Architectural Hall of Fame
2021 Inductees
Chestnut Hill is among the nation’s most architecturally distinguished communities, home to outstanding examples of architecture from three centuries.
The Architectural Hall of Fame is a distinguished list of Chestnut Hill’s most treasured significant buildings, structures, and landscapes, chosen by the public. These properties represent groundbreaking approaches to planning and design; are significant for their design, materials, craftsmanship, or as an exceptional example of their style; or are of historic significance because of an association with an event, a person, or by virtue of age. Thousands of public votes were cast to induct these treasures onto the Hall of Fame.
High Hollow
West Hampton Road (1914-1917; George Howe, Architect)
Built as architect George Howe’s personal residence, High Hollow is regarded as his most significant residential work. The difficult, steep site clearly captured the imagination of the young architect to create a uniquely beautiful ensemble of buildings and landscape.
Photo by Bradley Maule
Valley Green Bridge
Valley Green Road crossing Wissahickon Creek near Valley Green Inn (1832, 1915)
The beloved Valley Green Road Bridge, predates the creation of the toll road that would become Forbidden Drive, its namesake the Valley Green Inn, and the creation of Fairmount Park. Its picturesque appearance has inspired artists for almost two centuries.
Photo by Bradley Maule
William A. Kilian Hardware Co.
8450 Germantown Avenue (1925-27, possibly originally early 19th-century; Melvin H. Grebe, Builder)
For more than 100 years, Kilian Hardware has served local residents and tradesmen shopping for – just about anything. The building, with Kilian’s wonderful signature window displays, presents a unique and historic anchor to Germantown Avenue’s “Main Street” character.
Photo by Bradley Maule
Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting
100 East Mermaid Lane (1931; Heacock & Hokanson, Architect; Melvin Grebe, Builder)
Built in 1931, the Heacock and Hockesin design of the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting House was intentionally simple and homelike, possibly inspired by Friends’ meetings having been initiated within the homes of its members.
Photo by Bradley Maule
Chestnut Hill Women’s Center (aka Julia Hebard Marsden Residence)
8835 (formerly 8811) Germantown Avenue (1903; Charles Barton Keen, Architect)
Adapted for Chestnut Hill Hospital from a significant early 20th c Colonial Revival “country house”, the Women’s Center is a celebrated local example of the work of Philadelphia architect Charles Barton Keen.
Photo by Bradley Maule
Because of you, our members and supporters, the Chestnut Hill Conservancy has been the primary organization to advocate for sustainability, urban land conservation, and historic preservation in our area for more than 50 years.
And to celebrate your impact, we premiered a new video highlighting the work you’ve made possible during our virtual Celebration on May 22nd.
As we begin to move toward a post-pandemic space, we face new development pressures, and your support is more important than ever.
Thanks so much to all of our members for your support year-round! If you’re not currently a member, please join us now. For the month of June, a group of dedicated community champions will match all new, renewed, and upgraded memberships up to $10,000!
Please take a moment to watch this short video about the amazing impact your support for the Conservancy has made in conservation, preservation, and documenting and sharing the diverse histories of our communities. Then, please join us as a member to continue this work
We’ll highlight stories from some of our match challenge leaders and other Conservancy members throughout the month! Would you like to share why you’re a member of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy? Email Heather Bowlan, Development Manager, at heather@chconservancy.org.
What a wonderful night! Thank you to all!
Architectural historian George McNeely served as Master of Ceremonies for a memorable evening celebrating the places, spaces, and landscapes that are at the heart of our irreplaceable community. Our program included dynamic videos highlighting the Architectural Hall of Fame’s 2021 nominees and announcing the newest inductees.
Our behind-the-scenes tour of Louis Kahn’s Esherick House (a 2015 Architectural Hall of Fame inductee), introduced by his son, filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn, received rave reviews. And our first-ever online auction was an extraordinary success, raising more than $12,500.
Thanks again to all of our patrons and Benefactors for your tremendous support! It was a wonderful evening, made possible by YOU!
Discovering Chestnut Hill: WPA Structures in the Wissahickon
Virtual Lecture Tomorrow!
Virtual Presentation on Zoom
Wednesday, June 2, 7pm
During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) funded a three-phase project to improve the Wissahickon Valley. One of many WPA projects in Fairmount Park, this particular work included the construction of outbuildings along the Wissahickon Creek including shelters, guardboxes, comfort stations, and concession stands.
Join architect Kate Cowing to learn more about the history, restoration, and reuse of these structures and the WPA’s legacy in the Wissahickon Valley Park. This virtual lecture is co-sponsored by Friends of the Wissahickon.
Kate Cowing, AIA, is both an architectural conservator and a registered architect with more than 25 years of experience in preservation architecture and is the principal of Kate Cowing Architect, LLC (wbe). Kate holds both a Bachelor of Architecture from Drexel University and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation with a concentration in architectural conservation from the University of Pennsylvania. This presentation stems from her graduate school thesis, “The Analysis and Restoration of the WPA Outbuildings in the Wissahickon Valley.” The thesis was sponsored by the Friends of the Wissahickon and subsequently became the guideline for restoration of these buildings.
Tickets: $10/CH Conservancy or FOW members, $20/non-members
Discovering Chestnut Hill is presented with support from John B. Ward & Co.
The Campaign to Save St. Michael’s
Woodmere has just a few weeks left to raise the funds needed to acquire the historic St. Michael’s Hall at 9101 Germantown Avenue, and its 4 acres of publicly-accessible open space. The alternative could see the Sisters of St Joseph returning to a previous developer, who would raze the mansion and could develop the property with 20+ single-family homes. Woodmere is so close, and we hope you will join us in supporting this effort!
Read more about Woodmere’s plans HERE, and the Conservancy’s brief history of the site HERE.
From the Conservancy Archives
June in Chestnut Hill
As June is Great Outdoors Month, we’re featuring a post about Forbidden Drive in the Wissahickon, also where you can find one of our 2021 Architectural Hall of Fame Finalists – the Valley Green Bridge. Here’s a look back at a #WissahickonWednesday post from August 28, 2019.
Horseback riding has long been a tradition in the Wissahickon, with a number of riding academies operating in Northwest Philadelphia in the early 20th century. Captain William E. deMoleyns operated his Chestnut Hill Riding School out of the stable behind 8720 Germantown Avenue. The arrival of the Great Depression hit area families very hard, and deMoleyns was no exception. Attendance to his classes dwindled, and deMoleyns was soon faced with the loss of his horses and stable. Sadly, deMoleyns was unable to face the loss of his school; he had his horses put down and committed suicide shortly thereafter. Seen here in 1932 in front of Valley Green Inn, deMoleyn enjoys a ride on Forbidden Drive with his students. #WissahickonWednesday
Are you housebound and need something to do? Find out more about your house and favorite buildings in Chestnut Hill by visiting http://chconservancy.org/photo-search to review thousands of photographs of local subjects, and find out the history of your house by visiting http://chconservancy.org/historic-district to find out how old your house is.
  • June 2 – Discovering Chestnut Hill Virtual Lecture
  • June 3 – Historic District Advisory Committee Public Meeting 6:30pm REGISTER HERE for the Zoom link to attend
  • June 24 – Discovering Chestnut Hill Tour – Stay tuned!
In case you missed it…
For more archived articles, visit our Press page.
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Chestnut Hill Conservancy | 8708 Germantown AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19118