By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A state lawmaker is seeking historic designation for a Northeast Philadelphia property that was slated to become a gas station.

State Rep. Jared Solomon says he started working on saving the Trinity Oxford parish house on Rising Sun Avenue as soon as he got elected.

The building had hosted the city’s largest PAL program for years, but upkeep costs exceeded the rent so the Church found a new tenant: Royal Farms, which Solomon says planned to put up a gas station.

“What makes that site so special is that unique historic significance, that cultural richness. That site is core to the Lawndale community.”

Solomon says he feared if Royal Farms knew he was seeking historic designation, it would immediately get a demolition permit, so he didn’t announce it until after he filed on Monday.

Now, the building’s protected at least until the Historic Commission votes on the nomination. It will hold hearings in the fall.

Neither the church nor Royal Farms responded to requests for comment.