Tell Cas Holloway to SAVE Poplar House, NOT Demolish it!

Welcome Lower Merion residents!

We're glad you stopped by. Go ahead and register for a free account to get the benefits of being a member, including:
  • Access to all of our posts and comments
  • Your own profile including an avatar, buddy lists, and other social networking features
  • The ability to send private messages to other users on this site
  • The ability to chat and interact with other citizens and voters in and around Lower Merion.
Creating an account is easy. Register now!

(Don't live in Lower Merion? That's okay. We won't hold it aginst you.)
Tags:
carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

piZap.com free online photo editor, fun photo effects
Today an article by Sam Strike hit the Main Line Suburban Life. It outs the developer who wishes to demolish Poplar House. As a coninuation of the post titled "Is Poplar House Shortly to Become Radnor's La Ronda" , I thought I would provide an excerpt of Sam's article as well as express my dismay that this developer can't do anything orginal, just apply for a demolition permit.

Why not think outside the box and seek an adaptive reuse of the structures on this 36 acre parcel? Image and video hosting by TinyPic Also note who markets the Holloway homes. Why is it everytime this realtor puts a manicured toe into certain areas does it mean new construction and demolition?

Why is it the existing housing stock out there ain't moving and sheriff's sales, quick fire or whatever tax sales, foreclosures, etc are ON THE RISE and these developers are out there with their Field of Dreams attitude of build it and they will come?

NEWS FLASH: have we been by PemBROKE North in Radnor and other developments up and down the pike? In and out of Radnor Township?

Did the loss of La Ronda teach Main Line municipalities nothing?

Radnor residents, the loss of this property to more cookie cutter Tyvec wrapped particle board McMonstrositie development would be a crime.

Please make some noise about this. Please come together as a community and try to work this out. This property should be saved. Bring it on to Radnor's next board of commissioners meeting and wherever else you can be heard. Don't tiptoe around this issue, stamp your feet and make some noise.

Main Line Suburban Life > News Is Radnor estate history? Published: Wednesday, October 06, 2010 By Sam Strike

The second largest privately owned residential tract in Radnor Township could be developed and its mansion demolished. “Poplar House,” as it is called, is a Federalist-style mansion with Greek Revival elements that has sat on 36 acres in between Maplewood Avenue and Brooke Road in Wayne since it was built in 1902. Local builder and developer Caswell F. Holloway asked the township Sept. 28 for a demolition permit. Main Line Media News’ copy of that application names Thomas and Jill Nerney of Wayne as the property’s equitable owners.....The application states that the main house, which is 14,800 square feet, will be demolished and removed (the cost of demolition is estimated at $190,000), and the site backfilled, graded and seeded. B. John Duffy, one of the property’s listing agents, said this week that an agreement of sale has been reached but that the settlement date is unconfirmed. “Allowing demolition of these properties should be a wake-up call to Radnor to enact a comprehensive historic-preservation ordinance, strengthen the Historic and Architectural Review Board (HARB) so it has some teeth, and create a tough demolition process for historic properties to include public review, HARB review and Board of Commissioners review,” said Radnor Historical Society president Ted Pollard. “The quality of life in Radnor comes from the historic fabric of our community; when pieces of this fabric are destroyed all of Radnor loses,” Pollard said. The property is not in any of the township’s three historic districts. Demolition or any construction work done to buildings outside of the districts are not subjected to any type of historical review or approval by Radnor Township. It is not known what will be built on the property or if it will be subdivided. Zoned “agricultural-conservation,” the property is restricted, for one thing, to single-family homes on lots no smaller than two acres....The property is held in trust, which in the case of any demolition would have salvage rights, said Duffy, who said in December that he had not heard of anyone wanting to tear down the mansion. “Of any house worth saving in Radnor Township, this is it,” Duffy said in December. John Nagle, president of Radnor Township’s Board of Commissioners, said the house’s demolition would be “a real loss.” He said it points out the township’s need to take “a hard look” at its approach to historical assets in the community.

