Tomorrow!! Thursday, April 13, 6:30pm (wine and cheese at 6pm)
Venetian Club, 8030 Germantown Avenue
Why is the idea of history so important in Chestnut Hill? How has our thinking about Germantown Avenue changed since the “colonialization” of its buildings in the 1950s and 60s? How does a community sustain its essential character as it grows – celebrating the past while meeting present and future needs in changing environments?
Chestnut Hill is a living experiment in sustainability, a place that has greatly changed while keeping its distinctive character as an historic urban village with a vibrant main street, Germantown Avenue. In his talk, Miles Orvell will define the character of Chestnut Hill as a place somewhere between the ordinary and the extraordinary.
A resident of Chestnut Hill for more than thirty years, Miles Orvell teaches American studies at Temple University, and has written several books about American culture including The Death and Life of Main Street.
Sunday, April 23, 1:30pm
Begins at 8708 Germantown Avenue (CH Conservancy)
Following the April 13 lecture by Miles Orvell, George McNeely will lead a walk around the commercial core of Chestnut Hill that will explore the subsidiary buildings and yards along and near Germantown Avenue that have evolved in different ways to support our Main Street. From the few early farm-related barns
and sheds to the many structures and spaces specifically created to accommodate the car to 20th-century manufacturing buildings, these vernacular utilitarian buildings scattered along the Avenue and its side streets have survived by being repurposed for newer functions.
These often-overlooked humble structures are a key part of the healthy commercial fabric of Chestnut Hill and deserve greater recognition of the vital supporting role they play.
George McNeely is a local architectural historian and writer whose insights into our history and surroundings appear frequently in the “Our Town” column of the Chestnut Hill Local.
The Nominations are in, and voting is now open! The publicly-chosen Architectural Hall of Fame recognizes treasured residential, institutional, and commercial/public places in Chestnut Hill. Visit the 2023 Finalists webpage to learn more about each of the nominees – you can vote for one in each category.