Charlestown Township
Historical & Architectural Review Board
Great Valley Middle School
Minutes of Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The HARB/ Historical Commission met at GVMS on November 20th. Those members present were: Dale Frens, Nancy Long, Rosemary Philips , John Pittock, Fran Rodgers, Cindy Thompson and Dan Wright. Tom Fillippo, Sheila Klement, Ann Kline and Michael Richter were not present.

The meeting opened and all members agreed that the November 11th Mill opening was well attended and quite an achievement. Rosemary suggested there could be another open house done in the spring so that more people could attend. Arrangements might be made later to have the Mill open at some other times if a volunteer group was assembled to conduct tours. There was a question about the type of events that might be held there. These would be limited because the Mill does not have water or kitchen facilities. There is also a restriction against using it as an office.

Dan Wright gave the first report of his site visit to Swiss Pines. He showed several photos, taken by Kevin Kuhn, of the main house and other structures on the property. He was pleased to note that those are well secured. However, there is much vegetation growing on those buildings and the roof of the main house must either be repaired or replaced. Rosemary pointed out that Swiss Pines has reverted to the Bartschi Foundation and is under those restrictions. Bill and Kimberly Coyle have been named as trustees and as such are in charge of financial matters and oversight of maintenance. Rosemary reviewed the architectural guidelines for a property in the Charlestown Historic District—if the roof or other parts of the house were to be replaced, then this would come before HARB but if only repairs were being done, that would not be necessary. Members were in favor of a site visit next spring.
Dan also reported on the Tangri property (formerly the Allen home) at 4111 Whitehorse Road. They appeared before HARB in September of 2016 with a request for demolition. That was allowed with the requirement that the new residence must show a footprint outline of the historic structure. That requirement has not been carried out. Dan Wright will have a follow up visit with the Tangri’s. It was suggested that in the future the occupation permit should not be issued until the HARB requirements are fulfilled.

Dale Frens reported on the wall repair at the Charlestown Presbyterian Cemetery. He examined it with a stone mason who felt that some parts of the wall could be rebuilt. There are many large trees and much underbrush near and also impacting the wall at some places. Those must be cleared before restoration could be done. To accomplish this, it would be necessary to bring heavy equipment inside the cemetery and most likely that would be done in early spring. Rosemary and Fran met with Linda Csete to set up a proposed 2019 budget for HARB and this expense has been approved by the BOS

Dale also spoke about the Stonorov modular steel house which is now stored in the Brightside Barn. The Preservation Alliance had acquired ownership of the structure with the intention of restoring it at another site but they no longer wish to keep the house. Dale said that it is in good condition and has a complete manual to make it into the house. It was thought that it might be useful at the Brightside Farm area with provisions for storage and educational material now that the trail and parking area are complete. Rosemary plans to contact the Alliance for release of their ownership.

In Old Business, Rosemary reported on the Historic Atlas Project that Jane Dorchester and Nanci Sarcelli are carrying out for our Township. Now that the trees have lost their leaves, they can work for an overview and photograph historic properties in the township and will complete the project soon.

In new business, Nancy Long asked about the status of Great Valley Nature Center and there has been no change.
The Auchincloss home was discussed and demolition was brought up. Cindy said that any bidder would have to appear before HARB for that request and if they did not agree with the HARB decision then they could appeal to the BOS. The Board’s decision would be final.
Fran Rodgers reported that a resident had spoken to her about the deterioration of a historic plaque at the bridge on Yellow Springs Road above Foster Road and that she had spoken with Jim Thompson about it. We were not certain if our township is responsible for it and she will check with Mr. Thompson.
John Pittock reported that a member of the Wells family has recently brought a large collection of photos to the Wisner/Rapp House and that he would bring some to our next meeting.

Our next meeting will be on January 15th, 2019.