Feed aggregator

Montco Lawmaker Apologizes For Local Gov's 'Snow Failure'

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-01-25 22:27
"I want to apologize for the snow response failure of the municipality...(please do) continue to complain and demand constituent service."
Categories: Lower Merion

Narberth mayor vetoes controversial zoning ordinance

Main Line Times - Mon, 2016-01-25 18:32
Controversy continues in the Borough of Narberth as to what will happen will the Baptist Church located at 198 Elmwood Street. That is because Mayor Tom Grady has vetoed Ordinance Number 984 which determines if it will remain a residential property or become a residence/office building.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion Schools Have Delayed Opening Tuesday

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-01-25 18:13
Crews worked hard throughout the day Monday, but things will still be opening late on Tuesday.
Categories: Lower Merion

save strafford’s old covered wagon inn!

Chester County Ramblings - Mon, 2016-01-25 14:14

Pattye Benson Community Matters photo

Yesterday I wrote about the wrecking ball of doom hanging over a very beloved and well-recognized landmark, the Old Covered Wagon Inn of Strafford PA. Once it was a tale of two counties, and apparently at some point the structure got plunked 100% in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County. (Say, has anyone asked Radnor Township how they feel about this??  It is right on the border and they are always taking care of than intersection aren’t they?)

Today thanks to Pattye Benson I have these great photos to share with you.  And a new post:

Preserving Tredyffrin: Inside the Covered Wagon Inn Today January 25, 2016


There has been questions about the exact date of the Covered Wagon Inn. According to Tredyffrin Township’s 2003 Historic Resource Survey, the construction date is attributed to circa 1780. A team of professionals from Preservation Design Partnership in Philadelphia conducted the municipal survey documentation project, which surveyed and documented over 350 historic resources in Tredyffrin Township.

Interestingly in 2004, the Historic Resource Survey was given the Government Award by Preservation Pennsylvania. The project was described as “providing a usable preservation planning tool for a suburban township currently under intense development and redevelopment (in the form of “tear-downs”) pressure.”  The award description went on to say that, “Tredyffrin Township Historic Resources Survey represents a model for the use of technology to document and plan for the management, protection and preservation of historic buildings, sites and districts valued by a municipality.”

The township’s 2003 Historic Resource Survey was funded with taxpayer dollars and was intended to aid the municipal officials and staff in the protection of Tredyffrin Township’s resources. The preservation of historic buildings like the Covered Wagon Inn is a one-way street.  There is no chance to reuse or save the building, once it’s gone.  Preservation and restoration is the ultimate form of recycling.  What is historic, and worth saving, varies with the beholder.


How horribly and sadly true. Not everyone sees the value in our old and historic structures.

Don’t you wish they would in this case?

http://tinyurl.com/SaveCoveredWagonInn   (Sign the petition!)

 http://www.facebook.com/SaveCoveredWagonInn (like the Facebook page and share your memories and photos!)

The Facebook messages and memories are pouring in – today one that just touched my heart:


I proposed to my lovely wife 64 years ago there


I.can’t.even. How beautiful.

All these people sharing all of these memories.

And less than 24 hours after launching the Facebook Save page…  1,141 likes and growing! The petition had 1893 signatures last count and that also has not been up a full 24 hours.

#ThisPlaceMatters Keep it up!  Thank you for caring!

Covered Wagon Inn fireplace. Photo courtesy of Pattye Benson Community Matters




Categories: Pennsylvania

(VIDEO) Spring-Ford Captures 45 Hours Of Blizzard In One Minute

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-01-25 13:18
This incredible time lapse video shows the historic storm as it progresses.
Categories: Lower Merion

Narberth mayor vetoes controversial zoning ordinance

Main Line Times - Mon, 2016-01-25 12:59
Controversy continues in the Borough of Narberth as to what will happen with the former Baptist Church at 198 Elmwood Street. That is because Mayor Tom Grady opted to veto Ordinance Number 984 which determines if it will remain a residential property or become a residence/office building.
Categories: Lower Merion

