May Newsletter

May is historic preservation month.

Preservation and reuse of historic buildings reduce resource and material consumption, put less waste in landfills, and consume less energy than demolishing buildings and constructing new ones.

Chestnut Hill is one of the region’s most beautiful and architecturally distinguished communities. Flanked by the spectacular Wissahickon Gorge and Cresheim Valley, Chestnut Hill is home to outstanding examples of architecture from three centuries, many united by the use of the native stone, Wissahickon schist.

The Chestnut Hill Conservancy has protected dozens of historically significant buildings and streetscapes in the area through preservation easements, Philadelphia Register listing, and education. We have utilized the archives as a resource to help understand the historical relevance of buildings and open spaces within the community to understand better preservation needs.

Become a Conservancy Member to support our mission as we advocate and help steward the history, architecture, and open space for Chestnut Hill and along the Wissahickon watershed.


Conservation at Work: Watersheds and Easements Walking Tour

Join us on Saturday, May 6, from 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM for a guided walking tour with Rob Fleming.

Date – Saturday, May 6, 1:30 PM
Location – Meet at 33 East Chestnut Hill Avenue (at the intersection of Norwood and Chestnut Hill Avenues)
Cost – $15 for FOW and Conservancy Members or $25 for non-members

Join the Chestnut Hill Conservancy on a walking tour of Norwood Avenue on Saturday, May 6, from 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM. Rob Fleming, a historian and Landscape Architect, will lead the walking tour and explore the impact of conservation easements on the Wissahickon watershed. With a unique collection of permanently eased properties nearby, Norwood Avenue offers an opportunity to discover how owners and the Conservancy are working to address stormwater runoff while preserving open space proactively.

Limited tickets remain. Buy your tickets today so you don’t miss out!

Buy tickets here

Vote by Monday, May 15

Vote here

Please vote for one in each category. Voting ends on Monday, May 15.

Residential Finalists

  • Casey Ice House (aka Willets Studio), 7900-06 Lincoln Drive, aka 225 W Springfield Avenue  (1843; alterations in 1913, 1924, H. Louis Duhring)
  • Tudor Twins202-244 East Highland Avenue (1916, Andrew Charles Borzner)
  • Lorenzon House7827 Ardleigh Street (1926, H. Louis Duhring, Emil Lorenzon)
  • Homewood9002 Crefeld Street (1929-30, Tilden, Register & Pepper; 1949, Office of Horace Trumbauer)

Institutional Finalists

  • Our Mother of Consolation (OMC) Complex7-27 East Chestnut Hill Avenue (1855-1916, Edwin Durang, John J. Kennedy)
  • VFW Post #52058217-19 Germantown Avenue (1859)
  • Pastorius ParkBounded by Abington Avenue,  Millman Streets, Roanoke Street, and houses on Navajo Street, Sunrise Lane, Lincoln Drive, and Shawnee Street (1937, Frederick W. G. Peck)

Commercial and Public Finalists

  • Mermaid Inn7673 Germantown Avenue aka 7671-7673 Winston Road (1913, Koeller and Speth)
  • Wells Fargo Building (aka Germantown Trust Company), 8527 Germantown Avenue (1928, Arthur H. Brockie)
  • Valley Green Inn (aka Edward Rinker’s Temperance Tavern), Valley Green Road at Wissahickon Creek (ca. 1850, 1937)
Vote here

Please remember to vote for one in each category.

Visit the Conservancy at Chestnut Hill’s Spring Home + Garden Festival on Sunday

Visit us during the Festival to ask questions and cast your vote for the 2023 Chestnut Hill Architectural Hall of Fame. The Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s Architectural Hall of Fame is a distinguished list of Chestnut Hill’s most treasured significant buildings, structures, and landscapes chosen by the public.

Voting for the 2023 Chestnut Hill Architectural Hall of Fame is divided into three categories: Residential, Institutional, Commercial and Public. Voting ends on Monday, May 15, and the winners are announced at our Gala on Saturday, June 3.

During the Festival, we will have our Historic District Inventory of houses built in the corridor through the 1980s. The location of our tent will be in front of the Pumphouse near Jenks Playground (~ 8317 Germantown Avenue).

Meet our new Programs and Communications Manager,
Chrissy Clawson

Chrissy Clawson is a marketing, events, and communications professional with years of experience in non-profits, the food industry, and the water sector. She has worked for multiple businesses within the Chestnut Hill business corridor, including most recently as the Interim Marketing and Events Manager for the Chestnut Hill Business District. She is energized by the many creative outreach opportunities made possible by connecting Conservancy resources to her professional expertise and deep knowledge of the community. Please say hi to her at the Festival (and as you cast your vote!).

Advocacy in the Community

The Conservancy has saved dozens of historic buildings, advocated for a balance between growth and preservation, and conserved over 105 acres of open space. Here are some recent preservation updates.


399 E Willow Grove, 2023


717 Glengarry, 1964


721 Davidson, 1957

VICTORY – 399 East Willow Grove Avenue will be renovated!

Within days of the demolition of fencing and a backhoe appearing at Teviot, the Wilson Eyre-designed home at W Willow Grove and Crittenden, the Conservancy published information about the property’s history and was in touch with the current and former owners. Councilperson Cindy Bass joined the effort, directly contacting the current owner Kenneth Curry to urge that he consider preservation. Read about the property and this effort in these Hidden City Philadelphia and Chestnut Hill Local articles.

Mr. Curry contacted Lori Salganicoff last week to inform us of his new intention to renovate and adapt the historic home. We will help make this project as successful as possible and will keep you posted.

IN TRANSITION – 717 Glengarry Road & 721 Davidson Road

Chestnut Hill is home to almost 100 mid-century modern homes designed by several of the movement’s most important architects.  Two of those, designed by luminaries Romaldo Giurgula and Oscar Stonorov, could soon be yours!

After many years of deferred maintenance, 717 Glengarry Road, also known as the Dorothy Raeburn Shipley White House, was protected with a listing on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. The Conservancy led that effort and helped to connect preservation-minded buyers to the property. The property has been cleaned up, stabilized, and has approvals for a substantial rear addition that will remain valid when sold to its next steward. See the real estate listing HERE.

721 Davidson Road, once the home to the Willet (stained glass) family and the ornithologist James Bond (for whom the fictional legend was named), will go to Sheriff’s Sale on June 6. This is one of several handsome Stonorov-designed homes on a beautiful block of well-maintained homes, although it stands out as the most in need of substantial TLC.  As with 717 Glengarry, a good cleaning and basic stabilization of 721 Davidson Road will reveal it as the treasure it is. See the Sheriff’s Sale listing HERE.