On March 26, 2018 I wrote a post about Ker-Feal. The country home of Dr. Albert Barnes on 1081 Bodine Road off Yellow Springs Road in West Pikeland Township, Chester County. (And before people start to holler, I found the exact address on the Internet. It’s not a secret.) It also houses a Barnes art collection. His American Art collection.
Today I learned that my favorite land conservation white hats, Natural Lands, has a conservation easement now on the property.
Now I will be honest, as per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Stephen Salisbury, this agreement is creating four preserved parcels.
This broke in the Philadelphia Inquirer May 10th, and sadly I missed the news of this until I received an email from Natural Lands.
Open space restrictions will keep Barnes Foundation Chester County estate free from development
Updated: MAY 10, 2018 — 3:25 PM EDT
by Stephan Salisbury, Staff Writer @spsalisbury | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ker-Feal, the 137-acre Chester County property used by art collector Albert C. Barnes as a country retreat, and owned since his 1951 death by the Barnes Foundation, will have conservation easements placed on it, keeping the land open even if it is sold.
Although there are no plans to sell the property, which is in West Pikeland Township, the Barnes Foundation has worked with Natural Lands, a land conservancy based in Media, to work out an arrangement that allows for subdivision of the property into four permanently protected parcels.
Thomas Collins, head of the Barnes, said in a statement Wednesday that the purpose of the easement was to “preserve the open space and rural character of Ker-Feal in perpetuity.”
….In October, Natural Lands and the Barnes applied to West Pikeland for permission to subdivide Ker-Feal into the four parcels….In addition to the open-land restrictions, the agreement formalizes and protects the route of the Horse-Shoe Trail, a horseback riding and hiking trail that runs through Ker-Feal and on toward Harrisburg.
What the article and conservation easement do NOT cover as per my understanding of the article, is what happens to the art collection housed there.
I found photos of Ker-Feal on the Library of Congress website.
So anyway, I wanted to share this update because it is preservation progress. At least it appears the Barnes Foundation is NOT interested in selling at this point. But since they broke Dr. Barnes’ Trust, who knows what the future might hold, right?
The house should be a museum in it’s own right.
But safe for now is a win, and I am happy about the news.