Historic House Tour

11th Annual Historic House Tour a Success!

Deilwydd rs

Deilwydd, c.1915

Thanks to everyone who helped make the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s 11th Annual Historic House Tour a success!  On Saturday, September 19, eight private homes historic homes and gardens, dating from the Revolutionary War era to the 20th century, opened their doors to the public. Over 500 tickets were purchased for the house tour — the Trust’s annual fundraising event, which raised almost $30,000 for the Living Historic Center in Chesterbrook.

The 2015 house tour featured a select group of remarkable historic homes in Tredyffrin, Easttown and Willistown Townships. Volunteer docents were placed throughout the homes to discuss aspects of the architecture, historic preservation, restoration and creative modern interpretation for 21st century living.   Old friends spent the day together and new friendships were forged – all while stepping back in time and learning about the rich history of the community and the families who had lived in these houses.

The Trust is deeply grateful to the owners of the historic homes featured on the 2015 tour. They not only allowed visitors to come in their homes – they enriched the experience by sharing information and stories about the historic structures.  What a truly delightful group of old house owners on this year’s tour – the effort and time spent on details by each homeowner was remarkable. Historic house-owners are very special people, and our house tour participants were no exception.  In addition to the private homes on the tour, visitors enjoyed a stop at the Diamond Rock Schoolhouse, an octagonal one-room school house dating to the early 1800’s.

The event is a community event and would not be possible without our generous sponsors, the support of our volunteers and especially without those who so graciously opened up their historic homes to the public.

The 11th Annual Historic House Tour sponsor list:

11th Annual Historic House Tour sponsors list final

“If walls could talk, what stories they could tell!” — Historic House Tour tickets available

The 11th Annual Historic House Tour (hard to believe that it’s been 11 years!) is coming up in a few weeks and final preparations are in full swing!

Tickets for the 2015 house tour on Saturday, September 19, noon – 5 PM and Jazz & Just Desserts, the house tour preview party, on Sunday, September. 13, 6-9 PM at Duportail House are available online at www.tredyffrinhistory.org . The house tour is the largest annual fundraiser for Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust and all proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships support historic preservation and the completion of the Living History Center at Duportail.

The 11th Annual Historic House Tour features an interesting mix of eight private historic homes in Tredyffrin, Easttown and Willistown Townships plus the Diamond Rock Schoolhouse, an octagonal one-room school house in the Great Valley.  Discover the beauty of historic preservation on the tour, everything from a mid-1800’s French Normandy hunting lodge on Valley Forge Mountain to Deepdale, the original 19th century stone farmhouse and the 1915 English Cotswold revival estate, ‘Deilwydd’.  Enjoy stops at two different 150-year old carriage houses and marvel at how the owners skillfully adapted the buildings to 21st century family homes.

Also included on the tour is a sprawling 1900’s brick farmhouse in Malvern built by sisters, Ellen and Rebecca Winsor. Pro-suffrage activists from Haverford, the Winsor sisters were among 17 Pennsylvania women imprisoned for their “Silent Sentinel” picketing of the White House under President Woodrow Wilson.

We are still accepting sponsorships for the house tour, which helps to make the annual event possible. Ticket and sponsorship information is on the Trust website or you can email me at info@tredyffrinhistory.org.

It’s great to see many individuals and companies supporting historic preservation through the house tour, along with a number of elected officials and candidates. Its history and the preservation of our historic buildings helps to make this community special!

As the saying goes, “If walls could talk what stories they could tell.” Each featured property on the house tour has generations of original stories to tell!  Hope to see you on the tour!

11th Annual Historic House Tour Poster

 

9th Annual Historic House Tour – Saturday, September 28 – Tickets Available!

House Tour logoThis time of the year has me focused on two special events – the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s 9th Annual Historic House Tour on Saturday, September 28 (Noon – 5 PM) and the 5th Annual Paoli Blues Fest a week later on Saturday, October 5 (Noon – 6 PM).  As Trust president and chair of the annual house tour and co-chair of the Paoli Blues Fest, I believe that the house tour and the blues festival and street fair represent ‘community’ at its best. 

