CHARLESTOWN TOWNSHIP HISTORICAL COMMISSION/HARB MINUTES
Mr. Wright moved to approve the minutes of March 5, 2023 and Mr. Stevens seconded. All were in favor.
Ms. Dicranian said that she, Mr. Stevens, Mrs. Philips, Ms. Quigley, and Mr. Frens attended the April 15th property tour, along with historic architect consultant Jane Dorchester, visiting six properties to view potential additions to the Historic Resource List, and written input was received from Mr. Stevens. Discussion followed to review the candidates for inclusion.
Mrs. Philips noted that the structure is isolated and has lost context. She suggested they have research done to learn more about it as the owner is unknown. In response to questions from newer Historical Commission/HARB members, she explained that placing it on the Historic Resources List would require HARB approval for demolition.
Mr. Frens added it would also protect it from demolition by neglect.
Mrs. Philips said that in the event PennDOT wishes to widen Yellow Springs Road and cause demolition of the spring house in the future, they would likewise have to come to the HARB.
Mr. Frens noted this structure is considered a landscape feature, regardless of the fact that the interior has not been preserved.
Members were enthusiastic about this unique contemporary home and agreed with Mr. Frens’ assessment that it is a prime candidate for inclusion along with the springhouse at 3196 Yellow Springs Rd.
Members did not think these structures meet the criteria for addition to the list.
Mr. Frens noted that this house was built in the style of Dutch Colonial Revival but not a genuine example.
Members did not think this house met the criteria for addition to the list but had more interest in the adjacent house at 1046 Tinkerhill Lane.
Mrs. Philips suggested further research for this house to determine if it meets the criteria.
The Historical Commission agreed that the spring house at 3196 Yellow Springs Road, and the contemporary house at 4 Wheelock Lane could be prime candidates for inclusion on the Historic Resources List.
A letter to be developed by Mr. Frens and Mrs. Philips will be sent to the other candidates thanking them for their interest in the designation review process.
Four properties/structures were identified by Mr. Frens that could be visited in the summer as they are near the road and their view will not be obscured by foliage:
The remaining structures will be visited during a fall tour.
Mrs. Csete and Mr. Wright updated the Historical Commission on PennDOT’s plan to replace the bridge on Pickering Dam Road. In 2019, they met with PennDOT representatives and stressed the historic nature of the existing structure and desire to rebuild in a similar size and style. If possible, the Township would like to retain the stamped placards in the existing parapet. Mrs. Philips said these include the initials of a former Township Roadmaster. The Historical Commission expressed interest in being involved in the planning process.
This Morehall Road restaurant/bar had many names and owners through the years and was known at times as Nick’s Tavern and the Office Bar & Grille. Mrs. Philips recalled that in the past it had been rejected for consideration for the Historic Register by the PA Turnpike Commission following a study they conducted.
Mr. Stevens asked if there was a list of bank barns in the Township, and Mrs. Philips said no, but the French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust may possibly have information. She also referred to Berenice Balls’ Barns of Chester County book compiled in 1974. She further noted that Pennsylvania did call for a survey of historical structures throughout the Commonwealth, which included spring houses, and was conducted in 1987-1988 varying from township to township.
Ms. Dicranian will contact Jane Dorchester to request research on the spring house at 3196 Yellow Springs Road.
Mr. Frens/Mrs. Philips will draft a letter to be sent to candidates whose properties will not be included at this time.
Ms. Dicranian will poll the group on dates in the fall to visit the remaining properties identified for future tours.
Adjournment at 1:55 p.m.