Bring Night of Lights 2020
to Your Home!
Over the next few weeks, we’re excited to share the expanded interactive and virtual elements of the Conservancy’s Fourth Annual Night of Lights (October 9-25, every night from 7 pm to 9 pm). This year’s socially distant format presents a unique opportunity for the community to participate—and where else to start but the lights?
This year we encourage our neighbors in the Chestnut Hill community and beyond to join us in lighting up the night. Just as the Conservancy will partner with buildings and businesses up and down the Avenue to illuminate distinctive and historic architecture, you can set up a bright light or two to spotlight your home!
Want to participate? You can pre-order spike lighting fixtures ($7) and colored par38 LED floodlights ($9) from Kilian Hardware by calling (215) 247-0945.
We can’t wait to celebrate a little brightness and beauty—not to mention architecture and history—with you this fall!
It’s Not Too Late to Sponsor
2020 Night of Lights!
The expanded format for this year’s Night of Lights allows participants to safely and comfortably enjoy this interactive exploration of history and architecture. Given the challenges 2020 has posed, we’re also thrilled that this year’s event offers an extended opportunity for sponsors to reach a new and perhaps even wider audience than previous years.
Night of Lights window display
Over two and a half weeks, our sponsors’ logos will be shared thousands of times with participants, across our projected slideshows, posters, and this year’s expanded virtual experience. But more than this, Night of Lights is a great way to sustain our community and our common ground.
Our friends at The Sivel Group probably put it best: “We support the Chestnut Hill Conservancy and Night of Lights because we believe in their mission and the work they do supporting the beauty and the history of the lovely community we get to live and work in.”
We’re grateful to our sponsors for supporting this effort to explore our history and expand the stories we tell and commemorate during these exceptional times, and so we’re providing this year’s Night of Lights sponsors a complimentary half-year general sponsorship of the Conservancy.
Interested in sponsorship? Find full details of our Projection and Event Sponsorship levels on our website, or contact Heather Bowlan, Development Coordinator, at But hurry, the deadline is this Friday, September 4th!
CHC Archives Volunteers During
the Pandemic
Our dedicated volunteers support the
Conservancy’s work from home
The pandemic has posed challenges for all of us. Working in the Archives, a pivot to remote work without regular access to the Archives themselves is a challenge, but thanks to our supportive community and incredible volunteers, we are finding ways to make progress. Some of our volunteers most experienced working with the collection have generously offered to modify what they do and work at home.
For example, Katie Worrall has been working since 2007 on the Chestnut Hill Local photograph archive of approximately 3,000 photos. In the pre-digital era of the 1980s and 1990s and before, the photos and labels for the newspaper were pasted (remember glue sticks?) by staff to a sheet of paper for the printer. A man from the Composition Shop in Bryn Mawr came by the Local twice a week to pick up these images for printing. Now all of these photos need to be reviewed, correctly labeled, and added to our archival software to ensure continued access and safekeeping.
At the time the shut-down occurred, Katie had already completed cataloging the huge “Portrait” file of individual headshots taken mainly from the 1980s and 1990s. She was about six months away from finishing the “Subject” file of general shots of all types. Luckily for us, Katie worked her whole career at the Local before she retired, and much of the time worked directly with the photograph collection. So when Katie comes across a photo that is not labeled or dated, she usually has a good idea of what the missing information is.
After several weeks, when we realized that we’d be working from home longer than we imagined, Katie agreed to take some boxes of photographs and organize, describe and label them at home, to prepare for transfer to our archival software when return to headquarters. She’s made tremendous progress and unearthed some fantastic photographs. Below are two photographs Katie recently uncovered from the 1980s.
Philadelphia Police Officer Brian Hall and his horse Say-Rob at the graduation ceremonies at Northwest Stables after completing a ten-week training course there in November, 1985, which qualified him as a mounted patrolman. That class was the last held at the stables as Mounted Police operations were moved to other city-owned stables. There were no longer mounted police in the Wissahickon Valley Park by 1993.
Residents had to shovel their cars out of the snowbanks made by passing snowplows, which made most of the main routes through Chestnut Hill impassable in January, 1982.
Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter to learn more about the amazing work of our volunteers during the pandemic!
From the Conservancy Archives
A Look at September in Chestnut Hill
For a look back at life in Chestnut Hill, here’s a fun post that we ran on Facebook on September 22, 2016 for #throwbackthursday.
In 1854, the railroad tracks of the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown Railroad- the present-day Chestnut Hill East Line- reached Chestnut Hill. The arrival of this railroad opened up vacant land around and including today’s Summit Street for development; many new spacious homes were constructed to reflect this demand for summer houses. Samuel Austin’s development of Summit Street was still quite new when this circa 1866 view was taken from 25 Summit Street facing Southeast towards Wyndmoor. Across the street were identical houses designed by James C. Sydney and Frederick Merry, at numbers 42 and 46. These houses still stand today, but the one on the left has been greatly altered. The tower visible at the far left is that of 100 Summit Street.
Did you know that the Chestnut Hill Conservancy has just uploaded over 350 new photographs from the Chestnut Hill Local to its online photograph collection? These newly-uploaded photographs include many views of Chestnut Hill storefronts from the 1970s through 1990s and can be viewed HERE. To see more photographs like the one shown here or to join as a member, visit the website of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy at
In case you missed it!
Webinar recordings from Ask the Experts
These recorded lectures are available to view for free, and can be found on our Ask the Experts Program page.
You are our Community Champions!
is made possible by our generous members and supporters
Chestnut Hill Conservancy 2020 Lead Sponsor
Chestnut Hill Conservancy 2020 General Sponsors
Always feel free to contact us with any questions about the Conservancy, our programs and events, or your membership at