The 2013 house tour … Every year a new selection of amazing historic properties surprise and delight even the most devoted tour goers! The 9th Annual Historic House Tour features nine historic properties in Tredyffrin and Easttown townships, including private homes, a restored ‘party’ barn and a historic church.  There’s nothing better than the beautiful historic places that memorialize that history in our community – history really does matter!  Old houses tell wonderful stories and the properties on this year’s house tour will not disappoint.  Visitors are invited inside for a glimpse of what it is like to live, work and worship in these unique historic structures that span three centuries, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. A special thank you to the homeowners of these wonderful historic properties for allowing the public a glimpse inside.

If you love history and architecture, you will not want to miss this year’s tour. Tickets are $35 and are now available online at www.tredyffrinhistory.org using your credit card. Or click here for the  9th Annual House Tour Ticket Flyer for ording tickets using a personal credit card.  Additional information on the tour available on the second page.

Beyond the homeowners, is the generous support of individuals, businesses and corporate sponsorships.  Without their support the annual house tour would not be possible.  If you are interested in supporting the house tour, click here for the,9th Annual Historic House Tour – Sponsor Information.  The Trust is still accepting sponsorship for the 2013 tour.  If you have questions about the house tour, sponsorships or would like to volunteer, please contact me at info@tredyffrinhistory.org .  Hope to see you on this year’s tour!

Lenape Farm, c.1750 photo by Carla Zambelli

Private home on 9th Annual Historic House Tour — Lenape Farm, c.1750 (photo courtesy of Carla Zambelli)

9TH ANNUAL HISTORIC HOUSE TOUR SPONSORS

SUPPORTING  SPONSORS
AROUNDMAINLINE.COM
PENN MEDICINE

CONTRIBUTING SPONSORS
ARCADIA LAND COMPANY
GOLDEN VALLEY FARMS COFFEE ROASTERS
HECKENDORN SHILES ARCHITECTS
PAUL & ANDREA OLSON
PERIOD ARCHITECTURE
MURPH & LOIS WYSOCKI

PATRON SPONSORS
ANN LEDGER ARCHITECT
AXIOM ASSET MANAGEMENT
DUPORTAIL HOUSE, INC.
GARDNER/FOX
JAMES GARRISON, AIA
TOM HOGAN & VICTORIA SILBEY
JANICZEK HOMES
STATE REPRESENTATIVE WARREN KAMPF
GLENNA LASALLE KEENE
MICHAEL & MICHELLE KICHLINE
DR. & MRS. GERALD M. LONG
PETE & BONNIE MOTEL
RICH O’HALLORAN AND ATTORNEYS AT DINSMORE
POST HASTE HANDYMAN
BRAD TIFFANY – KISTLER TIFFANY BENEFITS
URBAN ENGINEERS
CARLA ZAMBELLI

 

6th Annual Historic House Tour — 85% Jump in Ticket Sales from 2009!

Looking outside today, what a difference a day makes!  Yesterday was one of those magical days that will be remembered long after the final guest departed.  This year’s old house owners on the Trust’s annual historic house tour were amazing –  the effort and time spent on details by each of the homeowners was truly remarkable. With blue skies, summer-like temperatures and help from many volunteers, the house tour surpassed my wildest expectations.  

Using Community Matters, email blasts, the support from the local press – Main Line Media News, www.AroundMainLine.com and www.MainLineNeighbors.com, Conestoga Woodlea Civic Association, Facebook, Twitter, and word of mouth, this year’s tour literally ‘jumped’ in attendees and in dollars raised. There was a 85% increase in attendees from last year – 278 people paid for tickets!  If I add the volunteers and homeowners, close to 350 people were on the tour. 

Proceeds from ticket sales, contributions and sponsorships totaled $11,000  from yesterday’s house tour and benefit the Jones Log Barn rebuilding project.

Tredyffrin & Easttown Houses on Annual Historic House Tour . . . 7 days and counting!

Thank you www.AroundMainLine.com for the press coverage of the 6th Annual Historic House Tour (article below).  Sarah Lockard, the eMagazine’s CEO/President graciously included the House Tour online and thanks to her Twitter and Facebook accounts, the Trust’s House Tour information is going out to thousands. 

With a week to go . . . the ticket sales are starting to really take off!  Please visit the Trust’s website, www.tredyffrinhistory.org to purchase your tickets.  The first photo below is of the rear of Buttonwood Farm’s stone farmhouse and the second photo is of the interior of Buttonwood Farm’s ‘party barn’.  Light refreshments will be served in the barn for visitors during the House Tour. 

Remember, you can own a piece of Chester County history . . . Buttonwood Farm is for sale!

