yes, vintage linens are among my favorite things

So I know I must be pretty boring every time I talk about how much I love vintage linens, but I do.

I bought a couple new old dish towels and these two amazing embroidered vintage pillowcases that were all remainders of an estate sale.

I think people overlooked the pillowcases because they were super yellowed with age in spots including covering the fabulous embroidery. They are embroidered with pine cones and pine branches. I just thought they were so incredibly special.

So I soaked them overnight in Restoration and a little Woolite. You can buy Restoration directly from Engleside Products or on Amazon.

I have said before how terrific this wash is on vintage linens and quilts and old crocheted items. But I wish I had taken a photograph of the pillowcases before I soaked them because this was that amazing a transformation!

Now my old linens are drying on a clothes rack and when they are dry I will press them and put them on my pillows next time I change my sheets!

Don’t overlook old and vintage linens. They add so much charm and character to your home.

I am also in the process of restoring and patching an old flannel-backed quilt from Maine. I love them on our beds in the winter there’s nothing cozier and nicer than an old patchwork quilt and vintage embroidered pillowcases! and if you shop smart and aren’t afraid of cleaning items up you can usually find both of these things at less than fancy dealer prices.

do YOU want signs like this in your community?

A friend of mine sent me this today because they were up in Quakertown, PA.

This is the company that Haverford Township goes to court with this week after many years of no activity. This is the billboard company that Lower Merion Township has gone to court with and Tredyffrin Township is currently in court with as well. This is the billboard company that has been to West Whiteland, Phoenixville borough, Charlestown Township, and now is beginning a journey with East Whiteland Township.

I think this is like the best of tacky Vegas and that’s not where we live is it? I think it’s even worse than I 95. But that’s just my opinion.

What is your opinion on the signs out there in blog reader land? I am honestly interested in your opinions. Feel free to leave a comment.

Billboards = Blight

#NoBillboards #NoBillboardsInTheBurbs

big anti-billboard turnout in east whiteland

It was a packed room with people standing on the sides of the room for the Billboard hearings in East Whiteland tonight.

Tonight was about establishing party status for people with regard to each individual hearing for each individual application. As kind of expected pretty much everyone was objected to and if Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny had been present they would’ve been objected to as well.

The meeting was honestly quite contentious at times and once the video is up I will post a link so people can see it for themselves. One thing I did not care for was when East Whiteland ‘s solicitor threatened to have police remove a resident. It was a woman, a very nice woman whom I actually know, and she didn’t understand the process.

And that was something tonight that I thought was problematic – it was very confusing trying to understand the process. I sort of understood the process, or most of the process because I’ve been to these hearings before, but I was in the distinct minority and it wasn’t explained well.

Ginny Kerslake from West Whiteland showed up and suggested that East Whiteland do what West Whiteland did and request a full scale test of the signs.  That’s a really good common sense suggestion so I hope it happens.

Also the billboard company is going to have an open house coming up for residents of East Whiteland at the Desmond Hotel. I am a little fuzzy on the date ( I *think* it is Thursday, January 23 at 7 PM) and as soon as I have clarity I will post it here. I would suggest that residents go.

I have a feeling this is the first of many, many Billboard hearings. Tonight you had people showing up with legitimate reasons for wanting party status other than immediate proximity to the locations. Health impacts. Serious health impacts. I will give East Whiteland Supervisors kudos here for standing up for those residents, in particular, Supervisor Rich Orlow.

Anyway good job East Whiteland residents and others. Not a fun meeting for anyone. but if you care about your community this is just one of those issues where you have to keep showing up.

I did not see anyone from State Senator Dinniman’s office or anyone from State Rep. Kristine Howard’s office either.

over-development coming to radnor on dodo hamilton’s property?

218 Strafford Ave

A Radnor Township friend called this morning about this:

New housing in works for Wayne estate of Campbell Soup heiress Dodo Hamilton
By Linda Stein lstein@21st-centurymedia.com @lsteinreporter on Twitter Jan 13, 2020 Updated Jan 13, 2020

New housing in works for Wayne estate of Campbell Soup heiress Dodo Hamilton

RADNOR — Although no plans have been filed with the township, word is getting around that a developer has set his sights on the Wayne property of the late Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton, who was one of the Main Line’s iconic grande dames….Hamilton, a billionaire who grew up in New York and Newport, R.I., where she also kept a home, was a generous philanthropist who gave millions to various institutions in the Philadelphia area….Radnor Township Board of Commissioners President Jack Larkin, who represents Ward 1, has written about the pending development at Eagle and Strafford roads in his newsletters to residents. When asked to comment, Larkin referred a reporter to those missives.