Section Of 422 To Close Overnight For Construction

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-01-25 12:34
Traffic will be detoured through the early morning hours as work on a bridge connecting Montgomery and Chester counties continues.
Categories: Lower Merion

Preserving Tredyffrin: Inside the Covered Wagon Inn Today

There has been questions about the exact date of the Covered Wagon Inn. According to Tredyffrin Township’s 2003 Historic Resource Survey, the construction date is attributed to circa 1780. A team of professionals from Preservation Design Partnership in Philadelphia conducted the municipal survey documentation project, which surveyed and documented over 350 historic resources in Tredyffrin […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

How Much Will Cops Fine You For Keeping Snow On Car?

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-01-25 10:56
Pennsylvania law states vehicle should be clear of snow; some 500 people die annually in U.S. from flying snow, ice.
Categories: Lower Merion

'Funky Brunch and Market' In Ardmore

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Mon, 2016-01-25 10:30
Vendors, live music, and great food at this unique upcoming event.
Categories: Lower Merion

Your Monday morning roads report after monster snow

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-01-25 07:20
If you're not still in school, or a teacher or school administrator, you're facing the task of making the trek to work today. There is good news and bad news.

I just made the commute into beautiful downtown Primos.

Full confession: Since I worked last night, I actually started working this morning from home. That's part of the problem. Normally when I'm on the road, there is almost no one else out. It's nice to have the road to yourself.

You won't have that luxury this morning. For more reasons than one.

First things first: The main roads are fine. Yes, there are a few snow-covered spots, but I just sailed down West Chester Pike and Route 1 Bypass. No problems.

I even dated Providence Road, and it wasn't really an issue.

The biggest problem you might have is getting out of your development, and maybe your driveway, depending on how good a shoveling job you did.

That does not mean there are not issues.

Here's the biggest problem. There is so much snow piled up on the sides of the road, that the passageways are much narrower than normal. In many instances, there is barely enough room for two cars to pass in different directions. Turn lanes have been obliterated in some spots.

Any time you are taking a turn, use caution, the snow is piled on every corner, not leaving much space to complete your turn. I ran into one big issue when I cruised up to the light at the new intersection to go right on Route 252 from Providence Road near Rose Tree Park. Normally when I tool through there earlier, there is no one on the road, I take my right turn and sail on toward the Bypass.

Not this morning. The right-turn lane was still snow-covered. The guy in front of me was trying to take a left. And that's the problem.

The light never changed. All it did was give the right-hand turn green light. But he wanted to go left. It never gave him a green light. The guy behind me, of course, decided to lay on the horn. Eventually he went around both of us and made his right turn. Not that bright since that is the lane cars were using to turn left from Route 252 to go on Providence.

I actually waited through another entire light before I also went around the guy.

Take it easy and you won't have a problem. Just be sure to realize you don't have anywhere near as much space as you normally do.

That's a testament to how much snow we got.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A snowless winter? Uh, not any more

Heron's Nest - Mon, 2016-01-25 05:08
So much for El Nino.

And our snowless winter.

I should have known it was too good to be true.

It started snowing on the ride home Friday night. It did not stop until late Saturday night. That's right, 24 hours of snow.

Jonas lived up to his billing. And who had the silly idea of naming winter storms anyhow.

I don't find anything about the snow cute.

I think I shoveled out the driveway three different times on Saturday. And of course I had a few more inches to deal with when I got up Sunday morning.

For the most part, it looks like we survived. Thankfully, we never lost power.

Schoolkids should be happy. They're getting a long weekend with a day off today.

Plowing is another thing altogether. With this much snow, anywhere from 14 inches to 2 feet across the region, plowing was a challenge. One of the problems is where to put it. After heaving snow up and over a four-foot-high wall of snow in the driveway, I have a new appreciation for the guys manning these plows.

It could have been worse.

I was working from home.

Twenty years ago, that was not the case.

