Our Town

Night of Lights is back, and brings new stories


Depressed that daylight is ending sooner and winter is nigh?  Just in time, the Chestnut Hill Conservancy is hosting its annual and beloved Night of Lights festival to brighten Germantown Avenue for a week. This innovative public art streetscape exhibition will be the centerpiece of a weeklong celebration of our thriving main street, its history, and the residents and businesses that make it so famous, both locally and nationally.

The festival week will kick off with the “Flip the Switch” ceremony on Friday, Oct. 6 in the outdoor space next to Foliage Plant Boutique (8139 Germantown Ave. at Hartwell Lane).  That evening, buildings along the Avenue will be bright with theatrical lights of all kinds, bringing a festive atmosphere during evening shopping and restaurant hopping.

And the Conservancy will once again be showcasing the history of the Avenue, and presenting slide presentations that focus on local history, people, and architecture in eight storefront windows.

Topics will include how to make your historic house environmentally sustainable, historic postcards of the Wissahickon, George Washington’s march through Northwest Philadelphia in 1777 and the unexpected and complicated creation of the many off-avenue parking lots that contribute to our thriving retail hub. 

Some of these presentations will feature images from the Conservancy’s deep historical archives, which includes more than 50,000 documents of all sorts from the 1680s to today. On opening night, there will be an interpreter present to answer questions about each presentation.

New this year will be a presentation thay focuses on the many important architects who lived and worked in Chestnut Hill and surrounding neighborhoods, from Wilson Eyre, George Pearson and George Howe to Midcentury Modern and later architects Oscar Stonorov, Louis Kahn, Robert Venturi, Ehrman Mitchell and Romaldo Giurgola. 

These designers, all of whom had an international impact on architectural practice throughout the world, brought their distinctive creativity right here to Chestnut Hill. Explore their local work in the slide presentation during Night of Lights.

The building lights and presentations will be lit each evening throughout the week.  The Conservancy will also offer evening walking tours by local historians and experts. Look for all the details in the Conservancy’s Night of Lights “Passport.” 

For more information, please check on www.chconservancy.org