“The developer has shown me two concept sketches for the lots; the first is purportedly a by-right plan, and includes approximately 40 homes,” Larkin wrote in his newsletter. “This is, to me, an unattractive plan: Because the units are, by right, single family dwellings, cramming 40 homes onto the two lots means filling them with houses without space for buffers, open space, or stormwater recharge areas.”

Larkin continued, “The second plan would require a conditional use approval by the township, and would put approximately 50 homes into the two lots —41 town homes on the western lot, and nine single-family dwellings onto the eastern lot. Because the homes on the western lot are town homes, they leave a lot of space for the things that are absent in the by-right plan: Stormwater management, sidewalks, buffers, and open space. The density is problematic for me, but with that in mind, it is a good plan.”…Meanwhile, about 40 nearby neighbors sent this statement to Larkin: “We understand and appreciate the developer’s rights to develop the property, and our goal as a neighborhood is not to squash any development, but to mitigate any negative changes to the neighborhood and keep its current character. For those of us who have lived here many years, we have seen the negative effects of cutting down trees on the Hamilton’s property and the building of just four homes on the corner of Strafford and Eagle Road. Despite the assurances of the engineers, developers, and other experts, our neighborhood has been substantially damaged and our lives negatively affected by ‘tiny’ changes to the Hamilton’s property. There are approximately 40 neighbors on Strafford, Hedgerow, Grant, Forrest, Fairfield, and Old Eagle School who will attest to being harmed financially by the improper regulation of storm water runoff in the past.

“The character of the neighborhood will be drastically changed by the proposed development. Haverford Properties is seeking to double the number of homes within our small community. Our current neighborhood contains 35 acres and 64 homes, approximately two homes per acre. The developers plan to build 50 homes will result in 114 homes, for over three homes per acre….Meanwhile, the developer, Charles Houder, with Haverford Properties Inc., declined comment, saying that he wants to meet with the neighbors first.

Is dear Dodo turning in her grave yet? Do we think the esteemed and philanthropic Dodo would have wanted this for her beloved home?  I mean isn’t the family raking in the cash already? They made what, like $9 million off of the sale of the Newport, Rhode Island property in 2018 according to Town & Country Magazine:

“Judge Judy” Scheindlin and husband Jerry have made the move to Newport, Rhode Island, with the purchase of a $9 million mansion. The iconic home, known as the ‘Bird House” and previously owned by Campbell Soup heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton, sits atop one of the highest points in all of Newport

And then there were the auctions of antiques and stuff, right? There was one at Bunch in Chadds Ford I remember. And the millions from the auctions held by Freeman’s right? (One was written up in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Freeman’s also auctioned off some of her very spectacular jewelry, didn’t they? (Forbes even mentioned the jewelry, and Philadelphia Magazine had an article too at the time.)

In 2008 Philadelphia Magazine wrote an article on Mrs. Hamilton:

The Last Great Lady
Campbell Soup heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton has enjoyed a life of wealth and glamour: a debutante coming-out splashed in the “New York Times”, summers in Newport, and years as the face (and hat!) of the Main Line. In the waning days of Philly high society, we need “Mrs. H.” more than ever.

by AMY KORMAN· 10/21/2008, 10:02 a.m.

Matt Hamilton already knew that his mother was one of your more independent billionaire heiresses…. (When you’re a billionairess, people call you “Mrs.”) With her elegant suits and trademark wide-brimmed hats, she might look the part of the classic old-school socialite, but Dorrance Hill Hamilton (“Dodo” was a nickname inherited from her mother) puts her own stamp on everything she does. This past summer, her clan joined her in Newport, Rhode Island, to celebrate her 80th birthday at a full-on ball at the Newport Country Club — just around the corner from her summer estate, a splendid 1901 mansion called Wildacre — that featured, among other things, face-painting and an ice sculpture in the shape of a dodo bird. Along with her blue satin dress and emeralds, the guest of honor wore a tiny red hat in the shape of a birthday cake….Dorrance Hamilton was born to the role of socialite, of course — she is, famously, the granddaughter of Dr. John T. Dorrance, who invented the condensing process for soup and became the president of the Campbell Soup company in 1914. But while she has led a rarefied life, she is much more invested in carefully distributing her wealth, making sure that the money she bestows so generously is working properly. Recent gifts include $25 million to Thomas Jefferson Hospital; $5 million to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; $5 million to the Kimmel Center; $1 million to the costume collection at the Art Museum’s Perelman Building; and quietly dispersed millions to education causes all over the city, including several parochial schools in West Philly. In essence, she is CEO of what might be called Dorrance Hamilton, Inc., juggling businesses, charities, real estate projects and foundations.

