New preservation projects will be sprouting up across Pennsylvania this summer. PHMC’s preservation partners will start 48 new projects with the assistance of the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant program in the coming months.
This year’s recipients certainly showcase the array of Pennsylvania’s rich heritage and myriad of different efforts to preserve or document these historic properties. Projects include innovative planning projects that grapple with complicated reuse strategies of a community’s historic institutional buildings to sharing the robust history of an integrated mid-20th century neighborhood. PA-SHPO staff are excited to work with these organizations and municipalities to ensure that preservation is an outcome in their communities.
Below are descriptions of some of the projects from this year’s selection of funded applications. To see the whole list of this year’s recipients, check out the Commission’s press release.
City of Lancaster, PA
The City of Lancaster plans to undertake a small area plan for the future of the 1851 Lancaster County Prison, a contributing property in the Lancaster City Historic District (1995RE38497). The County of Lancaster will relocate the county prison facility and transfer ownership of the property to the City.
In preparation, the city of Lancaster will investigate the future of the property and the surrounding area analyzing potential land uses, the historic resources, appropriate scale of future development, transportation improvements, and more. The city received a grant of $25,000 to complete the project.
Chester County Department of Facilities
Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the historic Chester County Courthouse (1972RE00212) in West Chester has six massive full Corinthian columns constructed of cast iron cladding over brick infill across its front façade. Cracks in the base and shaft castings have led to spalling, endangering the building occupants and the general public using the courthouse steps for events and ceremonies.
While the Chester County Justice Center houses much of the county’s judicial and office space, the historic Courthouse still houses a working District Court and historic Courtroom 1 functions for ceremonial events. They received a grant for $100,000 to repair or replace the damaged sections to prevent further water damage and preserve the structural and historic integrity of these columns.
Glen Foerd Conservation Corporation
Glen Foerd at Torresdale (1979RE00502) is located within the Philadelphia park system at the northern terminus of the city. The site is well used by the local community as open space and passive recreation and was a significant early preservation win to save the c. 1853 mansion house from demolition.
This project will complete the second phase of emergency structural work on the sunporch of the house that was deemed unsafe. The north side of the porch will be repaired including the windows, foundation, and structural columns supporting the second-floor porch roof. The organization received a grant of $98,701.50. To learn more about the organization’s programming or plan a visit, please check out their website at https://www.glenfoerd.org/.
Presque Isle Light Station
The Erie Land Lighthouse (1978RE00853), listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1978, is in need of significant masonry repair as the mortar joints were failing and allowing moisture intrusion. The Lighthouse is open to the public daily, and the project will ensure that the lighthouse, one of three gracing Erie’s landscape, will be preserved for the future.
Presque Isle Light Station is the current steward of the property under lease agreement with the Erie Western PA Port Authority. Presque Isle Light Station was awarded a grant of $17,250 to complete the work at the Erie Land Lighthouse. Get tour information at https://www.presqueislelighthouse.org/learn.
Preservation Pittsburgh received $7,500 to hire a consultant to prepare a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the small neighborhood of Belmar Gardens (2023RE04058).
Located in Pittsburgh’s East End, the historic district comprises a 1952 cooperative housing development, the first Federal Housing Authority insured development in Western Pennsylvania that provided housing for middle-income African-Americans. To learn more about Preservation Pittsburgh and their programs, please visit their website at http://www.preservationpgh.org/.
West Overton Village
A grant of $100,000 was awarded to the organization to structural and façade improvements of West Overton Village and Museums (1983RE00942), located in East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County.
The project will focus on five historic buildings within National Register listed historic site that are critical to the site’s interpretation and growing earned revenue. Two adaptively reused barns, the Summer Kitchen, and the Carriage House will undergo masonry repairs. In addition to masonry work, the windows and blinds of the 1838 Overholt Home will be repaired. West Overton Village is open for visitors, please visit their website for more information: https://www.westovertonvillage.org/.
Grantees will start their projects by late summer and early fall. More to come about these great projects in your local news and within our blog.
Congratulations to this year’s recipients!