Community stories from our past in the comfort of your home
‘Then and Now’ Activity
History at Home jigsaw puzzles!
In our History at Home Then and Now series of jigsaw puzzles, we pair two images, offering different levels of difficulty, Beginner and Expert. For this month’s Then and Now puzzles, we’re featuring images of St. Martin-in-the-Fields church on the corner of West Willow Grove Avenue and St. Martins Lane. The ‘Now’ image is from 1996, the ‘Then’ image is circa 1890-1900.
At our request, The Reverend Jarrett Kerbel has shared his thoughts on the history and future of the church and it’s beautiful building:
“The Church Building of St. Martin-in-the-Fields is more puzzling than it first appears. On the one hand, it is a beautiful and generous gift to the community by the families that developed West Chestnut Hill, the Houstons and the Woodwards. Sincere in their faith, these families built a dignified building to worship God. At the same time, the building was meant to attract “the right people,” – meaning White Anglo-Saxon Protestants – to buy or rent property in the new planned community around it. Not until the late 1970s did the church begin even the slightest integration. From its earliest days, inspired by our Patron Saint, many charitable endeavors overflowed from this building including Buttercup Cottage on Cresheim Road. Yet, once again, like the church itself, the charitable enterprise reinforced segregation by race and class rather than challenge it as the Gospel teaches us to do. Buttercup was for white working class women only and was separate from the Wissahickon Inn which served a wealthier caste. We hold gratitude for gifts and repentance for error together as a normal tension that propels us deeper into faith. At St. Martin’s today we are working hard at Anti-Racism through our Becoming Beloved Community program of education, system change and advocacy. We have a long way to go but we look forward to a new puzzle with many, more diverse pieces.”
— The Rev. Jarrett Kerbel, Rector
Learn more about the efforts of St Martin-in-the-Fields Church to become a racism-free and diverse community that reflect the city where we worship HERE.
Click on images below to link to each puzzle!
Look for more Then and Now jigsaw puzzles in future editions of our History at Home emails. Enjoy!
Ask the Experts – Going Solar
Virtual Presentation on February 18
February 18, 7pm
Virtual Zoom Presentation
Micah Gold-Markel, founder of Philadelphia-based Solar States, a solar installer and educator, will discuss residential solar electric systems as a way to invest in clean energy and the local community. His frequent collaborator Chris Kurtz of Kurtz Roofing will join the conversation to answer questions about installations on historic houses.
A free, virtual program, Ask the Experts addresses a featured topic by an expert on prevalent issues relating to historic home and landscape care. Ask questions; get solutions! Organized by the Chestnut Hill Conservancy and co-sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Association.
Free, registration required. Zoom link and details will be sent to registrants.
Ask the Experts is presented with support from Johnson, Kendall & Johnson
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  • February 11 – Special Historic District Advisory Committee Public Meeting
6:30pm Contact for a Zoom link to attend
30 W. Highland Avenue demolition and redevelopment (project info HERE)
  • May 22 – Architectural Hall of Fame Event
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Chestnut Hill Conservancy | 8708 Germantown AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19118