just doing god’s work?

After the Inquirer article appeared on the ruin of Ebenzer AME in Frazer, I contacted  Rev Dr Mark Tyler via e-email with a few interested folks on the e-mail including local historians.

Three times.

Why email? Because also included was information to help them make an informed decision. I stupidly thought maybe if they could see what we’ve been looking up, and see photos of the spot over the past few years, they would be interested in working together to clean this place up. 

When not even a simple acknowledgment of what had been sent to him was received after three attempts, I took to Twitter. Why did I take to Twitter? Because I learned that they respond to Twitter. 

But the lesson I learned again is there not particularly nice about anything if you aren’t one of their “flock”.

So I will call the good pastor but I’m not expecting much. Because the continued message I received from any level of this church is they aren’t interested in preserving their history. They also aren’t interested in communicating or speaking with me. 

They can pony up the money for fancy bicentennial celebration which must have been super expensive to put on, but they can’t clean up one small church yard and secure one small ruin?

I don’t even know where to go in my head with this. 

And what a horrible thing to think about any church. It’s so terribly sad. They all want to speak about and preach about their marvelous history, yet when their marvelous history needs saving they don’t want any parts of it?

I guess they might not want to respond in writing because then they have wiggle room for potential deniability down the road or something? 

Wow, what a take away lesson.

I do not like to think the worst of anyone, let alone a religious organization, but it’s been over three years at this point of my trying to get this place saved and it just gets more disappointing for everything of effort I expend.

The phone number is 215-925-0616.

I just phoned and I left a detailed message and who I was and why I was calling. I don’t expect a call back. I don’t expect an acknowledgment.

I really want to save this place but at this point in time I am just thoroughly disgusted.  I thought doing God’s work meant you tried to save places like Ebenezer AME. You do it for future generations, you do it for ancestors living today, do it for the history and the fact it’s a sacred place, and you do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Apparently I have been operating under a misapprehension all these years. Is no wonder that people step away from organized religion.

No I’m not disappointed in God, just the people representing him.

dear a.m.e. church, this is your history, your members’ ancestors, what is wrong with you people? honor your dead!


This is what the ruin of Ebenezer A.M.E. church and graveyard looks like THIS week as in right now. You see, some of the East Whiteland Public Works folks went by this week to see if there was anything they could do to help those of us interested in saving this piece of history before it is too late. They were so nice to even consider doing this.

They asked how to get permission from the A.M.E. Church (national) to do this.

Good freaking question since the A.M.E. church elders are not overly communicative is a substantive way when you contact them.

Oh the irony that here they are all ready to celebrate their bicentennial in Philadelphia right after July 4th and this is how they value their history and pay tribute to their dead. What a bunch of holy hypocrites.

A.M.E. Church can you hear me now?  People are willing to help and you still don’t seem to give a good god damn about these people buried here! Historically important yet everyday people.

What would Bishop Richard Allen who founded your church think? What would Bishop Richard Allen who founded your church do? Personally I think he would have come out himself to help clear the weeds. I also think he would be ashamed and disappointed in you for not being better stewards of history and of the departed.

Shame on you A.M.E. Church, shame on you .

loch aerie in the 1950s

 

I found a copy of the 1950s publication by Time Life that featured a picture, a glorious picture of Loch Aerie in the 1950s and bought it.

The photo is taken from the rear one there were still the water features out in the backyard and swans. 

There were even once roses the climbed up the back porch.

Look how stunning!

#thisplacematters

Praying the right preservation buyer steps up for the auction April 21st.

thank you philadelphia inquirer for caring about loch aerie!

Loch Aerie at the most recent auction preview last week.

This morning Loch Aerie a/k/a Lockwood Mansion a/k/a Glen Loch is front and center with attention where she deserves to be thanks to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Kristin Holmes wrote a beautiful article and I can’t thank her enough for the time she has spent over the past few months with my friends and I. We pitched her the story of Chester County’s LaRonda starting months ago, and the nature and cycle of news being what it was, only recently did the hard work on the article begin. Kristin told me the mansion’s story would be told again. She is a woman of her word!

Thank you Kristin.

East Whiteland’s Historic Commission ended up featured somewhat prominently in the article with a somewhat dramatic statement from it’s chair:

Loch Aerie will be razed over “my dead body,” vowed Timothy Caban, chairman of the East Whiteland Township Historical Commission

Hope he means it. Oh and he is welcome for the attention that Loch Aerie has been getting in the hopes of attracting a preservation buyer. 

  A small correction to the article is the misperception that Linden Hall also in East Whiteland is actually saved.  It’s not. The developer said they would save it if they could build the cheap looking stick frame townhouses going up around her at Routes 30 and 352, but nothing has been done restoration-wise that is noticeable to residents thus far, isn’t that true? If some restoration has actually begin, it would be nice if East Whiteland’s Historic Commisison would share the details, wouldn’t it?

And yes I drove past Linden Hall twice yesterday. (I will stop harping about Linden Hall when I actually see some restoration and preservation occurring. Until then she is just looking like demolition by neglect.) 

There is nothing substantive in East Whiteland Township to save historic structures.  That needs to change. What also needs to change is East Whiteland’s historical commission needs to join the modern era and cease operating like a secret society. It should not take a reporter to get a statement out of them. They should be publicly posting agendas and meeting minutes and preservation initiatives and they do not.

  Thank you to everyone who cares about Loch Aerie because #thisplacematters . And that includes the auction company. They have been so gracious and I think even they want the old gal preserved.

It will take a village and then some to save Loch Aerie. Holding my breath until it happens.

Thank you again Kristin Holmes for caring and writing a terrific article. Thank you Philadelphia Inquirer for the amazing, amazing placement!

Here is an excerpt of the article and please take the time to read the entire piece and look at the amazing photos he Inquirer took:

News: Squeezed by development, grand Chester County mansion goes on the block

by Kristin E. Holmes, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer Updated: APRIL 10, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT

Before the Sheraton moved in across the road, before Home Depot set up shop next door, Loch Aerie was the bewitching summer estate of a gentleman farmer who amassed a great fortune manufacturing paper shirt collars…..Loch Aerie’s admirers worry for its future.

“What tends to happen with sites like these is that because they are outside the city, they are viewed as only locally significant, when that’s not true,” said Aaron Wunsch, an assistant professor of historic preservation at the University of Pennsylvania. “This house is regionally significant, and we are losing the interesting big suburban houses of that period.”

La Ronda, a Bryn Mawr mansion by renowned resort architect Addison Mizner, was razed in 2009….The two-acre property is owned by the family of Daniel Tabas, who bought it in 1967. With his brother, Charles, Tabas amassed a business and real estate empire that included Mickey Rooney’s Tabas Hotel in Downingtown, Twelve Caesars banquet hall on City Avenue, and the Riverfront Restaurant & Dinner Theater in Philadelphia. He died in 2003.

The family attempted to auction off Loch Aerie several years ago, and turned down an offer of more than $600,000, said Bob Dann, the auction house’s chief operating officer. This time the family will accept the minimum bid, he said…Chester County historian Eugene DiOrio contends that Loch Aerie would easily qualify for the National Register of Historic Places

You have survived so much Loch Aerie. Finger crossed for your future.

  

going, going, gone

 

Malvern Meeting House 2016I have taken quite a few photos of the old Malvern Meeting House over the past few years. It is no more. Thank you East Whiteland for getting the eyesore demolished. It was a horror show and over the past few years reports of homeless living there and in 2012 it was the subject of a local news story on illegal dumping.  The Malvern Meeting House as seen in the past few years will not be missed.

Malvern Meeting HouseIt is kind of sad because in the 1980s it was the subject of a rave as far as the food in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Wherever It Is, The Malvern Meeting House Is Splendid

POSTED: April 20, 1986

With good home cooking and modest prices, the Malvern Meeting House Restaurant is a splendid restaurant. But it’s not in Malvern.

The restaurant, which has been in existence for 22 years, is three miles west of Malvern, in Frazer. Regardless of its location, it is worth a visit. But reservations are essential, for the restaurant is immensely popular and even on weekdays lines extend halfway around the building.

The secret of the restaurant’s success is not hard to discern: good food, friendly service, an informal atmosphere and low prices.

Homemade snapper soup ($1.10 despite the menu’s 90-cent list price) was among the best around. Offered as a daily special on my visit, it was a full- bodied soup thick with turtle meat, carrots and crunchy pieces of celery, so rich in flavor there was no need for the accompanying bottle of sherry.

Fried calamari ($3.50), a tasty appetizer, was a small plastic basket heaped with delicate pieces of lightly fried, breaded squid served with a spicy-hot cocktail sauce for dipping….

The restaurant is relatively small, sharing a room with an active bar that accommodated in a loud, smoky atmosphere some of the weekend crowd waiting for tables. The dining room has one brick wall and one of rough-hewn planks festooned with a variety of old farm implements, including a pitchfork and a baling hook.

Another potluck collection hangs from exposed ceiling beams – a dinner bell, a wine barrel, a cowbell, an old pulley, a long-handle dipping ladle, moonshine jugs and ice tongs, to name just a few. Bright red tablecloths and white paper napkins provide a welcome splash of color.

Service was prompt, even speedy, but no wonder, considering the number of people waiting for a table.

MALVERN MEETING HOUSE

RESTAURANT

536 Lancaster Pike, Frazer, 644-0220

Open: Lunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; dinner 5-10:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., until 11 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 1-10 p.m. Sun.

 

Malvern Meeting House before Sign fell

From once good food and a fun place to meet up to a pile of rubble. Sad.

17022663306_0385328e15_o

information wanted on loch aerie in frazer

 

Ok so here is the deal: I was contacted by a rather cool and prestigious PennDesign professor from the University of Pennsylvania. He’s the  kind of guy who often introduces preservation minded buyers to historical prosperties.

He thinks Frazer’s own Loch Aerie or Lockwood Mansion is amazing Victorian fabulousness. He wants to be connected with whomever the Tabas family has in charge of Loch Aerie. I can’t keep up with the realtors on the site so I have no clue who is agent for the property.

If you have any information on with whom to connect this professor to, please leave a comment.

Thanks!