A Brief History
The two-and-a-half story house at 8224 Germantown Avenue was built between 1885 and 1889 for Harriett Detweiler and Caroline Detweiler Hammond. The sisters were born and raised in Chestnut Hill by a family counted among the area’s earliest settlers. These two older, single women chose to share resources and commissioned this house between other family properties to live in and help raise grandchildren.
The house was constructed between two of Chestnut Hill’s earliest buildings, also built by the family (the 1744 Cat Clinic at 8220, and the former home at 8226 built ca.1796). All are included as Significant resources in Chestnut Hill’s National Register Inventory. The buildings represent the spatial development within Chestnut Hill among generations of family members – a practice of deeply-rooted families in Chestnut Hill whether or not they were members of the social elite.
This house and those like it scattered throughout the neighborhood evolved into a defining style of the built environment of Chestnut Hill: sturdily constructed but not overwhelmingly large houses in a diversity of styles, on relatively small lots that have an important visual connection both to the street and to their neighbors.
When 8224 was built 130 years ago as infill between existing buildings, it was done in such a way that complemented, but didn’t match, its neighbors. Change has always been happening here, and will continue. The Conservancy envisions Chestnut Hill as a green, vibrant, historic urban village that respects and celebrates its historic resources and open space; takes advantage of the social and economic value of historic preservation; and prioritizes harmony and enduring quality in new development.
This brief history was excerpted from the Philadelphia Register Nomination prepared by Architectural Historian Amy Lambert
. To read more about the history and significance of 8224 Germantown Avenue, nomination HERE