So given what the late Mrs. Hamilton was about, would she be about having a cram plan of her estate whose driveway is on Strafford Avenue in Wayne, adjacent to the Eagle Village Shops ? You know where The Little House Shop and Valley Forge Flowers and more are?

This is the furthermost edge of Radnor Township and will also IMHO drastically affect Tredyffrin Residents won’t it? Traffic is already a nightmare there regularly, and what of Radnor Township School District?  This morning I had parents with kids in Radnor schools express serious concerns off the record.  Apparently the schools like many other schools and school districts are bursting at the seams.  More development doesn’t alleviate this issue. Also back there is a mess when it really rains, so what about storm water management?

Here is what Delaware County has about the real estate parcels. The commercial parcel is Eagle Village and all those stores:

 

Whether it’s the by right plan or the one which would require zoning approvals, why is this what they want to do with the property? I get that the heirs probably have their own ideas about what should happen, but is this what Mrs. Hamilton would have wanted?

For example, Mrs. Hamilton was an avid gardener. I have a Clivia plant that I bought decades ago at St. David’s Fair. It had been grown in Mrs. Hamilton’s greenhouses.  I almost lost this plant a few years ago when I accidentally left it out in too much sun.

And do people know here how she restored the famous Frederick Law Olmstead Jr’s Blue Garden in Newport, RI??  She was a fixture literally at the Philadelphia Flower Show for decades.

Does anyone here much know that she founded the Swiss Village Foundation also up in Newport, Rhode Island. SVF is a nonprofit that along with Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine  is dedicated to preserving heritage breeds of livestock. One of the animals they study and protect are the Dutch Belted Cattle which many in Chester County recognize as the “Oreo” cows. Mrs. Hamilton was mourned throughout New England when she died  for all she did.

She gave millions away to charity and seriously, are her heirs suddenly destitute or something? I mean I could get not wanting to be responsible for all of the land but why overly dense development?  Why not have at least part of the property become something like an arboretum like Jenkins, or even go under the umbrella of PHS (you know like  Meadowbrook Farm?)

I find this all to be incredibly sad. And it’s truly so disappointing that her family is considering this. I mean do they need the money that badly? I wish they would consider something else.  But in the end, will they care enough? Who knows. This sad saga is just beginning.  And I predict the surrounding residents will not just go quietly into the night over this. Nor should they.

218 Straf

christmas has left the building

Bit by bit, Christmas has left the building. It has taken longer this year post knee surgery. I also have been sorting the ornaments, honing down what I actually use versus what I haven’t been using.

I did decide I really liked the look of my copper tray loaded up with my old glass candlesticks, so that I am keeping that the same way. I have just put away the Christmas candles and the Christmas tablecloth I used this year which was a cheerful tartan. Now I have one of the vintage damask tablecloths I own on the table. It’s sort of a deep teal to green shade. Totally mid-century and totally fun.

Only the tree remains up and that is indeed a process to take down. The old ornaments all go into their own boxes. One by one. It’s old mercury glass topper has already been put away.

One thing I linger on is my great grandparents’ German Kugel that hung in their home in Lancaster when Mumma, my maternal grandmother, was a little girl. Mumma gave it to my mother, who gave it to me. I don’t have any daughters so I don’t know to whom I will pass it some day.

What I can’t ever decide about the Kugel is should I put it away. It hangs on the dining room chandelier and I love to look at it. So should I keep it hanging? I want to, but realistically if I keep it hanging all year round, chances are I will damage it. So into it’s box it will go until next year.

That is the funny thing about Christmas decorations. There are some you could look at all year round like the Kugel, and others like the Santas and Nutcrackers who seem to stare at you after a while.

Until next year, Christmas, until next year.

east whiteland are you woke to billboard issue YET?

When is the last time you saw essentially EVERY local television network report on an issue in suburbia? Well they turned out in force for billboards in Bryn Mawr. This makes me happy personally, because I was at most of the billboard hearing meetings which began in May, 2009.

So the media should have said MORE than a decade when referring to when this issue began for the beleaguered residents of Bryn Mawr. And while the billboard location is Haverford Township, those billboards also will affect Lower Merion Township residents across Lancaster Avenue. I took the next photo on May 7, 2009. Residents bought blue tarps and put them all together so everyone could see how big a billboard would be. I’ve never forgotten this visual.

