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The George Woodward Co. marks 100 years building a community

George Woodward Co. built more than 400 of the stone buildings that now typify the neighborhood of Chestnut Hill and W. Mt. Airy.  The Houstons and Woodwards designed much of the existing street pattern and built and donated several of its most important institutions, including the Water Tower Recreation Center, Pastorius Park, a large part of the Wissahickon Valley, and the Schuylkill Valley Nature Center.

Residents, CHCA get lucky as ZBA appeal of former Sunoco site is delayed

An appeal hearing held to challenge the proposed five story, 34-unit apartment complex at 10 W. Bethlehem Pike was delayed Wednesday afternoon when a witness for the city didn’t show up. 

Body found in barn basement

Harris Baker Towne III, a 43-year-old financial advisor from Newtown Connecticut, was found dead in the basement of Northwestern Stables barn on the morning of Friday, Sept 24. Police are currently investigating the cause of death, and declined to comment. Charlie King, president of the stables’ Board of Directors, said it did not appear that there had been any violence.

Then and Now

It is the gem of Northwest Philadelphia, separated from the city by an ascending ravine that stretches nearly 12 miles up Lincoln Drive.

Long-time Hill chef opens take-out Wyndmoor foodery

Terra Nova Wood-Fired Pizza and Grill on East Willow Grove Ave. in Wyndmoor, takeout, delivery and online ordering only.

October Fun in the neighborhood

Entertainment for kids of all ages leading up to Halloween.

The Chestnut Hill Community Association is holding their 2nd Annual Carve and Cackle Contest!

Upload photos of your Halloween masterpiece to between Friday, Oct 22nd and Tuesday, Oct 26th. 

More News
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Andrew Wolf, 41, a teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, on charges related to child pornography. 
Black students made up 33 percent of Central’s and 31 percent of Masterman’s student bodies during the 2011-12 school year. By the 2019-2020 school year, those numbers had dropped to 20 percent for Central and fifteen percent for Masterman.. Superintendent William Hite said the change is designed to address that gap. 
Missing mail, undelivered packages and even checks being stolen out of the blue mail boxes that sit on many city streets were among the top complaints at U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans’ constituent meeting about the post office, held via Zoom last Thursday.
Woodmere Art Museum expects to complete the purchase of St. Michael’s Hall property in mid-October, and has been working with a team of engineers, architects, lawyers, and Woodmere staff to dream big about how the property will be used.
While the exact space was not named because of negotiation status, it was described as slightly larger than the Chestnut Hill location, with 10-13 parking spaces, close to a public transit stop.

Crime Report: October 4-10, 2021

The following crime report is for crimes reported in Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy for the two-week period from October 4 to October 10.

Chill Local
Arts more

The ants go marching one by one… down Germantown Avenue! Be on the lookout for some ants along the stone wall as you stroll past the playground at the Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences.

The artworks in this exhibition, created individually and collectively by Norwood-Fontbonne Academy students of the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023, reflect their feelings, thoughts, and accomplishments during the year forced away from their classmates.
(1951 / 103 minutes) Beloved character actor Thelma Ritter gets a rare star turn in George Cukor's comedic jewel. She's a down-on-her luck notary turned matchmaker of lonely-hearts and losers. Zany interactions with model Jeanne Crain ensue.

"Happy families are all alike," wrote Leo Tolstoy, but "every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Including his.

Food for Thought

Retro foods are making a comeback, and you’ll also find it might be harder right about now to find all the new products you got hooked on pre-pandemic.

One of the pleasures of doing this column comes when readers send book suggestions.
Citizen Canine

Life is divided into two stages. The acquisition stage, in which one accumulates spouses, cars, children, pets, mortgages and crockpots. And the downsizing stage, in which all of the above are placed on the curb with a sign “Free to a Good Home.”

Homes & Home

Front Porch for Fall

As the Autumn colors come out, make your front porch a display showcase.

The Outdoor Gardeners gather to honor some of their members

The Outdoor Gardeners awarded Laurel Awards to Patti Wilson and Paula MacRae for their support of the garden club, and Liz Snowdon won the District “Forget- Me-Not Award” for outstanding service since 2002


Hard truths about design, past and present

In the fall, the Sunday edition of the New York Times publishes a magazine supplement that focuses on design.  As the topic is a broad one, articles can range from antique Italian jewelry to the gardens of France, to the architecture of  Mallorca. The stories are always fascinating and often quite thought provoking.  But it was an article in this fall’s edition that I found to be most intriguing.

Architectural walking tour of the Tulpehocken Station Historic District, Oct. 10

 Take a walking tour of the Tulpehocken Station Historic District on Sunday, Oct. 10, 1 p.m. The tour begins at Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 W Tulpehocken St.
Each century, each year, each political, social or industrial movement can create its own design direction or philosophy. There is no movement for which that is more true than the period known as the Arts and Crafts movement.
When looking back at interior styles following the popular Arts and Crafts movement, two styles that are often referenced together but could not be more different are Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
Real estate
If developers get their way, the former site of Mt. Airy’s Trolley Car Diner is set to become a five story, 114-unit apartment complex complete with 38 parking spaces, 7,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and a roof deck.

Mount Tennis is unbeaten league champ once more

The Mounties earn their 7th consecutive AACA title

October 6, the Mounties earned their seventh consecutive AACA title, remaining undefeated with a 4-1 victory over visiting Villa Joseph Marie.

Late goal lifts SCH soccer over Penn Charter

The outcome of the October 5th Inter-Ac League soccer opener between Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and visiting Penn Charter was decided, almost literally, at the last second.

Blue Devils volleyball chomps Gators, 3-0

Last Monday's victory raised the Blue Devils' record to 3-5 overall. The victories recorded by the locals have all come against non-league opponents; SCH has not fared as well within the Inter-Ac.

Last Wednesday at Honeybrook Golf Club, the Mount won the AACA championship for the 19th year in a row.

Mount St. Joseph Academy's soccer team moved up to the .500 mark last Monday, getting back to 4-4 overall by completing a season sweep of Merion Mercy Academy.
Although the first two sets were fiercely contested by the visiting Baldwin School Bears, Germantown Academy still managed to secure a 3-0 victory last Tuesday in a league volleyball match.
Last Friday, The Hunt for Red October ended at Germantown Academy. This wasn't a tale about underseas nuclear adversaries, but one involving two schools whose primary team color is red, and who met on the field hockey turf at GA on October 1.

The 100th Anniversary activities for Norwood-Fontbonne Academy were scheduled for last year, but like many other things, the schedule changed.

Turnout was strong at the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s cocktail party/fundraiser at Market at the Fareway on Sunday night. The event, which featured a tasting menu provided by various vendors, wine and beer, and live music, was held to raise funds for the CHCA and the Jenks school playground.

On Tuesday, September 28th, Our Mother of Consolation Parish School opened its doors to host a High School Open House for students deciding on their next academic step.

Amilyn Rose Thomas, a senior at Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Flourtown, was chosen to represent the United States at the United Nations Day of General Discussion on Sept. 16.

The hallways are buzzing once again at the Springfield Township High School, as students settle in for a second week of in-person classes to start the 2021-22 school year. While the building is at …

Dottie Sheffield, staunch supporter of Chestnut Hill, dies at 96
Chestnut Hill lost one of its most important and influential civic leaders last Tuesday when Dorothy “Dottie” Sheffield died at her home at Cathedral Village in Roxborough. She was 96 …
John Sigmund, Sr., humanitarian, dad of 9/11 victim
Sigmund, 84, of Wyndmoor, died Sept. 14 from complications of a heart attack. Services were held Saturday, Sept. 25, at Our Mother of Consolation Church in Chestnut Hill.
Sarah Stevens Heckscher
Long-time Chestnut Hill resident Sarah Stevens Heckscher, who died of metastatic breast cancer July 17 in Greenbrae, Marin County, Calif. at 85, was truly a renaissance woman.
Marianne “Nancy” Shipley Rhoads
Marianne “Nancy” Shipley Rhoads, wife of the late Donald Vail Rhoads and daughter of Walter Penn Shipley Jr. and Mary Dawson Strawbridge, died on August 3, 2021. From her parents she …
Mt. Airy polymath descended from Philadelphia giants
Christopher Rittenhouse Bentley, 59, passed away on Aug. 6 after a five-month battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Opinion & letters
Enemies of reading

What others called waste, I played with on Saturdays: How getting down to nuts and bolts helped me lose my mindset

After Mr. Finnegan, owner of Finnegan’s Furniture Store in Darby, PA, trudged upstairs, leaving me alone in the basement, I turned and looked again at the three tall barrels.


Happy 100th

McNally's Tavern, George Woodward Company, Norwood-Fontbonne Academy, at their centennial.

Unmasking Covid

I am one of thousands of immunocompromised Philadelphians for whom taking public transportation, shopping for groceries or dining with friends at even an outdoor café presents serious risk.

More change and a new face at the Local

We’ve been making a few changes here at the Local in the four weeks I’ve been your editor. One of the most important of those changes started last week, when Tom Beck joined the team as our newest reporter.
We need to decrease the crime, violence, and Police issues in our City of Philadelphia and Tri-State area. Two Nonprofit Organizations have been working towards helping the issues. Urban …
I think the Local is right on target in forbidding entry to anyone who is not vaccinated. I wish that every business, including supermarkets, schools and theaters, would enforce this.
This letter is in response to your obituary of Chris Bentley (“Mt. Airy polymath descended from Philadelphia giants,” Aug. 26). Chris was our neighbor since 2001. In the many accidental …
About Chestnut Hill
Germantown Avenue to transform again during Night(s) of Lights
October 8 through the 17, from 7-9pm, historical images from the Conservancy’s Archives will be projected through storefront windows, while neighboring historic buildings will be transformed with colored lights and films.
Eateries of Chestnut Hill
With Center City (Philadelphia) Restaurant Week running from September 18th through 30th, it is a great time to reflect on the history of our eateries, be they restaurants, taverns, luncheonettes, …
Save Your Photos Month
September is Save Your Photos Month. During this month, the Chestnut Hill Conservancy encourages everyone to preserve our photographs, so that future generations may learn from them.
Discovering Chestnut Hill: Nurses Week
Did you know that May 6 is both National Nurses Day and the first day of National Nurses Week? This “Week” ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.
Covid collecting for the Chestnut Hill Conservancy
Scenes that typified Chestnut Hill during the early days of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 are already fading from our daily experience: next-to-no cars on Germantown Avenue, closed stores, Xs …