Presenting the Homes of CF Holloway III & Co

Robin Gordon: The Main Line's Most Trusted Realtor

4.444445
Average: 4.4 (9 votes)
Your rating: None

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

Is that money designated originally for Ardrossan still around? Can any of it be used here? And speaking of Ardrossan is it true Eddie Scott (is that his name?) was seen visiting the Radnor Township Building last week to take a meeting? What was that about?

A website has popped up http://www.poplarhouse.org/

There is a petition to sign on it as well.

3.8
Average: 3.8 (5 votes)
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

outtathere's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 28 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-12-31 :04
Posts:

Carla,

Would you be referring to the bond issue that was voted into existence by referendum in the Nov. 2006 election?

In several posts on the other Poplar House thread, I posed questions about this bond issue but the only responses were those trashing the CONservancy. As well deserved as those comments apparently are, they are nothing new and do nothing to advance getting to the bottom of this current crisis.

So I did my own research and found that the bond issue authorizes spending up to $20 million on acquisition of open space. The question remains has any of this been spent? Also the question you raise: Was this 'designated' for Ardrossan and if so by whom?

I ran across this website and organization and would like to know if it is still in existence:
http://www.citizenstopreserveradnor.org/html/ordinance.html

It contains lots of information regarding acquisition of open space in the past as well as surveys, etc.

The major question that remains in my mind is who in Radnor, what organization, Committee, whatever, is empowered to actually identify and acquire open space? (obviously the commissioners ultimately do the transaction but who brings a proposal to them) The Conservancy definitely ain't it. Their mission is primarily working with property owners to get conservation easements put in place.

There is one undeniable fact that I see. The MLMN article starts off by describing the Poplar House property as 'the second largest undeveloped tract in Radnor'.

1. That has been a known fact for years. It has been no secret .

2. The Poplar House property has been on the market for approx. one year .

NONETHELESS:

Here we find McMansionmeister Holloway in the process of acquiring that property and seeking a demolition permit on the main house .

So my questions are:

Once we've identified what body or bodies of Radnorites have been charged with and empowered to identify and acquire property to preserve it as open space using that bond issue, have they:

1. Been asleep at the wheel?

2. Ignoring Poplar House because they have their sights set on Ardrossan?

3. Willfully 'standing down' aka 'looking the other way' while Caswell does what Caswell does for a living due to political clout/influence he has in Radnor Township?

4. A combination of 3. and 4.

4.666665
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
Your rating: None

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.":Gil Scott-Heron 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

Woozaleedoodle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-04-27 :45
Posts:

Check out Dan's thread "Ongoing Foolishness Regarding Large Land Parcels". He talks about the bond in response to some questions posed by Carla. .

Citizens to Preserve Radnor (CPR) are the same people of the CONservancy: Nagle, Schaefer, etc. They got the referendum passed because they wanted taxpayer dollars for Ardrossan. However, if you read the referendum, you will see it doesn't require the 20 million dollar bond to go to Ardrossan...which makes the ignoring of Poplar House (and the coddling of the Scott Family) maddening!

4.444445
Average: 4.4 (9 votes)
Your rating: None
chips's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 16 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-02-20 :45
Posts:

the bond issue authorizes spending up to $20 million on acquisition of open space. The question remains has any of this been spent? Also the question you raise: Was this 'designated' for Ardrossan and if so by whom?

Outtathere~ The BoC can, by majority vote, issue bonds and spend up to  $20 million on acquisition of open space, but they have not yet voted to do so.

Was this 'designated' for Ardrossan and if so by whom?

No specific parcels were listed in the voter  referendum. However, the Radnor Conservancy-centric  Radnor Open Space Committee has suggested that 75% of the $20 million must be spent on Ardrossan.

There is also remains significant open space designated money in the original Open Space and Park Improvement Fund and Open Space Real Estate Transfer Fund.

4.8
Average: 4.8 (5 votes)
Your rating: None
carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

Sent out earlier today via e-mail:

 

Dear friends,

One of Radnor's greatest and most historic estates, Poplar House, is at risk of demolition. The new owner of the property, in conjunction with a local developer, is set to demolish the house and probably other buildings on the site, including a carriage house and a circa 1790 farmhouse. 

