Invest this Year-End, News from our community, and a Streetscape Exhibition

Donate in December—$50,000 for our Community!

Throughout the month of December, the Chestnut Hill Conservancy needs to raise $50,000 to further our impact in the community. Together, we aim to bring together neighbors and friends to sustain our continued efforts of balancing conservation and development, carrying out exciting educational public programs, and stewarding our growing Archive collection.
Donate NOW
THIS JUST IN: Dr. R. Scott and Janice Winters have just donated $10,000 towards our end of year campaign! They’re asking you to join them to raise these critical funds for the Chestnut HIll Conservancy through the end of the year. Donate today to join the Winters and safeguard the historic architecture, open space, and collective histories of the communities within the Wissahickon Watershed”.

Our work is made possible because of support from generous donors and members. If you have already contributed this year, either with a donation or membership payment and can make an extra gift, we would be so grateful!

Holiday Shopping—Use Amazon Smile!

Are you doing any online shopping with Amazon this holiday season? The Chestnut Hill Conservancy (EIN 23-6430559) is registered with Amazon Smile. When you shop using 0.5% of eligible purchases get donated to the organization of your choice. Support the Conservancy’s work in the community while you do your amazon shopping!

The Chestnut Hill Library begins repair works after a section of the building’s ceiling collapsed in November

Repairs to the Chestnut Hill Library have finally begun, after a section of the building’s ceiling collapsed in late November. These works are hoped to be completed in early January 2023. During this time, the branch will remain closed, and all existing holds have been transferred to the Lovett branch, located at 6945 Germantown Avenue.

The Chestnut Hill Conservancy has begun working with the Library to evaluate the building’s issues and identify necessary repairs.

More information about the building

The Chestnut Hill branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia is the second library to stand at 8711 Germantown Avenue. Constructed of Wissahickon Schist, it replaced the Christian Hall Library Company of Chestnut Hill, a private library founded in 1872 by Henry J. Williams. The Free Library of Philadelphia assumed control of the Company by February, 1897 and replaced Christian Hall with the current building, designed by Cope and Stewardson. It was completed in 1907 but was not opened to the public until almost two years later. The building has seen two major changes since its completion. In 1992, a back room was added to serve as a community multi-purpose room, and in 1999, the library’s interior was renovated.

Conservancy Streetscape Exhibit through December

“The Evolution of Pastorius Park, the Park that almost Wasn’t”

If you would like to learn more about Pastorius Park and how it became the wonderful park we all love and enjoy today, make sure to stop by Kilian’s (8450 Germantown Avenue) and take a look at the CH Conservancy’s streetscape exhibit The Evolution of Pastorius Park, the Park that almost Wasn’t. The exhibit consists of a collection of panels created by local landscape architect Rob Fleming. They include several rarely-seen drawings from his research in the Olmsted Archives during Olmsted’s 200th birthday year of 2022. The final panel illustrates the heroic and sustained efforts of Friends of Pastorius Park to restore and replant the park, guided by the final landscape design created by noted landscape architect Fred Peck in the early 1930s.

The exhibit will be displayed through the month of December.

Thank You for Joining Us!

Discovering Chestnut Hill: The Modern Architectural Treasures of Davidson Road

Last week, over 100 people participated in our Discovering Chestnut Hill Tour & Lecture series, illustrating the remarkable legacy of architect and sculptor Oskar Stonorov in Philadelphia, and exploring the modernist architecture of Davidson Road. The programs were led by William Whitaker, curator of the Architectural Archives at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and co-sponsored by Docomomo.

On Sunday, Dec 4, two sold-out walking tours showcased the impressive modernist houses of Davidson Road. Some neighbors kindly opened their doors to the tour, sharing these authentic architectural treasures with the world.

Two days later, on Tuesday, Dec 6, William Whitaker presented a more in-depth analysis of modernist architecture and the legacy of Stonorov with a fascinating virtual lecture, after the insightful initial remarks by Elie-Antoine Atallah from SoMD Architects.

The virtual lecture and a highlight of the walking tour’s best moments will eventually be posted on our YouTube channel. If you would like to enjoy early access to these contents, as well as support the Chestnut Hill Conservancy, become a member today.

From the Conservancy Archives

These photos are part of a wide-ranging donation to the Conservancy archives made by Audrey Bostwick (1930-2022). Audrey, an avid and accomplished equestrian and descendant of the Kitchen family grew up on the Kitchen’s Lane/Monastery Stables property. The materials Audrey donated, ranging from family documents and photographs of the property to rare books and maps of the Wissahickon are a stellar example of the historical information available in the Conservancy archive.
Audrey Bostwick, on horseback, with Ellen Hardi, at right, and Jack Watts, in the first horse-drawn sleigh of the 1989 season to arrive at the Valley Green Inn. As tradition held, they received a bottle of Champagne from the innkeeper (photo by Mark Weiss for the Chestnut Hill Local).
Kitchen’s Mill looking upstream. The woolens mill, located on the Monastery stables property and operated by the Kitchen family, was driven first by a water wheel then converted to steam in 1861.

Start The New Year With Us!

Chestnut Hill Conservancy Annual Meeting

We will have our annual meeting on January 8th, 2023, at 4 PM. We are graciously hosted by Norwood Fontbonne at their Commons on the southern campus at 8900 Norwood Ave. It will be an excellent presentation of all the Conservancy has accomplished this year. And all that we plan to accomplish in 2023. Then a presentation by co-Founder of the Conservancy Shirley Hanson, as she presents her Preservation Award for the year. We will end the evening by holding the election of two new Board Members, Brendan Kelly and Bill Webster.

Along with the re-election of current board members Patricia Cove, Eileen Javers, Emilie Lapham, and Randy Williams. Light refreshments will be provided. The meeting is free and open to all members and the public. We hope you’ll join us!

To RSVP, Please Email


Support the Conservancy!

If your membership is up for renewal or you are looking to join us, you can make your contribution by mailing a check to our office or using a credit card online. You also can make a donation at any time throughout the year. Please do not hesitate to contact us at if you have any questions about your membership.

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Chestnut Hill Conservancy | 8708 Germantown AvenuePhiladelphia, PA 19118