Holding a mayoral proclamation honoring Chestnut Hill’s Garden District designation (from left): Chef Al Paris, Bowman Properties managing partner Richard Snowden, Garden District Fund founder Dottie Sheffield, Chestnut Hill Business District director Martha Sharkey, former Philadelphia mayor and Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and Philadelphia City Representative, Sheila Hess. (Photo by Hugh E. Dillon)


By Pete Mazzaccaro

The Chestnut Hill Business District kicked off a season-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of Chestnut Hill’s designation as Philadelphia’s Garden District with a brunch press conference at Paris Bistro. The event included an appearance by former Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who made the original declaration in 1997.

Speaking at the press conference’s opening, CHBD director Martha Sharkey extolled the neighborhood’s many assets.

“We are a community brimming with culture, recreation, world-class dining, diverse shopping and entertainment,” she said. “I emphasize community due to the spirit of collaboration and dedication between our partners, businesses, attractions, and residents which makes Chestnut Hill an excellent place to work, visit and live.”

Remarks were made by Patrick Jones from Councilwoman Cindy Bass’ office and by City Representative Sheila Hess. The guest of honor was Rendell who recalled reading the proclamation establishing Chestnut Hill’s Garden District Status.

“You’ve been great stewards of the land,” Rendell said. “You’ve taken it seriously and made sure that the beauty that the Lord gave Chestnut Hill was treated well. We’re all immensely proud of what Chestnut Hill stands for. It wouldn’t have happened without a committed-citizen effort.”

The district designation events this summer include Chestnut Hill’s Plein Air painting competition scheduled for June 10 and the Fairmount Park Horse Show at Northwestern Stables on May 21. For more information about upcoming events, see the CHBD’s website.

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