Posted September 8th, 2009 at 10:17 am.

Lower Merion Conservancy presents
To register for any of these Historic Preservation Lecture Series events please call the Conservancy office at 610-645-9030 or email programs@dragonfly.org with the program name, number of tickets, and your contact information.

The Architecture of Horace Trumbauer: A Book Signing Event
Thursday, September 24, 6:00 p.m.
$/ticket, includes a wine-and-cheese reception
Bloomfield, 200 Ithan Avenue, Bryn Mawr

In the great ballroom of a fabulous Trumbauer mansion, we’ll enjoy an illustrated presentation by author Rachel Hildebrandt from her new publication, The Philadelphia-Area Architecture of Horace Trumbauer. Trumbauer, best known for Ardrossan, the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the Philadelphia Free Library, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was a master at interpreting the classical styles for a wide range of residential commercial and civic buildings.

Bloomfield is one of the last remaining grand country estates on the Main Line. A gated private enclave of over six acres, Bloomfield features charming courtyards and walkways, glorious terraces, majestic fountains, a reflecting pond, stately mature trees and enchanting gardens designed by the Olmsted Brothers. The French Chateauesque residence has been meticulously restored, and includes 14 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and 3 powder rooms. Within the grounds is an outdoor swimming pool and charming open air pavilion.

The presentation will be followed by a wine and cheese reception, during which time Ms. Hildebrandt will sell and sign her book. Guests are also invited to walk through Bloomfield, which is now for sale.

Houses Built by Love: A Walking Tour of English Village
Sunday, October 11, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
$ ticket includes a wine-and-cheese reception
Tour begins at 619 Loves Lane, Wynnewood

Walk with the Conservancy through the picturesque, charming and historic English Village, created by architect Arthur S. Love and his builder brother Donald in the mid-1920s. Arthur modeled the design and layout of this compact Tudor-style neighborhood on an English town he had greatly admired, creating a village with narrow winding streets, and architectural features and distinctive materials that evoke “old England.” Each of the homes has a different story to tell – find out which was built without a kitchen for a third Love brother who never cooked and which features paneling originally salvaged from a fabulous mansion – and see some of these interiors for yourself as you are welcomed into several homes! Finish the evening with a wine and cheese reception hosted by English Village homeowners.

Architectural historian Dr. Kathleen Abplanalp guides us through this medieval village in the middle of Lower Merion, a topic close to her heart as it was close to her dissertation. The village remains remarkably intact, retaining all of its original homes. Several neighbors are working with Dr. Abplanalp and the Conservancy to consider designating this hidden treasure a local historic district.

On-street parking is available along Loves Lane except where indicated, and additional parking is available on Cherry Circle across Cherry Lane opposite Loves Lane. Take care when walking along Cherry Lane.

The Great Houses Tour
Sunday, October 18, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Self-guided tour begins at the Shipley School’s Beechwood House, Montgomery Avenue and Roberts Road, Bryn Mawr

Lower Merion possesses a treasure trove of beautiful historic homes created by gifted architects and craftsmen, carefully updated generations later by talented preservation architects for 21st-century living. This unique tour showcases extraordinary homes and preservation work in Lower Merion.

You will visit five great houses ranging in style from Georgian Revival to Tudor to Colonial Revival, lovingly restored and renovated with today’s conveniences. Owners have graciously allowed us within their homes for this special afternoon, hosted by the architects responsible for the restorations and discussing their work as you tour. Here is a sampling of what you will see:

A Walter Durham home in Penn Valley, built in the firm’s classic stone farmhouse style, was renovated and extensively updated by Shep Houston Architect with detailing, executed in the Durham style that seamlessly integrates new with original construction. Agoos/Lovera Architects won Lower Merion’s preservation award in 2009 for its renovation and compatible expansion of a beautiful Villanoa carriage house included on this tour. The extensive and highly detailed renovation by Archer & Buchanan Architecture of a William Lightfoot Price house in Haverford features fabulously restored windows and woodwork created by Rose Valley artisans. Hanson General Contracting created the modern connection that transformed two 19th-century creekside cottages into one fabulous residence.

Your tour will begin at Addison Hutton’s 1877 Sylvula, the home now known as Beechwood saved and renovated for the Shipley School by Frens and Frens Restoration Architects.

Mills and Milestones: Additions to the Architectural Hall of Fame
Sunday, November 15, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
$/ticket includes an dessert buffet
Tayr Pont, 760 Mill Creek Road, Gladwyne

Celebrate two additions to the Conservancy’s exclusive Architectural Hall of Fame, a recognition of the area’s most significant architecture. This year, we add one of Lower Merion Township’s most important mill complexes, as well as Lower Merion’s iconic milestones.

The Evan Jones mill complex, consisting of the mill and adjacent miller’s house Tayr Pont. Begun as a paper mill by John Roberts III circa 1758, and confiscated after Roberts was executed for treason in 1778, the mill continued to operate until the devastating flood of 1894. The mill and Tayr Pont next door now serve as a single-family residences, and are the only mill and miller’s house buildings remaining in the township. The oldest portions of Tayr Pont (which means “three bridges,” a nod to the creek-bound nature of the site) dates to the late-17th century.

Since the late-18th century, granite milestones have marked the distance to Philadelphia along the township’s three local major roadways: Old Lancaster (now Montgomery) Avenue, Old Gulph Road, and Lancaster Road. A total of fourteen of these highly cherished landmark stones remain.

The induction ceremony will take place at Tayr Pont, after which we might also visit the Evan Jones Mill. Parking is available on the meadow adjacent to Tayr Pont, pull into its driveway.

Witness to Revolution: 17th and 18th Century Architecture in Lower Merion
Thursday, December 3, 6:00 p.m.
$/ticket includes a reception at the Merion Friends Meetinghouse
General Wayne Inn (Chabad Center), 625 Montgomery Avenue, Merion Station

One of the biggest surprises of Lower Merion’s historic architecture is the large number of 17th and 18th century buildings that witnessed the Revolution and still grace our shared landscape. We’ll hold this lecture in the General Wayne Inn, built in 1704 and known as Streaper’s Tavern when George Washington and his troops camped nearby in an open field. You’ll hear the stories and see historic photos of a number of Revolutionary Era landmarks, like Harriton House and the John Roberts house – while learning about new buildings you likely haven’t discovered: the Miller-Bell house, still-standing Gladwyne and Narberth log cabins, the Grove of the Red Partidge, the Old Dutch schoolhouse, and the William Penn Cottage, where Penn himself reportedly stayed “in the wilds of Lower Merion” during one of his visits.

Conservancy executive director Mike Weilbacher shares photographs from the Lower Merion Historical Society’s archives, pairing them with present-day photos. Enjoy an after-lecture reception and tour in the nearby 1695 Merion Friends Meetinghouse (already an old building in 1776!), and receive a special tour. It’s a revolutionary idea: spend an evening enjoying the architectural roots of Lower Merion.

All events are $20, except for the Great Houses Tour which is $35. Volunteers attend free!  To volunteer, contact Lori at 610-645-9030 or Lori@Dragonfly.org

Filed under: Uncategorized by Margaret Kelly

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