The house was built in 1902 for the family of Daniel Moreau Barringer, a noted geologist who discovered that a giant crater in Arizona was created by a meteorite. Poplar House was bought in 1914 by the Harrison family, and until her death in 2008, was home to longtime Radnor Historical Society member and president Dorothy Harrison Therman. 

There are a few things everyone can do to help our efforts. Go to our new website, www.poplarhouse.org, to find out more, see historic photographs and to sign our online petition. We also have a "Save Poplar House" fan page on Facebook to keep members informed. Finally, we will have a presence at the next Radnor Board of Commissioners meeting, at 7pm on October 11. If you would like to tell the Board (and the hundreds of Radnor residents who watch the meeting) what you think, make your voice heard at public comment, which will be at the beginning of the meeting.

So please, sign the petition, and pass it on to friends and family. The Main Line has lost so much of its history in recent years, and we can't afford to make Poplar House the next "La Ronda."

Thank you,

4.444445
Average: 4.4 (9 votes)
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Woozaleedoodle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-04-27 :45
Posts:

From what I can tell, that site (or the petition) was created by Radnor Historical Society Board member Greg Prichard. His name appears at the bottom of this link as the creator of the petition -

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?poplar&1

Prichard popped up a few months ago when some of the bloggers on here, myself included, were criticizing Ted Pollard and the Radnor Historical Society when both of 'em publicly claimed to have 'saved' the Eastern University log cabin. Prichard got pretty mad and he and Dan Sherry got into a rather amusing back-and-forth (check out posts 4 through 11 in the following link) -

http://www.saveardmorecoalition.org/node/3952/rip-log-cabin-radnor-lord-helps-those-who-help-themselvesto-demolition

Gotta say that when it comes to the Poplar House, the Radnor Historical Society (and the equally inept Radnor Conservancy) once again TOTALLY SCREWED UP.

Poplar House was on the active real estate market for MONTHS dating back till at least last October...just check out the threads started by Chip Layfield and Dan Sherry, and the article written by Sam Strike back on December 2, 2009 -

http://www.saveardmorecoalition.org/node/3768/yikes-1905-mansion-and-35-acres-just-5-minute-walk-downtown-wayne-sale-yep

http://www.saveardmorecoalition.org/node/3928/radnors-ongoing-foolishness-regarding-large-land-parcels

http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2009/12/02/main_line_suburban_life/news/doc4b15d7f614855183072050.txt

Why didn't the Poplar House website (seemingly created by the Radnor Historical Society) spring up THEN...you know...a YEAR ago?!?! If that occurred, it would have happened BEFORE the property was purchased...and BEFORE Cas Halloway (he of Lot 9 and School Lane infamy) got involved??

Why didn't the Radnor Conservancy address Poplar House in either of the two major newsletters it has published since October, 2009?

Why didn't members/directors/board members of the Radnor Conservancy or the Radnor Historical Society come to BoC meetings (or committee meetings) from October 2009 onwards and plead for the preservation of the Poplar House?

Fact remains, these groups WERE NOT INVOLVED at the time that they NEEDED TO BE INVOLVED. They are not effective preservationists. They are not public advocates...they sit back, and wait for stuff to blow up and then resort to typically ineffective methods such as 'online petitions' and when that fails, they moan that nothing could be done. It's a pattern. Just check out the fiascos of Lot 9 and the Eastern University Log Cabin.

What ever happened to 'Seizing the Initiative' or 'Controlling the Narrative'? Guess that just isn't the S.O.P. of the Radnor CONservancy or the Radnor Historical Society.

Sorry for the harsh tone of this post, but c'mon...a WHOLE YEAR TO SPEAK UP AND SPEAK OUT ABOUT THE POPLAR HOUSE, AND THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND THE CONSERVANCY RESPOND BY DOING NOTHING IN PUBLIC!?!

Pathetic!

