Jones Log Barn

Preservation Matters as evidenced by 9th Annual Historic House Tour turnout — thanks to all!

house tour 2013The Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s 9th Annual Historic House Tour was held this past Saturday, September 28.  It was a wonderful day with beautiful historic homes,  supportive sponsors, enthusastic volunteers, perfect weather and a record number of house tour guests — thanks to all who helped make this a successful event!

The House Tour raised nearly $20,000 for the final phase of the rebuilding effort of the Jones Log Barn as the ‘Living History Center at Duportail’ (www.tredyffrinhistory.org) with 400 tickets purchases and the support of many individual and corporate sponsors!  Here’s my letter to the editor published in today’s Main Line Suburban.  The next time you see one of these sponsors, please thank them for supporting historic preservaton in our own backyard … local history and preservation does matter!

Thank you historic homeowners for taking part in Historic House Tour
Published: Thursday, October 03, 2013
By Pattye Benson,

Preservation Matters: Thank you historic homeowners for opening your doors for Trust’s 9th Annual Historic House tour!

The mission of the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust is to help preserve and protect historic and cultural resources and to educate the public about the preservation and protection of historic and cultural settings. As President of the Trust and Chair of the annual Historic House Tour, I would like to thank the special historic homeowners. These homeowners graciously opened their doors for the 9th Annual Historic House Tour held this past Saturday, September 28 so others can enjoy and learn about the architecture and history of their homes.

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. Old house owners are very special people and this year’s house tour participants were no exception. In addition to the private homes on the 2013 tour, the beautiful First Church of Christ, Scientist (c.1886) in Berwyn was a featured stop. For those guests who stopped at the church, they were treated to a special musical performance by church organist Dr. James Sullivan. It is wonderful to live in a community that has people who cherish their historic properties and then allow others the opportunity to enjoy them!

As one of the Trust’s most anticipated annual events, the Board of Directors is extremely grateful to our historic homeowners who by sharing their extraordinary homes allow us to better understand the significant and unique history of our community. The annual house tour provides an opportunity for our historic community to showcase their neighborhood architectural heritage and demonstrate how historic homes can be a perfect fit for our modern lives. Opening their doors to hundreds of guests, the 9th Annual Historic House Tour raised close to $20,000 to benefit the Trust’s Capital Campaign to complete the rebuilding effort of the Jones Log Barn as the ‘Living History Center at Duportail’ in Chesterbrook.

The Board wishes to thank the many individuals, corporate sponsors and elected officials who appreciate historic preservation and understand its importance in the community including Penn Medicine, Arcadia Land Company, Heckendorn Shiles Architects, Lamb McErlane PC, Paul and Andrea Olson, Period Architecture, Murph and Lois Wysocki, Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters, Michael and Corinne Ackerman, Ann Ledger Architect, Axiom Asset Management, Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello, Duportail House, Gardner/Fox, James Garrison, AIA, Tm Hogan and Victoria Silbey, Janiczek Homes, PA State Representative Warren Kampf, Glenna LaSalle Keene, Michael and Michelle Kichline, Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Long, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Brad Tiffany – Kistler Tiffany Benefits, Urban Engineers, Maurice Weintraub Architect, Carla Zambelli, Main Line Media News, Daily Local News, Chester County Times, Around Main Line and TE Patch.

Thank you to the Trust Board members and the many community volunteers who offered their time and talents to make this another successful Trust event. And a special thank you to the house tour visitors who through their ticket purchase showed their support for historic preservation in the community.

I have received many emails and calls from guests who enjoyed the house tour. A Bryn Mawr realtor wrote, “Thank you and your committee for an incredibly enjoyable day. I have been selling real estate on the Main Line for over 20 years and on this house tour I heard historical anecdotes and discovered hidden treasures. What a treat!”  Upon exiting the 18th century Lenape Farm (also known as the ‘Churchill House’), a house tour visitor remarked, “These houses have souls of the past. They’re more than a house. They are part of the history of the neighborhood.”

Pattye Benson
President, Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust
Chair, 9th Annual Historic House Tour

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In the Mood . . . Poodle Skirts, Blue Suede Shoes & Rockin’ to the Oldies

Counting down to Friday night and In the Mood, the Trust’s annual fundraiser.  This year’s party is 50’s themed and the committee is working hard to make it a night to remember.  I am hoping to fill the remaining spots for the night – would you please consider attending.  You can visit our website, www.tredyffrinhistory.org to order tickets or send me an email at tredyffrincommunitymatters@gmail.com and I will add your name to the ‘will call’ list and you can pay at the door 

Be ready to shake, rattle and roll. Dust off your blue suede shoes, whip out your poodle skirt, roll up your dungarees, polish your saddle shoes, curl your ponytail, and grease back your hair . . . the evening promises fun, laughter and rockin’ to the sounds of the 1950’s.
 

Date:             Friday, October 22
Time:            7 PM
Location:       Barn at King’s Grant Farm,  869 Yellow Springs Road, Malvern, PA 19355
Tickets:          $75   Purchase tickets online at www.tredyffrinhistory.org
Questions:     Pattye Benson, 610.644.6759 or Judy DiFilippo, 610.688.772.

The evening promises to be a great party and all proceeds of the event go toward a great cause – Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s Phase II of the Jones Log Barn reconstruction project at historic DuPortail.  Phase I that includes the barn’s foundation and stonework is completed and with the public’s help, we can complete the final phase of the project.  Once reconstructed, the Jones Log Barn will be living history museum for the entire community to enjoy for many years to come!  Will you help us with the final phase of the Jones Log Barn project . . . by purchasing a ticket to In the Mood?

I hope that you will show your support of the Jones Log Barn project and historic preservation in our community by purchasing a ticket to In the Mood.

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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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