It's in my weekly print column.
Categories: Pennsylvania

AAA Releases Monday Morning Commute Tips For Philly Area

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2016-01-24 21:59
Hopefully you don't have to go out Monday morning. But if you do, these tips might prove very helpful.
Categories: Lower Merion

Lower Merion Schools Closed Monday

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2016-01-24 21:31
The Lower Merion School District will be shut down Monday.
Categories: Lower Merion

Wynnewood's Total Snow Accumulation

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sun, 2016-01-24 13:01
Now that the snow dust has finally settled, see how Wynnewood compares to the rest of Montgomery County.
Categories: Lower Merion

for the love of community and history

Chester County Ramblings - Sun, 2016-01-24 11:00


photo courtesy of Pattye Benson and Community Matters. artistic filters applied courtesy of Simple Shots Photography: The Magic of Ordinary Days


When my friend Pattye Benson told me about what was up for discussion at a recent Tredyffrin Township meeting, I thought I misunderstood her. I thought they could NOT possibly raze the old Covered Wagon Inn located in Strafford on the corner of Lancaster and Old Eagle School. After all, it is one of the most rcognized landmarks on that part of the upper end of the Main Line in Tredyffrin, Chester County. It also is an ongoing example of adaptive reuse. No matter who rents or owns the site, it endures.

But it is true. (check it out on Scribd)

As Pattye writes for Community Matters:

The last item in front of the Planning Commissioners tonight has personal interest – a land development application to demolish a building a construct a CVS Pharmacy and drive-thru. Summit Realty Advisors will present a plan for the 1-1/2 acre property located at 625/629 East Lancaster Ave. in Wayne. This property is located on the corner of Old Eagle School Road and Lancaster Ave – the Paddock Restaurant (previously John Harvards Brew House) property.

I have no issue with the redevelopment of this property, including the demolition of the ‘new addition’ located at 629 Lancaster, which housed the Paddock Restaurant. But … I have a real problem with demolition of 625 East Lancaster Ave, the historic building that currently houses Thos. Moser Furniture. According to Tredyffrin Township’s 2003 Historic Resource Survey, the building was built about 1780 as a private resident. John Palmer owned a farm which included this structure in 1873, indicated on the 1881 atlas map. The structure was enlarged during the 20th century and was known as the Covered Wagon Inn. Well-known on the Main Line for fine dining and dancing, in its heyday the Covered Wagon Inn featured big name bands and performing artists such as Count Basie and Duke Ellington and their orchestras.

I personally also have no issue with redevelopment per se (although I will admit I do not see the need of yet ANOTHER big box of a chain drug store or a big box store in general) but like Pattye I have a HUGE issue with razing this historic building. The old Covered Wagon Inn has stood for 250 years. It’s a local landmark in use currently, means something to the area, so why demolish it? Especially when the Summit Group ironically was involved with a very special adaptive reuse in Ambler, PA as Pattye continues:

In a review of the Summit Realty Advisors website, there are many, many CVS Pharmacy development projects, including a similar current project in Media. However, in the midst of their drug store building portfolio, I discovered a very special project by John Zaharchuk, owner/developer with Summit Realty Advisors. Zaharchuk oversaw the redevelopment of Ambler Boiler House, the 19th century power plant of an abandoned asbestos factory. Working with historic architectural firm, Heckendorn-Shiles (a former historic house tour sponsor) of Wayne, the project redesigned the circa 1897 brick building, preserving its architectural integrity and recycled it into a clean-and-green office development.

Now…what to do with this? You see a major stumbling block is Tredyffrin, like many Chester County municipalities, historic structures are NOT protected (you know like Linden Hall and Loch Aerie in East Whiteland for two other examples?)

 So what can we do?  Quite simply raise awareness and try to change the developer’s mind. Can we do it Chester County and beyond? The answer is we can darn well try! The building is in good shape and occupied and has been basically continually throughout the course of time.