4.857145
Average: 4.9 (7 votes)
Your rating: None
ChickenSandwich's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 13 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-04-28 :50
Posts:

good analysis woozie.

s.a.c. bloggers spoke out loudly on the poplar house. i remember seeing dan sherry at a b.o.c. meeting in january (or thereabouts) speaking out on the issue of the poplar house for a long period of time and blasting elaine paul schaefer for telling the press that money in the 20 million dollar referendum had to go to ardrossan (which is false - the referendum does not call for the money to go to any specific land parcel).

on the other hand, the calls for action from the conservancy and the radnor historical society on the poplar house have been, at best, a very weak tea. nothing in the press from them for the past year (good point, wooz!) no speeches at public meetings, nothing circulated in newsletters. as a result, public is not very well informed, and greg 'mexico mexico mexico' prichard has only gotten fifty some signatures for his petition. oh wow. knock me over with a feather.

by the way, dontcha just love how radnor conservancy historical preservation committee chair beverly barnes (signature no. 25) signed the petition -

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?poplar&1

Beverlee Barnes - please consider saving these geat assets

wowwie kazowwie! how forceful and spell-check worthy! what a strong clear call for action!

oh but wait - it looks like the radnor historical society is encouraging people to go to the october 11, 2010 b.o.c. meeting and speak up during the first part of public comment -

cant wait to see and hear what they say. heck, if they actually go to the microphone and introduce themselves, it will be 100 percent more public comment than theyve given thus far on the issue for the past year!

4.166665
Average: 4.2 (6 votes)
Your rating: None
carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

Woozie and Chicken Sandwich:

Beverlee and Greg are both VERY nice and VERY hardworking.  Do you know them? I do.  Is the way they are doing things the mst effective? No and I told them so.  They have to make some noise and so do others in Radnor.  Will either of you be speaking out on Poplar House and saving it? Honestly, I hope so.  Because I hope that if some who aren't as outspoken hear those who are not afraid to speak out talk about it, it might encourage them to be more proactive.

3.75
Average: 3.8 (4 votes)
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

outtathere's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 28 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-12-31 :04
Posts:

s.a.c. bloggers spoke out loudly on the poplar house. i remember seeing dan sherry at a b.o.c. meeting in january (or thereabouts) speaking out on the issue of the poplar house for a long period of time and blasting elaine paul schaefer for telling the press that money in the 20 million dollar referendum had to go to ardrossan (which is false - the referendum does not call for the money to go to any specific land parcel).

Sandwich,

Your memory served you well. The meeting was on 1-25-10 and I was able to locate John Haines' video in the SAC archives. A very unpleasant exchange between Dan and Nagle with Nagle declaring Dan 'out of order' barely a minute into his attempting to address Poplar House. This exchange begins at 23:00. I found Spingler's responses more telling than EPS's. She barely had anything to say for herself except that she is not the "queen of Radnor".

At 28:04, Commissioner Spingler chimes in with: It is in my ward, I went there with another Commissioner (unnamed) and evaluated it. I've known about it, I knew Mrs. Thurman since 1962 and I knew her property was gonna be sold, and uh, the fact of the matter is there is a big building there, it has a lot of steep slopes, and it doesn't have in my mind, my personal mind, any value to the Township for me to spend that money, that 20 million dollars, I went around to everybody in my ward and told them I am trying to buy as much land at Ardrossan with that money as we can, so when I went around and looked at this property and compared it with that, I agree with everything Elaine Shaefer said.

Then Shaefer chimes in and 'reveals' that there is an Open Space Plan that was adopted in 1991 and Ardrossan is in that plan and Poplar House is not.

Now I cannot find the actual 1991 plan online but there is a map on the still extant CPR site which does show the Poplar House property shaded in yellow as "Land At Risk of Further Subdivision". It appears that she is not correct that Poplar House was not included in 1991. It is, after all, the second largest undeveloped tract in Radnor so why would it have been left out?
http://www.citizenstopreserveradnor.org/Open_Space_Planning_-_LWV_map.pdf

Big problem. Who appointed Spingler to decide how the bond money is spent? He keeps referring to "I am trying to buy as much of Ardrossan" etc., etc. etc. ALL the Commissioners vote on how money is spent and ALL the Commissioners on the Open Space Committee or preferably the entire Committee should have been the ones touring the property and making the evaluation. And now that I think of it, SPINGLER is not even on the Open Space Committee so why was he even involved in 'scouting out' the property?