Trust’s 6th Annual Historic House Tour

Old houses tell wonderful stories, and the houses of Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships have many tales to tell. On Saturday, September 25, 2010, the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s 6th Annual Historic House Tour will be opening doors to community’s past. This year’s tour will spotlight Berwyn and Strafford neighborhoods by opening the doors to eight private homes; three homes in Easttown Township and five homes in Tredyffrin Township. Featured houses span 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and offer visitors an opportunity to experience Chester County history through original, restored and historically significant homes.

“We are excited about the 2010 Historic House Tour,” Pattye Benson, President of Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for historic Berwyn and Strafford neighborhoods to showcase their diverse architectural heritage and for homeowners to show visitors how their historic homes blend with modern lives. The House Tour has become one of the Trust’s most anticipated annual events and we are grateful to our generous homeowners who open the doors to their extraordinary homes. If you love history and architecture, you will not want to miss this year’s tour.”

One of the houses on the tour this year, Buttonwood Farm in Berwyn, is available for purchase and tour visitors are invited for light refreshments in the farm’s 19th century ‘party barn.’ One of the houses on the tour this year, Buttonwood Farm in Berwyn, is available for purchase and tour visitors are invited for light refreshments in the farm’s 19th century ‘party barn.’

The houses on the House Tour are as diverse as their owners. The historic houses include a Chester County hunting lodge; an unusual ‘house within a house’ that lays claim to a resident ghost; an early R. Brognard Oakie original; a Colonial Revival mansion that boasts a hidden servant staircase and Howerton Hill, a 1911 home whose history of past owners reads like a racy Danielle Steele novel. Another home on the tour was constructed in 1939 but uses building materials and architecture from the mid-1800’s and fools the untrained eye. There are two horse farms featured on the tour, a pre-revolutionary stone farmhouse in a pastoral setting and an early 19th century farmhouse featuring a new 3-story addition and a restored barn. One of the houses on the tour this year, Buttonwood Farm in Berwyn is available for purchase and tour visitors are invited for light refreshments in the farm’s 19th century ‘party barn’.

The historic homes and gardens will be open from 12 Noon to 5 PM on Saturday, September 25, rain or shine. Knowledgeable guides staff each historic home on the tour and house tour admission will include individual house history with map and parking details. Tickets are $35 and advance purchase is necessary, as there will be no tickets sold at the door. Tickets are available online at www.tredyffrinhistory.org using your credit card or download an order form and mail with your check to Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust, PO Box 764, Devon, PA 19333-0764.

If you would like additional information about the house tour, consult www.tredyffrinhistory.org or call Pattye Benson at 610.644.6759 or email Pattye at info@tredyffrinhistory.org. All proceeds are tax deductible as the trust is a registered 501 c3 organization.

Trust’s Historic House Tour – Saturday, September 25th – Please Support Historic Preservation

Saturdays are always busy, especially during September and October.  But if you are looking for something to do . . . why not the Trust’s 6th Annual Historic House Tour. 

Always a community favorite for the Trust, this year’s tour will not disappoint – there’s something for everyone!  Eights houses are featured on the tour, including 5 homes in Tredyffrin and 3 in Easttown Township. If you are a follower of Community Matters and enjoy the posts and interaction, I ask you to help me with ticket sales.  Here’s a ticket order form for the house tour, please pass it on to neighbors and co-workers.  A special thank you to Tom Murray and Blair Meadowcroft for supporting the house tour – Blair’s article on the house tour in this week’s edition of  Main Line Suburban newspaper is below.

Explore your community’s history by supporting historic preservation . . .

Stage is Set for House Tour in Tredyffrin

By Blair Meadowcroft

Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s sixth annual Historic House Tour set for Sept. 25 will feature eight homes in Tredyffrin Township. The theme for this year’s tour is a focus on Berwyn and Strafford, giving tour participants a chance to view the similarities and differences of houses that in some cases were built around the same time.

The tour, which is rain-or-shine, costs $35 and you must buy tickets in advance. Proceeds from the event have always gone towards the Jones Log Barn project, which was one of the reasons why the House Tour was started.

“I organized the first historic House Tour for several reasons,” said Pattye Benson, president of the Trust. “The Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust needed to raise money for the rebuilding of the Jones Log Barn; all proceeds from the annual tour continue to go toward that project. Additionally there was never a dedicated Historic House Tour for Tredyffrin and Easttown townships, and I wanted to share my passion for old houses with the community. Those of us that live in Tredyffrin and Easttown townships are fortunate to live in one of the most historic areas of the country.”

