June Newsletter


At our Architectural Hall of Fame Gala, over 200 guests gathered to enjoy the beautifully preserved home and conserved open space at the Boxly estate on Saturday, June 3. The event was a spectacular success thanks to our sponsors, benefactors, committee members, volunteers, silent auction, supporters, attendees, caterer, and photographer, Steve Weinik.

Thank you each for your part in our success and to those who joined us at our Architectural Hall of Fame Gala and participated in our silent auction. Your presence helped make the event successful, and we are grateful for your support. We proudly announce that we raised over $90,000 to further our work as stewards of this community’s history, architecture, and open space.


The unveiling of the 2023 Architectural Hall of Fame Inductees was undoubtedly a highlight of the evening. The inductees that will join the 25 other treasured places are Casey Ice HouseOur Mother of Consolation (OMC) ComplexPastorius ParkMermaid Inn, and Valley Green Inn.

Casey’s Ice House turns 180 years old this year. This is one of Chestnut Hill’s most prominent examples of adaptive reuse and one of the George Woodward Company’s finest homes. OMC was built between 1855-1916. The complex includes a church, parish hall, rectory, and the beautiful school building that was recently devastated by fire but not lost, and we look forward to our helping with the reconstruction.

Pastorius Park, with a landscape originally designed by Frederick Peck, who also designed the gardens at Boxly, is now stewarded by Friends of Pastorius Park and is one of our most important public spaces. Mermaid Inn, built in 1913 to replace the early 18th century Inn demolished for Winston Road, is now a community favorite tavern and music venue.


Valley Green Inn, pictured above with Ruffian Tittmann, Executive Director of Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW), and Eileen Javers, Board of Directors President at the Conservancy, a former hotel and temperance tavern almost lost to demolition 122 years ago, is now a wonderful restaurant managed by FOW.

Hall of Fame Inductees

Celebrating Rob Fleming

Honoring Rob with his friends and family in the crowd was unforgettable.


The Conservancy presented Rob Fleming with a planted Bur Oak tree grove in Pastorius Park, celebrating his lifelong commitment to the natural environment.

These trees will stand for generations to come, immortalizing his legacy of landscape architecture and his many contributions to the entire community for all visitors to enjoy. We hope this small act of conservation and sustainability inspires you to visit the grove in this treasured public park.

Look out for our June “Bloom Where You Are Planted” newsletter for a special article with more information about Bur Oaks written by Paul W. Meyer.

View the Gala Photos
“They that love beyond the world”*

Three dear friends, stalwarts of the Chestnut Hill community, and renowned professionals in their respective fields have passed away. Please join us as we honor and remember Paul RickertPeter M. Saylor, FAIA, and dedicated Conservancy board member Susan Bray.


Paul Rickert, 77, celebrated and award-winning painter, Vietnam War combat artist, and longtime notable man about Chestnut Hill, died Thursday, May 25. Rickert was a longtime resident of Chestnut Hill. He painted many watercolor and oil paintings with scenes from Germantown Avenue and portraits of houses and individual buildings, showing his love of architecture and our beloved community. A memorial service will be held on Monday, June 26, at Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church in New Hope, PA.


Peter M. Saylor, FAIA, 81, longtime discerning Philadelphia architect, civic leader, and mentor, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 1. He was known as a careful listener who could effortlessly translate client requests into architecture. As the former president of the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, Peter’s superb mix of historical and modern architecture influenced many in Chestnut Hill regarding how to repair homes best while retaining the historic facade and character of the building. Funeral services will be Friday, June 16, at 11:00 AM at The Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.


Susan Bray, M.D., 81, clinician, administrator, teacher, trailblazer, and friend to many, died peacefully on Tuesday, June 6. Susan, a Chestnut Hill resident, was a dedicated member of the community and an active member of the Conservancy board. This past February, Chestnut Hill Hospital honored her almost 50-year tenure by naming their palliative care unit the Susan Bray Palliative Care Unit. After specializing for 35 years in nephrology, she helped establish palliative care units that opened in 2011. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, July 28, 2023, at 10:30 AM at Our Mother of Consolation Church.

*”They that loved beyond the world” is an excerpt from the poem by William Penn, “Some Fruits of Solitude / More Fruits of Solitude.” 

Help document and share all of our community’s history. 
Please consider if you or someone you know within our Chestnut Hill community has any old photographs, newspapers, letters, and ephemera associated with the LGBTQ+ community you would like to add to the Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s Archives.
These items may be invaluable to researchers visiting the Archives of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy. We are always looking for information helping to document and share our history, from our beginnings over 300 years ago to the present day.
For further information on donating objects to our collections, please get in touch with Curator Liz Jarvis at liz@chconservancy.org or Archivist Alex Bartlett at alex@chconservancy.org.
Help us reach our goal of 30 new members by Friday, June 30!

The Gala is the Conservancy’s only fundraising event each year, providing critical funding for our programs and initiatives. You can support the Conservancy’s work in the community all year long by becoming a member or gifting a membership today.

Membership allows the Conservancy to conduct public programs and lead conversations on sustainable development. It also allows us to be ready for the next environmental threat. In addition, all members can access our collection, have time with our knowledgeable Archivists, and have free or discounted program admissions.
Become a Member






Interesting in sponsoring the Conservancy in 2023? Learn more about our opportunities or contact Danielle Saldutti, Development Manager, to discuss your options.
Sponsorship Opportunities
Great architecture is in our nature.

215-247-9329 | 8708 Germantown Avenue, Phila., PA 19118 | info@chconservancy.org