Night of Lights 2020 Partners Edition
This month’s featured Community Partners are working with us to present this year’s Night of Lights. This special Community Partners edition features some words from our Night of Lights Content Partners, sharing why they’re excited to participate in this year’s Night of Lights!
During a special multi-night exhibition from October 9-25, the Conservancy will be sharing historical images and films from our Archives as well as the Germantown Historical Society‘s and Springfield Township Historical Society’s Archives. These images will be projected through storefront windows along Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill, while neighboring historic buildings will be illuminated with colored lights.
Make sure to RSVP to our Facebook event for sneak peeks and the latest updates on Night of Lights! And many thanks to these and as well as the Chestnut Hill Business District for their expertise and enthusiasm in making this event a success.
Photo by Bradley Maule
A Message from CHBD’S Executive Director,
Philip Dawson
Photo by Bradley Maule
The historic fabric of Chestnut Hill’s Business District is integral to its appeal as a destination and a residential neighborhood. Cobblestone streets, meticulously preserved buildings, and decades-old family businesses lend the area a unique charm that is unequaled in the Philadelphia region.
Night of Lights is such a great event because it quite literally puts the spotlight on that historical heritage, and encourages both the community and visitors to come together to discover it along our commercial corridor.
I think one of the reasons why Night of Lights is so compelling is that it shares the images and stories of Chestnut Hill’s past as well as the historic facades, allowing for interactive learning and spontaneous interactions that make it meaningful for participants. Because Chestnut Hill’s businesses are involved in the planning and execution of the event, it also gives our merchants the opportunity to draw people into their shops and showcase their offerings, engaging with familiar faces as well as potential new customers.
I’m especially excited about this year’s Night of Lights because of the extended timeline, which will give participants more time to explore, and because it will give people the opportunity to safely rediscover the history and beauty of Chestnut Hill’s Business District after months of quarantine. The Chestnut Hill Business Association thanks the Conservancy for the opportunity to once again partner on this worthwhile initiative.
—Philip Dawson, Executive Director, Chestnut Hill Business District
In previous years, Chestnut Hill Business District has brought you such events as Circle of Trees, Small Business Saturday, Stag & Doe Nights, Holiday Garden Railway Nights, and the Chestnut Hill Community Holiday Parade. Look for updates on this year’s Holidays on the Hill!
Keep up with happenings at all CHBD’s member businesses and organizations! Visit The Chestnut Hill Business District.
Northwest Philadelphia’s Fascinating
History Comes to Life
The Germantown Historical Society and Historic Germantown are excited to include our slideshow, Germantown Avenue from Wayne Junction to Cresheim Valley in this year’s Night of Lights event. This slideshow will feature historical photographs of some of the buildings and places on Germantown Avenue in Germantown and Mount Airy, and will complement the other slideshows included in this year’s event.
Together, these slideshows will help the public to understand and appreciate the history of aspects of the former German Township- now Germantown, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill. To enhance this understanding, excerpts from recordings of the Germantown Historical Society’s African Americans in Germantown Between the World Wars oral history project will be broadcast during the slideshow, helping to bring the histories of some of the buildings alive by stories shared by local residents.
This photograph showing John Trower’s catering business at 5706 Germantown Avenue was published in J. Gordon Baugh’s 1913 A Souvenir of Germantown in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, as a directory of African American businesses in Germantown. An African American entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, Trower was a major employer of local African American residents, dying a millionaire in 1911.
This image will be featured in this year’s Germantown Historical Society slideshow for Night of Lights, one of many documenting aspects of our community’s history.
Photo Courtesy of the Germantown Historical Society.
Historic Germantown is a partnership of 18 extraordinary historic houses, destinations, and museums in Northwest Philadelphia (including the Germantown Historical Society) that have joined together to protect, preserve, and share some of Philadelphia’s most prized historical assets.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Historic Germantown’s member sites have continued to provide public programs, including Awbury Arboretum’s Sunday Fun Days at the Agricultural Village Farm. This October, a new version of Revolutionary Germantown Festival will be held at member sites throughout Germantown.
Visit The Germantown Historical Society and Historic Germantown for information about their Archives, and to keep up with all the latest events and happenings!
The Springfield Township Historical Society was founded in 1985 in direct response to the demolition of Whitemarsh Hall, Edward T. Stotesbury’s grand estate, five years earlier. Throughout the years, the Society’s mission has remained focused upon research, preservation, and education. The Society maintains a rich permanent collection of artifacts relating to Springfield Township, including photographic material, Colonial-era tax records, property deeds and atlases, manuscripts and personal papers, and three-dimensional objects and ephemera.
In 2006, after the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike and the Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee saved and restored the Black Horse Inn, the Society found a permanent home in the historic structure at 1432 Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown. This location provides storage and exhibition space for these materials, so that they can be used to assist those interested in exploring the history of the Township. In addition, the Society continues to document and promote the area’s vast history through community history documentation questionnaires, historic property tours, and programs for the public.
The Night of Lights furthers the Springfield Township Historical Society’s mission by providing the opportunity to informally engage with the community. Last year’s event offered the chance to open a discourse with community members of all ages. Throughout the discussions, we were able to aid in their discovery of the area’s history and preserve their memories as we conversed on how those topics continue to play a role in their lives. Without a catalyst such as the Night of Lights, these dialogues are a rare treasure that would be lost in our daily lives. While the event this year will likely present itself differently, we at the Springfield Township Historical Society are excited by the ability to continue to share our area’s history, reminding the community of the stories they may have forgotten or help in discovering new ones.
As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Society has undertaken a COVID-19 Community History Project. Details for the questionnaire and artifact collection are available on the Society’s website.
A Scavenger Hunt of Springfield Township has been designed for adults and children (or children at heart). Please visit the Society’s website to download the form.
Woodmere: The History of a Cultural Treasure by George McNeely
If you missed the Springfield Township Historical Society’s program by historian and writer George McNeely on the history of Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill presented on Zoom, you can now view the recording on our YouTube channel. Watch the recording HERE
Stay tuned with all of Springfield Township’s happenings and events by visiting The Springfield Township Historical Society
Photos courtesy of the Springfield Township Historical Society:
Top – Flourtown Post Office
Bottom – Whitemarsh Hall
From the Conservancy’s
Lead Sponsor
 Rosalind P. Walter’s “Rosie the Riveter”
Jewelry for Auction
Get a behind-the-scenes first look at the jewelry collection and history of Rosalind P. Walter (1924-2020), the original “Rosie the Riveter.”
Her fascinating personal story includes working as a riveter, inspiring the hit song Rosie the Riveter, amassing an extraordinary collection of jewels and becoming one of the most significant benefactors to public radio and other causes in the New York market.
This exclusive collaboration with Doyle, the esteemed New York auction house, will give you a front-row seat before this magnificent collection goes to auction.
Monday, September 21
3:30 p.m., ET
Duration: 1 Hr.
Registration closes on Monday, 9/21 @ 9a.m. ET
Sponsors and supporters are community champions and make all of this work possible!