Benson’s love for historic houses can be seen in her own home, the Great Valley House, circa 1690. This house owned by Benson and her husband is the township’s oldest.

“Our house was on the Devon House Tour 15 years ago and subsequently I was on Devon’s House Tour board for a few years,” said Benson. “I learned a lot about house tours from both the homeowner side as a house-tour participant and from the committee side. I thought I could take what I had learned, create the Trust’s House Tour and share the beautiful historic homes. Six years later the Trust’s House Tour is one of our most anticipated yearly events.”

In the tour’s six years there have been 48 different houses exhibited, plus the Wharton Esherick Museum; the Baptist Church in the Great Valley; two schoolhouses, Diamond Rock Octagonal and Old Eagle School; and eight Revolutionary War general’s headquarters. Also, no house has been shown twice.

“The Historic House Tour has had a wide range of interest throughout the years,” said Benson. “There are old-house owners who like seeing what others have done with their houses. There are people who love history or architecture and enjoy learning all about the house’s past. We have people on the tour who have always dreamed of being an old-house owner but think that they are museums and not possibly for a family.”

According to Benson, another reason behind the House Tour is to show people that old houses can accommodate today’s families.

“Through the Historic House Tour I hope to change people’s minds and encourage old-house ownership, even for those with young families,” said Benson. “In fact six of the eight houses featured on this year’s House Tour have owners with young children.”

It is with the help of willing homeowners that the House Tour can take place each year, and it is to these homeowners that the Trust and all involved are extremely grateful, according to Benson.

“The homeowners have been wonderfully receptive to the House Tour over the years,” said Benson. “I’m so grateful that they are opening their doors to the public.”

On House Tour day, participants pick up their guest badges, maps and brochure, which gives a detailed history of each of the houses, at DuPortail House in Chesterbrook between 11 a.m. and noon. The tour, which goes from noon to 5 p.m., is self-guided and there’s no set order to see the houses.

“Each of the houses on the tour is staffed by a board member of the Trust who acts as the official docent,” said Benson. “In addition to the designated board member, the house is staffed with sufficient volunteers to make sure that guests enjoy the tour experience and are available to answer questions.”

To buy tickets visit www.tredyffrinhistory.org.

“The Trust is challenged to raise the remaining $200K needed for the Jones Log Barn project by the end of the year, so I want to encourage more people to attend this year’s tour than ever before,” said Benson. “This early log barn will join DuPortail House and the Federal Barn as a living-history museum where people can visit, learn and appreciate how agricultural life was 250-plus years ago. The rebuilding of the barn should serve as a testament that this community cares about their history and wants to preserve it.”

Board of Supervisors Meeting Goes to the 11th Hour . . . Student Housing Ordinances and Public Budget Meetings are Late Night Decisions

Last night’s Board of Supervisors Meeting and public meeting on student housing was a marathon!  After 4-1/2 hours, the meeting finally ended at 11:45 PM . . . a long meeting by any standard; plus there was no air conditioning!  By the time the meeting ended at nearly midnight, all that remained of the audience was myself and 2 other residents, the township staff and the supervisors.  I didn’t realize until I got home but the taping of the meeting stopped at about 11:20, which was prior to the 3 important votes – decisions of the evening.

Many who attended last night’s supervisors meeting waited patiently for the public hearing on the two proposed college student housing ordinances – the Registration Ordinance and Zoning Ordinance Amendment.  As the hour got later and later, a decision was made to suspend the regular supervisors meeting, conduct the public meeting on the student housing ordinances and then complete the regular supervisors meeting. 

As was discussed in an earlier post, the Planning Commission had come up with very strict language in their proposed ordinances.  In my opinion, the proposed ordinances provided as much future protection against student rentals as was possible within the law.  In fact, some of the restrictions (including a 10 ft. wide buffer on the sides and back of the student rental properties struck me as a bit ‘over the top’  and overly restrictive).  It was obvious that some of the supervisors had a clearer understanding of the proposed ordinances than others – at one point, it was suggested that the public meeting be continued until a future date.  But Supervisors DiBuonaventuro and Donahue pushed for resolution last night on the ordinances.

