the Department of Records stopped using the deed book title, volume number, and page system and began assigning a single, unique transaction number to each land transaction.
- Buyer/Grantee: Personal or corporate name of the party who acquired the property. In the majority of cases this will the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania or a corporate entity which is or was controlled by the University (such as, OAP, Incorporated; Pegasus, Incorporated; Thomas W. Evans Museum and Institute Society; University City Associates, Incorporated; Veronica, Incorporated) or agencies that acquired land for the University's use (such as, the General State Authority and Pennsylvania Higher Educational Facilities Authority).
- Date: Date of the land transaction.
- Notes: Any special information regarding a parcel, e.g., information which does not conform to data standards.
- Property File Number: File number assigned to the property by the Office of the Treasurer, University of Pennsylvania.
- Price: The consideration for which the property was sold. The price refers to all parcels contained in each land transaction and may not represent the price of an individual parcel. The user should note that many land transactions include several parcels of land.
- Registry Plan No.: The unique Deed Registry Plan and Plot Number assigned to the parcel by the Department of Records, City of Philadelphia.
- Seller/Grantor: Personal or corporate name of the party who sold the property.
- Transaction Notes: Any special notes regarding the transaction, such as any mortgage or other conditions to which the property is subject.
- Type: Type of land transaction, such as deed or lease.
- Closed Streets: Displays former public streets that were closed by the City of Philadelphia
- Closed: Year street was closed
- Notes: Dates of:
- Authorizing legislation of City Council -- Ordnances (abbreviated as Ord.)
- Formal administrative implementation by the Board of Surveys -- Vacated (Vac.), Stricken (Str.)
- Court orders by the Philadelphia County Court of Quarter Sessions –abbreviated as Court Order Vac.
- Penn Sales: Displays outline color for properties sold by the University.
- University City Association: Displays outline color for properties acquired by the UCA.
- Pennsylvania Higher Education Facility Authority: Displays outline color for properties acquired by the PHEFA.
Unless otherwise noted in the Transaction Notes, all the land transaction data for Mapping Penn was taken directly from the official deed records at the Department of Records, City of Philadelphia and the original deed records in the University Real Estate Title Papers collection of the University Archives and Records Center (transferred from the Office of the Treasurer, University of Pennsylvania). Please note that the data on the Registry Plan numbers was compiled from the Department of Records' Deed Registry Plans, available on-line at ParcelExplorer.
Walter Rice, Jr., of R&R Computer Solutions, provided invaluable design work for the creation of this new interface to the site. The Cartographic Modeling Laboratory was also an invaluable partner for initial design and web presence for this data. Important GIS data was provided by the City of Philadelphia through Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access. CAD data used to create footprints of current University buildings was provided by Facilities and Real Estate Services of the University of Pennsylvania and the Department of Real Estate and Architecture of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
The research and compilation of information which led to the creation of the base data on land acquisitions were conducted by several University students and staff who worked at the University Archives:
- Norma Rosado-Blake
- Ryan M. Janda
- Christopher M. Rooney
- Martin J. Hackett
- J.M. Duffin
About the University Archives and Records Center
The University Archives and Records Center is the official repository of all inactive and historical records of the University's administrative offices, academic departments, committees, and student groups. It is responsible to the academic community and to the public for the orderly retention and disposition of all University records, both active and inactive, and for the timeless preservation of historically significant documents and other materials which reflect the University's origins and development and the activities and achievements of its officers, faculty, students, alumni, and benefactors.
The University Archives and Records Center
University of Pennsylvania
3401 Market Street, Suite 210
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6320
The maps and data displayed on this site have been prepared for the inventory of real property acquired and sold by the University of Pennsylvania in West Philadelphia since 1870. Users of this site are hereby notified that the public primary information sources should be consulted for verification of the information contained on the maps and in the databases presented on this web site. Neither the University of Pennsylvania, the University Archives and Records Center nor their collaborators assume any legal responsibility for the information displayed on maps or associated data presented on this web site. In no event shall the University, the University's agencies, or the officers, employees, agents, or representatives of any of the foregoing be liable for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental, exemplary or consequential damages arising your accessing or using the site or any information displayed on the site, or otherwise arising from the site or from anything contained in or displayed on the site. The University of Pennsylvania makes no warranty or representation whatsoever, express or implied, with respect to the quality, content, accuracy, completeness, currency, freedom from computer virus, suitability for any particular purpose, or non-infringement of proprietary rights, of any of the information published on this site, or any of the design, text, graphics, images, pages, interfaces, links, software, or other materials, documents, and items contained in or displayed or published on this site.
University Archives and Records Center, University of Pennsylvania.