The Chestnut Hill Conservancy, formerly the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, founded in 1967, is an educational center and advocate for the architecture, open space, and social history of Chestnut Hill and surrounding communities. Through programs and the Archives (with over 21,000 photographs, maps, records, and more), the CH Conservancy is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the Chestnut Hill area’s heritage. An innovative easement program preserves open space and historic facades in partnership with the Friends of the Wissahickon. Advocacy for preservation of historic buildings is initiated by the CH Conservancy and supported by our Resource Center, which directly advises homeowners on their care of their property, from maintenance to restoration to adaptive reuse.
Chestnut Hill, located in the northwestern corner of Philadelphia, is one of the region’s most beautiful and architecturally distinguished communities. Flanked by the spectacular Wissahickon Gorge and Cresheim Valley, Chestnut Hill is home to outstanding examples of architecture from three centuries, many united by the use of the native stone, Wissahickon schist. Chestnut Hill began as a rural farming and milling community in the early 1700s and became the site of one of the first planned suburban communities in the 19th century. Two active railroad lines built in the 19th century still serve the bustling commercial corridor of Germantown Avenue today.
The Chestnut Hill Conservancy ensures that this heritage continues to thrive. In 2012, the American Planning Association named Chestnut Hill one of 10 “Great Neighborhoods in America” based on historical and cultural interest, architectural features, accessibility, and community involvement. Chestnut Hill was recognized as one of America’s Top 7 Urban Enclaves by Forbes and as a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust. And Chestnut Hill remains one of the largest National Historic Districts on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Chestnut Hill Conservancy is located in an 1850s Victorian house at the “top of the Hill” along Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill.