by Sue Ann Rybak
The Chestnut Hill Community Centre, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the Chestnut Hill Community, unanimously voted to “wind-up its operations” because it could no longer support the increased maintenance costs of its facility, according to a press release.
For almost a 100 years, the Community Centre, at 8419 Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill, has been a community gathering place.
Will Detweiler, president of the Chestnut Hill Community Association, said the building was donated to the Chestnut Hill Women’s Exchange by the Houston and Woodward Families, at the suggestion Gertrude Houston Woodward, an active member of the Exchange, who thought Chestnut Hill should have a permanent home for nonprofits to use.
Since then, generations of Hillers have used its facilities to hold community meetings, classes, lectures, and other social gatherings.
Detweiler said the CHCC recently offered the building to the Chestnut Hill Community Fund “with the understanding that it would be kept within ownership of the community.”
“They thought they would offer it to us because they would like to see this building continued to be used as a facility for a nonprofit, continuing on the original mission and the intent of the Houston Woodward Family rather than just selling the building,” he said. “At the present time, due diligence is going on.
“After due diligence is complete, a decision will be made to continue the transaction or to terminate it and go in some other direction.”
Detweiler praised the generosity of the Chestnut Hill Community Centre and its commitment to continue the Centre’s mission.
“I think its a great and generous gesture on their part,” he said. “And potentially, a tremendous opportunity for the whole community. I think we all have our fingers crossed. We just want to make a prudent decision, and we are not in the position to do that right now.”
The 6,600-square-foot property at 8419 Germantown Ave. is assessed at $1,315,000, according to the Office of Property Assessments.
This article was updated on Sept. 30. An earlier version of this article erroneously stated the Houston Woodmere Family. It should have said the Houston Woodward Family.