A reader took this photo of the Chestnut Hill Newsstand after its letters were removed earlier this month. They are happily back now, restored and as good as new (Photo by Michael Penn)

by Rose Klales

Recently a reader contacted the Local to remark about the disappearance of all letters from the sign on the Chestnut Hill Newsstand. That sign once read “Chestnut Hill Station” in broad, red letters across the face of the newsstand’s roof.

A bit more than a week ago, the letters of the sign were returned and the mystery was solved. Phil Dawson, executive director of the Chestnut Hill Business Association, confirmed that the association was working with the Chestnut Hill Conservancy and SEPTA to restore certain local landmarks.

Dawson told the Local that the business district had noticed that the newsstand was in a state of extreme disrepair late last year and contacted both the conservancy and SEPTA to discuss ways to renovate the newsstand and other local landmarks. After all three entities met, it was decided that they would repair multiple local landmarks.

The project began with the newsstand letters and the building’s nearby fence. Dawson said that the newsstand was “deteriorating.” However, historical accuracy was emphasized, and the letters were exactly replicated and replaced. Every renovation project will strive to maintain historical accuracy.

There will be renovations to the trolley lines as well – sections of the road will be repaired and the poles that hold up the trolley wires will be repainted.

Dawson emphasized the attention to detail that the conservancy and business association plans to maintain. He also assured the Local that SEPTA would pay for all costs.