The Water Tower was illuminated for Night of Lights on October 4 (Photo by Bradley Maule)

by Eileen Javers

In preparing for our 50th last year, our Anniversary Committee realized that there were many ways to easily celebrate two parts of our mission, Architectural Preservation and Keeping Chestnut Hill green.

The third was more difficult question for us: how to highlight our Archives – the 20,000+ collection we maintain documenting the community’s history. The answer was: bring them out on the historic Avenue and light them up!

And when we did that last October, to our delight, hundreds of neighbor and visitors stopped to enjoy history layered on the canvas of our beloved “Main Street.” We found that long-timers began to share their own stories with each other and people they had not known before, new residents discovered more about their new neighborhood, and everyone learned stories of family businesses and local artisans that were only quietly known.

And that lit us up to this again this year, lit up residents to bring us their records and photos, lit up terrific sponsors to contribute, lit up volunteers to work long hours and lit up our fantastic staff to spend months putting this together.

We hope everyone enjoyed last week’s Night of Lights – a gift from the Conservancy to our wonderful community, made possible by an army of volunteers, generous sponsors, and the hard work of many – especially the Conservancy’s own Leah Silverstein. Thank you!

If you missed Night of Lights, the slide shows will soon be available to enjoy on our website:

Eileen Javers is president of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy.