Social media has totally amped up since earlier this afternoon and Caln residents and historic preservationists and history buffs all over Chester County are SO upset. I am upset right along with them. The raping and pillaging of a historic house before demolition has begun.
1757. The Lloyd Farm farmhouse was built in 1757. We weren’t even a country yet. I could just cry it’s so awful.
Yes….sadly, the barbarians have arrived at the proverbial gates of Lloyd farm.
Today, hours ago, people started getting messages that salvagers were in the house ripping away. Hardware, mantlepieces, doors, paneling, trim, you name it. Going going until it’s gone, right?
Readers, I didn’t want to be right about what is happening here, but sadly my gut instinct when I first heard about this is coming true. This is just like Addison Mizner’s La Ronda in Bryn Mawr all over again. I don’t understand people that take houses down not because they have to but because they can, do you?
Much as was the case with La Ronda (and I was there then), residents came over today to Lloyd Farm on a sacred pilgrimage to say good-bye. As you can see, residents have sent me LOTS of photos.
(I will note again however that in the case of La Ronda (which was in Lower Merion Township also a first class township like Caln ), the commissioners in Lower Merion and their township staff were 100% supportive of their residents wishing to save La Ronda – the township wanted it saved too. Mind you, you can’t say that about Caln, can you?)
Something I find profoundly disturbing looking at the photos is whomever the people were inside the house salvaging today have seemingly broken every window in the house and WHY????? Why be common vandals? Every salvager and antique and scrap dealer will tell you there is big money in intact 18th century windows complete with glass, so why wanton destruction? Sadly my opinion is they do it because they can. Today’s salvaging was described to me as like ripping limbs off a body. And they weren’t very bright because of the hardware and shutter dogs and things they left behind based on the photos I saw.
These resident submitted photos are probably the last ones you will ever see of this farmhouse standing. Next I will get the demolition photos and I will post those too. People also went to visit the Lloyd graves today. They aren’t on site. They told me they went to the graveyard to pay their respects and to apologize for the destruction of their beautiful home.
And speaking of graves, are there graves actually on Lloyd Farm given the fact people have lived on that land since when? 1682 if you count the Penn land grant? And isn’t their a limestone quarry on the site too? But if their are graves discovered during construction, then what? Will the remains be respectfully removed elsewhere or just plowed under to haunt the development?
This developer is apparently a local guy. He has other businesses and is it true he lives in West Whiteland Township? He has a development in Delaware that looks like a plastic Lego land. Which of course is great if you’re in elementary school, but after that it just looks…fake and plastic.
Caln Township has zero respect for their historic commission or their residents or the history being lost, can’t you agree? The commissioners in Caln will wring their hands and say they couldn’t do anything. Well if course not, because when exactly is it they do anything productive and for the benefit of their residents at all?
(Here is where I am pausing to remind those commissioners and their solicitor that no one in Washington DC has repealed the First Amendment yet, so if I want to have the public opinion that they are a bunch of turds, it’s legal.)
262 years of history are about to become dust. And there are even more years if you count the fact that the land itself that the farmhouse sits on is part of a Penn land grant. And what about the Underground Railroad history? That links this site to Glen Isle, correct?
I wish I could say something really intelligent here but I just think this totally sucks. I don’t understand people that have to destroy history when they don’t have to.
The residents of Caln Township have to stay vigilant. And they need to replace every single commissioner until they are all gone. Every last one of them. And once all of the commissioners are replaced they need a new township structure from the inside out don’t they?
I will further note that people need to look at any new candidates coming forward for public office carefully. For example, I would not be too jazzed about “endorsed” Republicans. As a former Republican when the real ones return to the party then maybe I won’t say that. However, don’t discount truly independent candidates from either the Republican or Democrat party. A candidate who is not endorsed is often preferred in many places. Caln, you want independent thinkers and they don’t need to have zippy little bow ties, either.
These are the current Caln Commissioners and when their term expires (and YES I can name them they are publicly elected officials):
Jennifer Breton – term expires 2019
George Chambers – term expires 2019
Joshua Young – term expires 2021
John Contento – term expires 2021
Lorraine Tindaro- term expires 2021
Follow this link to learn about the appointed officials and other township personnel. And explain to me again why they saved Ingleside Golf Club and can they afford it? And what about the Zoning Hearing Board and Planning Commission?
Lloyd Farm doesn’t have to die. It truly doesn’t. But it is. Today is proof.
Also upsetting? Once again Chester County’s history and architectural heritage hasn’t been sexy enough for media to really cover. And I understand the realities of media today whether it’s television or print journalism (what’s left of it) but media gives people a voice and things that are important aren’t just about what’s going on in the cities, whatever is going on in Washington D.C. , drugs and murder.
Sadly and pathetically, this situation is playing out all over Chester County and Southeastern Pennsylvania. This kind of crappy ass development, infill or not is why I moved off of the Main Line. But now I am sadly realizing more and more every day that it doesn’t matter where you move to this plague known as over-development is just following all of us. Everywhere.
Our history, our heritage, our open space, our agricultural traditions and past, they all matter. And they keep disappearing more every day.
And the loss of Lloyd Farm should be a rallying point. Enough is enough.
Many thanks to the residents who sent in the photos, and signed me completely and utterly disgusted.
Our history shouldn’t always belong to the bulldozer and wrecking ball. It just shouldn’t.