Charlestown Township
Historical & Architectural Review Board
Great Valley Middle School
Minutes of Tuesday, March 19, 2019

HARB/ Historical Commission met on Tuesday, March 19th at the GVMS. Those members present were: Nancy Long, Rosemary Philips, John Pittock, Fran Rodgers, Cindy Thompson, Dan Wright and Carol Quigley for Dale Frens. Tom Fillipo, Sheila Klement, Ann Kline and Michael Richter were not present. Samantha Moss and Tyler Smith, owners of the 670 Church Road property, and Jason Domanski, representative of G. Fedale Roofing Contractors were also present.

HARB/ Historical Commission met to consider an application for a roof replacement at 670 Church Road, a building in Charlestown Historic Village, for a review in consideration of issuing a Certificate of Appropriateness to the Board of Supervisors. G. Fedale Roofing & Siding Contractors, has been selected by the owners to perform the work and Jason Domanski explained their proposal to HARB. We were shown some photos in addition to the ones in the proposal. Rosemary gave a brief history of the property saying that it was built as a blacksmith shop in the 18th Century as part of the Village. It went through many changes and was most notably owned by Henry Soulen, a well-known professional artist who had it converted to an art studio. More recently, it has been used as a guest house. Mr. Domanski showed an example of the color and type of shingle that would be used as replacement and stated that those were in accordance with our Township Building Code. A comprehensive plan was presented that addressed preparation, installation, de-mobilization and clean-up. Adequate ventilation would be added in order to eliminate mold and mildew issues. Carol Quigley stated that the appearance was appropriate for this structure. Very likely, the original roof was a wooden one and other material has been used subsequently. An item was added pertaining to open roof seams and gutters.

Cindy Thompson moved that it would be proper to approve this replacement, Nancy Long seconded the motion and the Board passed it unanimously. A Certificate of Appropriateness will be forwarded to the BOS.

The second item on our agenda concerned the Charlestown Cemetery wall. At our November 2018 meeting, it was proposed that the cemetery wall should be repaired. At the request of HARB, Dale Frens met with the stone masons who visited the cemetery and prepared a proposal to repair and extend the wall. The proposal noted that work on the wall can not be done until trees and shrubs along the wall are removed. The township has had Davey Company working on this and it will soon be completed. The BOS will consider the New Tradition Masonry proposal at the April 1 meeting. There was a question about the parking at the cemetery and nothing has been resolved. Presently, only a few cars from Playschool do use this area in front of the cemetery. Perhaps, that situation could be revisited after the wall restoration.

Dan Wright was asked about the compliance of a footprint being done at the old Allen property on White Horse Road. Dan did contact the contractor who agreed to do this as the work on the new structure was completed but this has not been done as yet.

Nancy Long asked to speak about the condition at the Swiss Pines property. Recently, Nancy spoke with Kim Coyle who is a Trustee of the estate along with her husband, William Coyle. Mrs. Coyle expressed concern about the property and especially about the renowned Llewellyn House which she said was in such deplorable condition that it should be torn down. The estate is still owned by the Bartschi Foundation and could be sold. However, it is under conservation of the French and Pickering Conservation Trust and must abide by their conditions. It is also part of the Charlestown Village National Register. Mrs. Coyle was interested in restoring the famous gardens and Nancy voiced our willingness to aid in their endeavor. It was suggested that HARB could arrange a site visit. We encouraged Nancy to offer aid of the Historical Commission when she talks to Mrs. Coyle again very shortly and reach out to them with our concerns.

Our meeting was adjourned and our next scheduled meeting will be on May 21st.