NBC 10: Billboard Battle Rages in Bryn Mawr

CBS 3: “These Signs Aren’t Safe’: Decade-Old Billboard Battle Renewed On The Main Line

6 ABC BILLBOARD CONTROVERSY IN HAVERFORD, PA.

VILLAGE VIEW: We don’t want billboards in Bryn Mawr By Bonnie Squires, For MediaNews Group Dec 30, 2019

More than a decade later because it’s actually been 11 years for these Bryn Mawr billboards, the meeting rooms still get packed every time this company comes calling. And last night it wasn’t just residents. People from other communities and staff members from State Senators’ offices and State Representatives’ offices. I actually saw in one news report that State Representative Greg Vitali was there.

I spent years going to meetings about these billboards before I moved to Chester County. Then the issue seemed to slow down but I always felt they would be back. In the intervening years I have watched this billboard company go to Phoenixville (see this article too), Tredyffrin, West Whiteland, Charlestown (yes Charlestown!) and more. Now they want to come to East Whiteland.

And sorry not sorry, as is the case with many other things, East Whiteland seems kind of asleep at the municipal wheel and why? How many things are some of these Supervisors going to seemingly ignore?

Relative from Scenic America:

To learn more about billboard blight and what you can do about it, click on any of the issue areas below:

The Truth about Billboards

Digital Billboards

Legal Issues and Billboards

Public Opinion on Billboards

Tools for action

On-Premise Sign Control

And don’t forget three states in this country prohibit billboards: Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine. So it IS possible.

This company wants to put THREE giant electronic billboards in East Whiteland. This needs to be STOPPED.

There is no reason why we need these billboards in our community. They do nothing for us except destroy communities. I mean if these signs were really so fabulous don’t you think the owner and employees of this billboard company would have them on their own front lawns? This is about using our communities just to make them money isn’t it?

I warned everyone a public hearing was coming in a prior post that also had the proposed locations.

Well East Whiteland’s agenda is out:

January 15 at 7 PM. East Whiteland Township Building as of now. Please turn out for this meeting and turn it up. For residents in the communities not too far off of Lancaster Avenue you’re going to want to come to this meeting too. Those signs are that bright that you need to seriously be concerned in my humble opinion. ( And don’t forget what West Whiteland did to test HOW bright the signs proposed there would be)

Oh! And speaking of West Whiteland, is this 2019 LLC entity thingy West Whiteland or another municipality? Where is this for?

And oh yeah maybe a little excerpt from a very lengthy 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer article:

Since 2008, Thaddeus J. Bartkowski III’s billboard wars have flared in more than a dozen communities in Delaware and Montgomery counties.

Now he is moving on Phoenixville, with the first shot fired toward the Chester County borough’s historic downtown.

If Bartkowski prevails, three electronic, V-shaped billboards, 12 feet high and 40 feet wide, will go up along Nutt Road, a major thoroughfare. They will rise 43 feet above a borough that has struggled to reinvent itself, filling the void of industrial decline with quaint shops, good restaurants, and gussied-up rowhouses…..In tonier Pennsylvania suburbs in particular, Bartkowski has tried to erect billboards by mounting legal challenges to municipal zoning codes.

He has used as ammunition Pennsylvania Supreme Court rulings dating to the 1960s that outlaw “exclusionary zoning,” typically in regard to low- and moderate-income housing. Municipalities may not restrict development in ways that keep out specific classes of people or kinds of businesses…..Attorney Jim Byrne, Bartkowski’s most notable opponent, represents six municipalities in their fight against the billboards. He contends they can bar the signs as long as the municipalities prove they represent a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of residents by, say, distracting drivers.

The exclusionary zoning thing? Why is that important here ? Because exclusionary zoning is something that was designed more with affordable housing in mind, not billboards. I find that offensive. Of course it also makes me wonder what they actually do in Harrisburg all day. After all it’s no joke that the Municipalities Planning Code is out of date. Where are the laws that protect the residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from the blight of billboards in small towns?

East Whiteland needs to get woke and fast. Don’t just bitch on social media in local groups about this issue, roll up and attend this meeting. I hope people from other municipalities show up in solidarity too.

Please call State Senator Andy Dinniman’s office ( 610-692-2112 ) and ask him to attend this East Whiteland meeting. It would also be nice to ask invisible State Representative Kristine Howard (610-251-1070) attend but she will undoubtedly have an excuse.

Don’t you think billboards equal blight in our communities? What do you think things like this actually do for property values in addition?

Residents YES. Billboards NO.