Charlestown Township
Historical & Architectural Review Board
Great Valley Middle School
Minutes of Tuesday, January 20, 2015

HARB met on January 20th at the GVMS. The members that were present are in bold Linda Appier, Tom Fillipo, Dale Frens, Ann Klein, Sheila Klement, Wendy Leland, Nancy Long, Rosemary Philips, John Pittock, Fran Rodgers and Dan Wright. Nancy Pittock and Susan Marshall attended as guests.

Ann Klein was introduced as a new member of HARB and she gave a brief background for her involvement in the township. She has lived here since 1971, loves the country atmosphere, is an artist, worked at Smith, Klein and French , and is on the Board of the Charlestown Historical Society. She has been active in doing historical research of the area and her well-received pictorial history of the Township for Community Day was recalled by Rosemary. Tom Fillipo, our other new member was unable to attend. We discussed a way to honor Janet Baldwin who was an original member of the Historic Commission and has been a member of HARB since its inception. Nancy Long, Janet’s daughter, said that Janet still feels part of HARB even though she can no longer attend meetings. Nancy will host a gathering at Janet’s home in April in place of a regular HARB meeting.

Dale Frens and Dan Wright gave an update on Brightside Farm projects. Dale has prepared a work schedule that will be on the February 2nd agenda of the BOS. This work includes projects of the Farmhouse in the basement, oil tank and landscaping. Because of the cold weather, Dan said that the contractor was given the option of delaying the work for 90 days and does not have to begin until after March 1st. Long range plans for Brightside depend on how the BOS feels about how many and which buildings should be maintained. It seems advisable to hold the buildings in stable condition until definite plans are made for the 20 acre farm portion. Many Charlestown citizens look upon that area as a park and many value the atmosphere of a grange setting. John Pittock brought up the value of keeping the Farmhouse occupied as a security measure. It seems important to keep the momentum with the BOS so that good possibilities are feasible for the farm, in the future.

Earlier, Dale and Rosemary had attended a planning meeting for the signage project of the Township Mill and that project is moving forward. It is expected that the project will be completed in this calendar year. No definite plans have been made about when and how visits will be available but it is envisioned that the Mill could also be used as an event site. Dale said that since the Mill site is in its neighborhood context it is special and unusual, Nancy commented that she would like to see the prior look of an open meadow around the Mill. Even though, we do not know how the area looked at an earlier time, it could reflect a particular perspective and use that time frame.

Dan has been asked to draw up a plan for the former Volpi property that is now owned by the Township. One parcel will consist of the historic house and springhouse with 7 acres. The Pennsylvania Turnpike did acquire a portion on which their equipment will be kept. The other parcel of about 43 acres is zoned as a commercial tract with public sewage and water but no plans are made to use it other than as open space.

A question was asked about the situation at the Grange. It would appear that the members are having some money raising events but their situation is difficult. It would seem that some members would like to sell to the Township but other ones are against that,

Susan Marshall of the Chester County Preservation Network spoke and indicated that members of CCPN were trying to visit opening sessions of all county historic commissions and to invite them to their spring and fall workshops. The Spring Workshop will invite one member of each commission and it will be held on April 25th at the Brandywine Museum. In the fall there will be workshops about architectural designs.

Members present felt that it would be in our best interests to schedule bi-monthly meetings. Special meetings can be called if necessary. Therefore we will be meeting this year in March, May, July, September and November.