In recognition of the extraordinary architectural legacy of Chestnut Hill, the Chestnut Hill Historical Society announced in August the creation of the “Architectural Hall of Fame” to honor our most treasured buildings. We asked members of the community to nominate buildings that:
• Rrepresent groundbreaking approaches to planning and design, or
• Are significant for their design, materials, craftsmanship, or as an exceptional example of their style, or
• Are of historic significance because of an association with an event, a person, or by virtue of age.
The historical society’s Preservation Committee developed the following list of nominees, based in part on your responses to an earlier Call for Nominees. Four to five of these buildings will be selected for induction into the inaugural Architectural Hall of Fame this year; others will be added in future years.
Now it’s time to vote. To see photographs of the buildings and cast your vote online, visit our website at www.chhist.org. Ballots will also be available at the CHHS booth at Fall for the Arts on Oct. 4, and at our headquarters at 8708 Germantown Ave. Select the three special places that you think best meet the criteria, but, please, just one ballot per person. Voting will continue throughout October.
Winners will be announced at a cocktail gala in a beautiful 1883 Queen Anne house on Saturday, Nov. 14. The, honorary chairs for this event are the world-renowned architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, who have long been supporters of the historical society. More information about this event, and about the Architectural Hall of Fame is available on the CHHS website. Photographs of this year’s winners will be displayed at CHHS headquarters. Additional buildings will be inducted to the Hall of Fame in future years.
The 14 nominees for the inaugural Architectural Hall of Fame, listed chronologically, are:
WIGARD JACOBY HOUSE, C. 1794 • 8300 BLOCK of GERMANTOWN AVENUE
This stone Federal-style building, built circa 1794 with several 20th-century additions, is one of the oldest on Germantown Avenue. It is listed in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), which provides a detailed documentation of some of the nation’s more significant architectural heritage.
CHESTNUT HILL BAPTIST CHURCH, 1835 • 2 BETHLEHEM PIKE
Chestnut Hill Baptist is the oldest surviving church in Chestnut Hill. Built in 1835, it was enlarged in 1857 and the clock tower added in 1874. Extensive interior and exterior renovations were carried out in 1925.
“PLEASANT VIEW,” 1854 • 100 BLOCK OF BETHLEHEM PIKE
This is a fine example of the Italianate style, closely resembling the Italian Villa illustrated by Samuel Sloan “The Model Architect, Volume 1” of 1852. Although the house has undergone additions throughout the years, it retains the Italian Villa character and original color palette.
THOMAS MILL BRIDGE, Originally Built 1731 • FORBIDDEN DRIVE
Spanning the Wissahickon Creek at Thomas Mill Road, this is the only remaining covered bridge in Philadelphia, and the only covered bridge in a major U.S. city. It was restored by the Works Progress Administration in 1938.
GRAVERS LANE STATION, 1883 • 300 EAST GRAVERS LANE
Built by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, the Gravers Lane Station is one of the few surviving buildings designed by the great American architect Frank Furness.
“THE ANGLECOT,” 1883 • 400 BLOCK OF EVERGREEN AVENUE
This Shingle Style house was designed by noted architect Wilson Eyre, Jr., who also designed early additions and alterations. It was converted into condominiums in 1982-83.
WISSAHICKON INN, 1883-84 • 500 WEST WILLOW GROVE AVENUE
Built in the Queen Anne style, the 250-room inn was the first project of Henry Howard Houston, the 19th century developer of large sections of Chestnut Hill. It was designed by G.W and W.D. Hewitt, the architects for many of Houston’s later developments. The inn closed in 1901 and the building was donated to Chestnut Hill Academy (now Springside Chestnut Hill Academy).
HOUSTON-SAUVEUR HOUSE, 1887 • 8200 BLOCK OF SEMINOLE AVENUE
Designed by the Hewitt brothers for H.H. Houston, this Queen Anne style house was built in 1885 and sold in 1887 to Louis Sauveur; it remained in the family until 1961. It is included in the Historical American Building Survey.
CHESTNUT HILL FIRE STATION, 1894 • 101 WEST HIGHLAND AVENUE
This Romanesque Revival building is attributed to the architect John T. Windrim. A police station in the same style was originally attached to the left side of the building; it was demolished in 1959.
“KRISHEIM,” 1912 • 7600 BLOCK OF MCCALLUM STREET
The home of Gertrude and George Woodward, who succeeded his father-in-law, H.H. Houston as the major developer of Chestnut Hill in the first half of the 20th century was completed in 1912. Krisheim was designed by Peabody & Stearns, one of the premier architectural firm in the U.S. The landscaping designed by the prominent Olmstead Brothers firm was actually begun 10 years before the building was completed.
“HIGH HOLLOW,” 1914-17 • 100 BLOCK OF WEST HAMPTON ROAD
Architect George Howe’s personal residence, its design is derived in part from Howe’s student thesis at the École des Beaux-Arts in France. It is often regarded as Howe’s most significant residential work. The architect Robert A. M. Stern described the house as “often imitated” and “never surpassed” by those designing in a similar style.
LINDEN COURT, 1915-16 • 100 BLOCK OF WEST WILLOW GROVE AVENUE
Also known “Brick Court,” it was developed by George Woodward in the Georgian Revival style. The architect was Edmund Gilchrist, who moved into the court when it was completed.
ESHERICK HOUSE, 1960-61 • SUNRISE LANE
Louis I. Kahn, one of one of the world’s most influential 20th century architects, designed this house for Margaret Esherick, niece of prominent Philadelphia woodworker Wharton Esherick. Listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, it is one of very few of Kahn’s residential designs that has ever been realized.
VANNA VENTURI HOUSE, 1964 • MILLMAN STREET
This was an early project of the internationally known architectural theorist Robert Venturi, who designed it for his mother. Also known as “Mother’s House,” it broke with many of the standard elements of Modern architecture. In 1989, the house won the prestigious “Twenty-five Year Award” from the American Institute of Architects, given to a single project each year that has “stood the test of time for 25 to 35 years.”