Membership Campaign Update:
Goal Met! Thank You!!
Thank you to everyone who joined or renewed your membership in June to support the Conservancy’s work year-round. We’re so grateful to partner with each of you to celebrate and advocate for the Chestnut Hill area!
Because of your generosity, we were able to meet our match challenge, raising more than $25,000 in new and renewed memberships! Your membership matters–and we’re excited to continue as neighbors and stewards, together, for the history, architecture, and open space in our community.
Many Thanks to our June Membership Campaign Match Challenge Leaders
Mary-Helen and Richard Boothby
Rhonda and David Cohen
Kim and Iain Dukes
Joseph Kotarski, Jr. and Federico Mingozzi
Betsy and Robert Lukens
Pascal Maeter
Judith and Clay von Seldeneck
Debra Warner and Alexander Raday
Janice and Scott Winters
The Campaign to Save St. Michael’s
SUCCESS (so far)
We are grateful to all who have contributed generously to the Woodmere Art Museum and the Conservancy to support Woodmere’s project to acquire, renovate, and sustain Saint Michael’s Hall at 9101 Germantown Avenue. Woodmere plans to protect the building, and the 4 acres it sits on, with easements held by the Chestnut Hill Conservancy, in partnership with Friends of the Wissahickon.
Although Woodmere is not finished fundraising, they have “shaken hands” with the Sisters of St. Joseph on a purchase price. An agreement of sale is in progress; we will keep you informed.  If you have any questions about Woodmere contributions, please contact Emily Myles at emyles@woodmereartmuseum.org or call 215-247-0476. Contact Heather Bowlan at Heather@chconservancy.org with questions about contributions to the Conservancy to support this project.
Learn more about the Campaign to Save St. Michael’s HERE, and about the site’s history HERE.
Preservation and Loss
in Northwest Philadelphia
The Chestnut Hill Conservancy works to preserve historic architecture and community character in Chestnut Hill and surrounding neighborhoods. We stand with Penn Knox Neighborhood Association, SOLO Germantown Civic Association RCO, East Mount Airy Neighbors, and concerned residents throughout Northwest Philadelphia in opposition to the demolition of significant historic properties.
The erosion of our historic fabric, with the demolition of historic properties like the Pearson House at 5139 Wayne Avenue now underway, illustrates the vulnerability of our neighborhoods. Learn more about the site and the effort to protect it HERE.
The Pearson House could have been saved, with ample space on the property to sensitively add new construction. Our historic resources should not be treated as valueless obstacles, with demolition encouraged by a 10-year tax abatement. These buildings are fundamentally important assets and Philadelphia must do a better job of protecting them and incentivizing their reuse. Furthermore, we ask the Mayor and Philadelphia City Council to fund the Historical Commission to levels commensurate with other peer cities in the United States.
Groundbreaking at Community Centre
Congratulations to Will Detweiler and his team of community leaders for shepherding the historic community building at 8419 Germantown Avenue into its next exciting phase.
Their campaign to restore the Woodward Community Centre will both restore a historically certified 200 year-old building, and ensure the 100-year-old vision to serve the non-profit needs of the Chestnut Hill Community.
Read more about this project, and how you can contribute to its success HERE.
After more than a year of working entirely remotely, the Conservancy’s staff is now back in the office (for the most part).
Thank you for your support and patience as we reopen safely and thoughtfully. Contact us with any questions at Info@chconservancy.org.
The Archives will now be available for research by appointment. To arrange an appointment, contact Alex Bartlett, Archivist, at Alex@chconservancy.org.
Happy Rural Transit Day
In celebration of Rural Transit Day on July 16, here’s an image from our archives:
Lehigh Valley Transit (LVT) car #186 travels northbound from Erdenheim along Bethlehem Pike near Fort Washington bound for Allentown. This line operated until 1926. The car itself moved to local service on the Norristown – Allentown (Philadelphia division) of LVT and ran until 1940 when it was retired and sold for use as a diner along Route 309 in Montgomeryville. The diner was demolished in 1957.
From the Conservancy Archives
July in Chestnut Hill
For July, we’re featuring a post about one of our 2021 Architectural Hall of Fame Inductees – William A. Kilian Hardware Co. Here’s a look back at a #ThrowbackThursday post from June 25, 2020.
The summer of 1983 was a particularly brutal one for our area, with highs in the mid-90s being a constant occurrence. This caused area residents and businesses to run their a/c units at full tilt, and the extra load to area power systems caused transformers to blow out. Such was the case with one in front of Kilian’s Hardware; here, Philadelphia Electric Company (PECo) employee Will Lane prepares to fix the overloaded transformer. #ThrowbackThursday
Are you housebound and need something to do? Find out more about your house and favorite buildings in Chestnut Hill by visiting http://chconservancy.org/photo-search to review thousands of photographs of local subjects, and find out the history of your house by visiting http://chconservancy.org/historic-district to find out how old your house is.
  • August 4 – Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment public meeting
540 W. Moreland Avenue (Keewaydin) subdivision appeal
Please attend if you are interested! Zoom link to attend HERE.
  • August 5 – Historic District Advisory Committee Public Meeting 6:30pm. Register HERE for a Zoom link to attend
In case you missed it…
For more archived articles, visit our Press page.
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Chestnut Hill Conservancy | 8708 Germantown AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19118