Many Mt. Pleasant residents attended last night’s meeting and were determined that their voices would be heard.  And heard they were!  On one side, the residents very much wanted to see the proposed ordinances passed but they also wanted more to be included in the proposed zoning ordinance amendment.  Specifically, the residents sought to remove the grandfathering rights of the landlords from the ordinance.  The residents wanted the same restrictions for new student rentals to be imposed on existing student rentals.  But as they were told, this is simply not possible legally.  Not because of township laws, but because of Pennsylvania state law. 

Supervisor Kichline and the township solicitor explained to the residents that those properties that were existing student rentals would be allowed to continue operating and would not be subject to the proposed zoning amendment ordinance.  However, all current student housing landlords would have to conform to the proposed registration ordinance.  Mt. Pleasant residents questioned if other municipalities had taken out the grandfathering clause from their student housing ordinances, why couldn’t Tredyffrin.  As township manager Gleason explained, other municipalities may not permit grandfathering in their student housing ordinances but it is not enforceable by law.  Period.  Not the answer the residents wanted; they had to accept the proposed zoning amendment could not legally include existing student rentals. 

The supervisors passed the student registration ordinance with minor tweaking but there seemed to be endless discussion on the proposed zoning ordinance amendment.  Lamina made a motion to continue the discussion on the zoning amendment to the 2nd meeting in September.  The motion was seconded but failed to receive the necessary votes.  There was more discussion and a motion was made on the proposed zoning amendment ordinance – to pass it ‘as is’ .  I don’t know if it was the lateness of the hour (by this point it was 11:30!), the audience remarks, or what . . . but the motion was seconded and passed unanimously.  That’s right, Tredyffrin Township now has a very strict zoning amendment ordinance for student housing and a student registration ordinance.  Although the newly passed ordinances are not going to solve all of the student housing issues in Tredyffrin, I think great strides were made in the right direction.  Gold stars to the residents, the Planning Commissioners, the township staff and to the supervisors for working together for resolution!

The public meeting ended, many in the audience departed and the regular supervisors meeting resumed.  The  meeting agenda finally got to the new matters – Board members, and I waited to see if the suggestion of public budget meetings discussed at the July board meeting would be re-visited.  And yes, Supervisor Donahue once again brought up the suggestion of a public budget meeting (to be scheduled in advance of the traditional November budget discussions.) 

All 7 supervisors agreed in favor of a public budget meeting. Supervisor Olson suggested a Saturday morning meeting at the township building as a good time to schedule the meeting.  Lamina suggested either Saturday, September 18 or 25 but Supervisor Kichline quickly pointed out that September 25 was my historic house tour (thank you Michelle!) and maybe the budget meeting should not be scheduled on that date.  Lamina asked Mimi to look at the calendar and see about setting up the public budget meeting in September.  Under new matters – citizens, Dariel Jamieson thanked the supervisors for setting up the public budget meeting and asked if the BAWG recommendations could be included in the  meeting . . . the supervisors seemed to think that was a good idea and will include BAWG updates at the meeting.

Thank you supervisors for choosing transparency and citizen participation in the township budget process –  we will wait to hear the date and time of the public budget meeting.

Just a couple of other items from the supervisors meeting. As a member of HARB, I joined the other members in thanking Jim Garrison, a historical architect, for his 12 years of service to the HARB.  Jim and his wife recently moved from the township and therefore he is no longer permitted to serve on HARB.  In their move, the Garrison’s have joined the ranks of ‘old house owners’.  They purchased a 250-yr. old stone farmhouse that is on the National Register.  Congratulations to Jim but the HARB will miss him! 

The other item of personal interest from last night  has to do with Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust.  Newly appointed Trust board member, Jean Sauer, presented an update and PowerPoint presentation on the Jones Log Barn project. She provided a short history and background on the barn.  The Trust is now in Phase II (final phase) of the project with an intended completion date of 2011.  On behalf of the Trust, thank you Jean for providing a wonderful overview of the project.  

I updated the supervisors on our Trust fall events, including the 6th Annual Historic House Tour on Saturday, September 25. our annual In the Mood fundraiser on Friday, October 22 and our Fall Lecture Series.  (Tickets for the house tour are now available on our website, www.tredyffrinhistory.org)  The Trust is underway with the Capital Campaign to raise the remaining $200K for Phase II.  Please contact me directly at tredyffrincommunitymatters@gmail.com if you would like to help with the Capital Campaign, the house tour, In the Mood fundraiser, the Jones Log Barn reconstruction project, etc. – we will be put your time and talents to good use!

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