Below is the correct procedure for the "Mechanics of Site Selection" lifted from the CPR site. It was contained in the recommendations to update the 1991 OS plan which was not passed. This procedure, however has been ongoing and was not changed. So why wasn't it followed? Commissioner Spingler's only role in this entire process is to vote on the recommendations that the OS Committee puts before him and the other Commissioners.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

As Dan pointed out in reading directly from the referendum proposal, the bond money most certainly was not designated solely for the purchase of Ardrossan lands. And they were the terms on which the referendum was passed. So if they bond issue was intended all along to purchase only Ardrossan lands, then the voters were deceived and passed the referendum under false pretenses.

I think this entire fiasco deserves serious scrutiny. Here you have a key property that has been on the market for roughly a year. And during that time, nothing was done to prevent the worst of all possible outcomes: A known, high-profile McMansionmeister getting his hands on it with plans to demolish a historic structure that is found to be 'in the way'. This was forseeable. It isn't the first time. Remains to be seen what his and the Nerneys designs are on the 35 acres. Likely, the process is too far along to be reversed without a legal battle.

Nonetheless, it seems worth pursuing to find out what influences paved the way to this sorry state of affairs. The whole thing smells to me.

4.833335
Average: 4.8 (6 votes)
Your rating: None

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.":Gil Scott-Heron 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

politeia's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 2008-07-30 :00
Posts:

Excellent analysis, outtathere.

I think the response to Dan by Spingler and the rest of the commissioners can be summed up in this YouTube.

Is that Poplar House being demolished at the end of this clip?

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves ~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

4.8
Average: 4.8 (5 votes)
Your rating: None

 

 

mainline12's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 6 weeks ago
Joined: 2011-03-07 :10
Posts:

The Nerney's are great people. The house has asbestos. Guaranteed no one even paid attention to this house before they said they were demolishing it. 

2.833335
Average: 2.8 (6 votes)
Your rating: None
carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

Oh yes, I love people that tear down beautiful old homes for McMansions and future development profit.  As for your "guarantees" Mainline12, I wouldn't go to the bank with them as you would be incorrect.  Thanks for stopping by.

3.142855
Average: 3.1 (7 votes)
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

dmuth's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 2005-09-13 :35
Posts:

The Nerney's are great people.

Appeal to emotion. Not such a hot arguing technique.

The house has asbestos.

Now this is much more interesting, and has not come up before. Where'd you hear a thing like that?

4.75
Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
Your rating: None
carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

The house did have asbestos - that IS true.  But does that mean that every old home that has asbestos needs to be demolished?  And of course I can't help but hope that they took all precautions available when demolishing house due to asbestos

3.125
Average: 3.1 (8 votes)
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

chips's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 16 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-02-20 :45
Posts:

I heard from a little bird recently that Spingy was at the cocktail party where the "nice" Nerneys reveled their plan for Mrs. Thurman's. Spingy profusely and loudly thanked the Cas and new owners for developing the site declaring that, "Now we have $20 Million to spend on Ardorssan!"

Odd that "Mr. Open Space" would be toasting the development of 35 acres in his ward (21 acres or so of which are/were densely wooded).

Odd indeed...

5
Average: 5 (6 votes)
Your rating: None
carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

RE: Spingy - there is no douche bag like and old douche bag...which is why I hope Radnor doesn't trust either he or Cas on Louella. UGH Chip that is despicable

3.4
Average: 3.4 (5 votes)
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

chips's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 16 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-02-20 :45
Posts:

I hope Radnor doesn't trust either he or Cas on Louella.

Like no other developer, Cas has had an EZ Pass with Radnor's BoC (particularly with Spingy), much to the township's detriment, in my opinion.

4.8
Average: 4.8 (5 votes)
Your rating: None
chips's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 16 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-02-20 :45
Posts:

My "little bird" just chirped that Spingy's toast to the "nice" Nerneys, Cas and spending the $20 Mill burning a hole in his pocket was also notable because Spingy had stuffed his mouth full of food before his soliloquy and spit sloppily about the room as he spoke. Yep, that's the kind of gross detail that catches the eye of a "little bird". 

 

4.333335
Average: 4.3 (6 votes)
Your rating: None

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.