Night of Lights Spotlight
A sneak peek at images illuminating
Chestnut Hill evenings from October 9-25
Starting Friday, October 9, the Chestnut Hill Conservancy presents the fourth annual Night of Lights. This year’s Night of Lights will take the form of an extended public art installation activating Germantown Avenue and transforming Chestnut Hill’s familiar commercial corridor into an interactive exhibition of local history and architecture.
From October 9-25, historical images and films from the Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s Archives will be projected through storefront windows along Germantown Avenue, while neighboring historic buildings will be illuminated with colored lights. An expanded virtual experience—accessible on site and at home—will allow for socially distanced explorations of community history, while offering a platform for attendees to share your stories.
With just two weeks until the start of this magical event, let’s take a peek at just a few of the historical images that are helping us bring our community’s history to light!
Every evening from October 9-25, 7PM – 10PM
Don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook for even more sneak peeks and updates!
Vanished Buildings 2020
Based on the popularity of last year’s Vanished Northwest slideshow (available with narration as part of our History at Home activities), we’re excited to share a new installment of the vanished buildings and landscapes of the Chestnut Hill area.
Featuring images of Chestnut Hill’s first lending library, the Mermaid Hotel, a cider mill, and more, you’ll be amazed at how Germantown Avenue and the surrounding streetscapes have changed over the years.
Seen in the image above (circa 1954) is an Acme on the right, the Art Deco-style Gulf Station on the left, and the Wharton house, soon to be removed, at the bottom center. Partly visible at the top is the Chestnut Hill branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia (still standing). The Acme was demolished in 1972 to make way for the Top of the Hill Shopping Center in 1975.
Vanished Buildings is presented by the Conservancy’s Lead Sponsor, Bryn Mawr Trust.
A Civil War Hospital in Chestnut Hill
In January 1863, Mower General Hospital opened in Chestnut Hill for wounded U.S. Army soldiers. Named for Thomas Mower, a respected senior Army surgeon who served in the Florida Seminole Wars, the 34 radiating ward buildings occupied 27 acres in what is now the Chestnut Hill Village apartment complex. This slideshow will share images of the hospital and the surrounding area, its administrators and patients, and what came after.
In the above image, several soldiers and a civilian are seen in front of the latticed guard house at the Mower General Hospital entrance, with a wood plank walkway leading between the buildings. To the left is the only two-story radiating building, which contained sleeping rooms for attendants and clerks, the laundry and the reception room.
Community Champions
Why Our Sponsors Support Night of Lights
George Woodward Company acknowledges the importance of preserving Chestnut Hill’s rich history and architecture. Night of Lights offers visitors and residents the opportunity to rediscover the neighborhood through a walking tour of the Conservancy’s archives. George Woodward Company was a pioneer in the residential development of Chestnut Hill and is proud to celebrate Chestnut Hill’s past in the present-day exhibition of Night of Lights.
As third-generation building and restoration specialists on the historical homes of Chestnut Hill, we feel that Nights of Lights is a wonderful way for the Conservancy to highlight the architecture and history of this beautiful and unique town. We look forward to serving the community, and preserving the historical homes in the neighborhood, for many more years to come.
Chestnut Hill Conservancy | 8708 Germantown AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19118