The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral received approval to demolish two historic buildings, clearing the way for construction of a 25-story apartment building. At a hearing of the City of Philadelphia’s Historical Commission, the cathedral and its private development partner agreed to conditions that ensure that a portion of development profits are spent on the repair and renovation of the cathedral’s bell tower.

The commission voted to approve the demolition “in the public interest.” The restoration of the bell tower will begin before a building permit will be issued for the apartment building. The commission also approved the concept for the apartment tower, even though its architecture committee was against it. Neil Sklaroff, a Real Estate partner at Ballard Spahr who is representing the cathedral and its partner, Radnor Property Group, said his client had “no flexibility on size.”