 Yesterday we put our heads together as the blizzard swirled around us and we started a Save The Covered Wagon Inn, Strafford Pa page on Facebook, launched a petition on Change.org http://tinyurl.com/SaveCoveredWagonInn .

In less than 24 hours we have just shy of 500 signatures already on the petition (and growing!) and well OVER 1000 Facebook page likes and growing. Thank you to those who have joined us already and here is an invitation for any of you out there wherever you are to join us!

#ThisPlaceMatters so we have shared our early efforts with The National Trust For Historic Preservation too! In addition to the petition and Facebook page we invite anyone who is preservation minded especially when it comes the the old Covered Wagon Inn to take a photo outside the building with a simple hand lettered sign on a pie of copy paper that says #THISPLACEMATTERS and either post it on the Save The Covered Wagon Inn Facebook Page or post it on Twitter to @SavingPlaces @tredyffrin @TredyffrinTwp  .

Also we are looking for photos of the Old a Covered a Wagon Inn throughout the years. You can send them to Pattye Benson directly at tredyffrincommunitymatters@gmail.com or post them on or message them to the Facebook page.

 One thing that has come out of this since we launched the Facebook page is people sharing memories of The Old Covered Wagon Inn throughout the years. My friends and I in our early 20s danced many a night away at the then “Main Lion” . Here are some of the other memories:

“My parents met at the Covered Wagon! It was a family favorite…..for so many reasons.”

“I have a personal connection, it was the site of my wedding reception. More long term, my family, Davis’, have a long history in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County ,dating back to the 1600’s as shown by Graves in the Valley Baptist Church off Valley Forge Rd, Devon. Please preserve and protect the history of this area and this building in particular.

“My mother took me to see Harry James at the Covered Wagon. She convinced me to go backstage to get his autograph. He must have been in his 70s but he could really play. Nicest guy you’d ever want to meet.”

“They can’t do it!!! Our Saint Katharine of Siena eighth grade graduation celebration was there!! It’s like tearing down Independence Hall, or Betsy Ross’s house. Buildings that involved very very important people and/or events MUST be preserved, cherished and maintained.”

“I remember the 70’s when Mt. Zion AME Church Devon had many Fashion Shows at The Old Covered Wagon Inn. It was gorgeous. So much history. Hopefully it will be restored.”

“The Old Covered Wagon was a frequent advertiser in the Radnor Historical Society Bulletin years ago; feel free to use this ad if you wish to post it.”


from the Radnor Historical Society

There is also another post on Community Matters you should read:

Save the Covered Wagon Inn … Say No to Demolition of Main Line Landmark!


Community Matters/Pattye Benson photo

Well that is all from me on this snowy Sunday morning. Thanks for stopping by. We hope you will sign and share the petition. As an extended community our history matters.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Blizzard 2016: How A Basketball Team Survived 24 Hours Stuck On The Highway

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sat, 2016-01-23 21:26
After nearly 24 hours stuck on a bus on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, members of the Duquesne basketball team are on the move.
Categories: Lower Merion

Snowblower Fire Reported In Lower Merion

Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch - Sat, 2016-01-23 20:32
The crew stretched a line and quickly extinguished the fire, the fire department reported.
Categories: Lower Merion

Save the Covered Wagon Inn … Say No to Demolition of Main Line Landmark!

In front of Tredyffrin Township Planning Commissioners on Thursday night was the Preliminary Land Development application for 625/629 East Lancaster Avenue in Wayne.  Developer Summit Realty Advisors submitted a plan which demolishes the historic 18th century Covered Wagon Inn to construct a new CVS Pharmacy with drive-through and parking. I attended the Planning Committee meeting […]
Categories: Pennsylvania

Firefighters quickly extinguish snowblower fire in Ardmore Saturday

Main Line Times - Sat, 2016-01-23 14:36
Firefighters from the Merion Fire Company of Ardmore came to the aid of a resident on the 200 block of Church Road in Ardmore when his snow caught fire Saturday morning. The snow blower caught fire while in the driveway of the home at about 10:30 a.m.
Categories: Lower Merion