more historic properties that aren’t so historically cared for in west whiteland? take a peek at 105 s. whitford road, for example.

105 S. Whitford this morning June 17, 2022

Driving by you wouldn’t know that this place in photo above on South Whitford Road actually had a historic house back there. All you would see were really, really high weeds. And this photo doesn’t even do how high the weeds are in places justice.

The address is 105 S. Whitford Rd.

Here is a 2019 Internet photo:

Apparently this house is something that the historic commission of West Whiteland Township is aware of. It appears to be on their inventory. Interestingly enough the supervisor who is the liaison to the historic commission is none other than Saint Theresa Hogan Santalucia. So is she aware of the condition of this property?

Apparently it changed hands recently or within the past few months?

It’s like the grass hasn’t been cut and I’m not exaggerating, it hasn’t been cut since who knows when if at all this year. So if this is a historic house, what is going on? I mean there’s already some wicked demolition by neglect going on at the Joseph Price House, on the same stretch of road, right?

So another question would be West Whiteland has a codes department right? I don’t know the Director of Codes (Codes Barbie) who is also the Fire Marshall but I always see her on the West Whiteland zoom meetings with lots of make up and flipping her hair …. so is she aware of this? What’s her name? I have to ask in her dual role why she does she look at or inspect these properties? Or does she? Or is she just a selective stones buster? I mean you would think that properties like this or the Joseph Price House would be an issue given shall we say certain conditions? So does demolition by neglect count for anything according to these people?

I mean we’ve got Bossette Tweed posting her merit certificates publicly on social media but ummm what else???

Wouldn’t you say that the way certain properties are treated with historic value qualify as a “difficult situation” in West Whiteland Township? Again, this address in on the West Whiteland historic resources map?

And then there are the two business entities I found on the deed file:

And then you go to the property records:

And then you pull the things uploaded as deeds:

So obviously someone owns the property actively, so what is happening there? It’s 9 acres give or take, right? Will house be preserved? Will a business go there? Will it be subject to development? I ask about development because of an old listing for the property from a couple of years ago. Showing screen shots below this, and another embedded document.

So what’s the plan? Demolition by neglect until someone submits a plan? I was told the house had tenants until not THAT long ago?

What started me being curious? A note and photos I received. I already have inserted a couple of the photos, but here’s part of the note from one of my readers:

What is West Whiteland now doing with historical properties? The house at 105 S. Whitford road was just recently sold. It’s been months the grass is very high. This house was not too long ago inhabited. It is now owned by 105 Whitford Rd llc. If you Google can’t really find much. The only mention of it was when the daycare was being built and if there was any impact….It’s a historic house and WW recognizes it as that….They sold it and it hasn’t been taken care of since January…the grass looks like it would be way above my knees, maybe close to my waist in spots!!

~ West Whiteland resident who drives by location often

So I realized I literally drive past there at least once a week en route to PT. I can tell you it’s overgrown enough that I forgot there was a house there. Personally I keep noticing trash along the curb of what may or may not be part of the property. There was also a car repair place at the corner with a sale sign.

In any event, West Whiteland is NOT the only township that turns a blind eye to neglected properties and/or empty or seemingly empty but falling apart historic properties. It just is always a puzzle when these townships act like they can’t SEE some of these properties.

West Whiteland is a mess, and it will be for a while given what they have been through. But people hired by the last manager maybe should be trying a little harder now? And politicians who love to talk about how they love the historic properties in their township who can’t seemingly see things like this? Or when they are pointed out, “didn’t know”? I mean COME ON, you are an elected official in this township and you live there!

This parcel is seemingly the old tenant farm for “Oaklands”. It is referenced in the Revised History of West Whiteland I found uploaded on the West Whiteland Township website that I downloaded to read.

If you live in West Whiteland, please get familiar with your history. It’s not all commercial and a sea of new apartment and townhouse developments. And this post is most definitely NOT a criticism of the West Whiteland Historic Commission because they do a very good job. Their supervisor liaison, not so much a good job doer, and this post is also an additional criticism of her. In my humble opinion, she one of the wonkiest local politicians out here and an embarrassment to her township as well as Chester County Democrats. Why doesn’t she just resign already?

This post is also quite simply a “what is going on here and what will happen to the property and structures on it and why?” That is very important. I am a realist, and not all historic properties can be saved. But when you see demolition by neglect that has been ongoing (Joseph Price house corner of S. Whitford and Clover Mill Road) and newly emerging issues with 105 S. Whitford Rd and identified as the tenant farm to Oaklands, there should be a community conversation sometimes, shouldn’t there be?

Well who knows, but this is what intrigued me today in the ever evolving As The West Whiteland Turns.

Have a great Father’s Day Weekend everyone!

105 S. Whitford circa 2019.

the joseph price house in exton is in really bad shape.

Yes again, I am writing about the Joseph Price house in West Whiteland Township. It’s really starting to deteriorate badly in my opinion. (And I say that from observing it across the street today- I have not been invited to be on the property so I would not presume.)

This house is on S.Whitford and Clover Mill Roads in Exton. The Joseph Price House in West Whiteland Township.

(Here is a wonderful little slide show presentation on prezi. )

This house is historically listed. It was built in 1878 and altered in 1894 by the house namesake inhabitant at the time. It was altered from a Gothic style to a Queen Anne style.

I was also told in the 1990s it was separate apartments inside and there were also cottages around it which were rented out as well.

In the 1950s and 60s there was a large barn there that was a sale barn for cattle run by Bayard Taylor —a blog reader told me that. He knew because his mother did bookkeeping for that business while she was in college.

This house is not completely deserted I am told there is still a caretaker who still lives there. However, this house has an uncertain future at best and nobody seems to know what will happen to it. Which is a shame because it’s very cool.

There are so many amazing houses like this throughout Chester County from all eras of time.

I am told the house is owned by two people in Ambler. Chesco Views confirmed that today.

This afternoon I had some time so I pulled into the business parking lot across the road on Clover Mill Road. I took some photos from across the road and I just looked at the house. It has been historically listed since the 1980s. And yes I know I’m being repetitive, but it just blows my mind that these gorgeous houses that are historically listed not just locally but nationally rot like this.

Things are just crumbling and the property also seems to be quite the haven for dead car bodies.

Truly (and sadly), the house is becoming so decrepit, more decrepit. I really wish these owners would sell to somebody who could restore it.

It is just so crazy to me, as this could be the most fabulous property. It’s big enough and there is enough land left that it could be a great restaurant or even a boutique bed-and-breakfast which is not a stretch considering there is one up the road from it on South Whitford – the Duling-Kurtz House and Country Inn.

Anyway, I continue to be obsessed by this property which is not for sale. It’s just that this is a historically listed property (since 9/6/1984) and is this demolition by neglect? I really hope someone will save this place.

#thisplacematters

the end of the decade, new year’s eve 2019

Lovely Loch Aerie, Frazer, PA

It has been a crazy decade chock-full of so much. I wasn’t sure what my last post of the year was going to look like until I started looking at some of my photos of houses that had captured my interest and fancy in the past decade.

So in all of the houses I have looked at in this decade I have decided to remain true to Chester County today and give you my three favorites.

Ironically my three house picks for the decade are not traditional 18th century Chester County Farmhouses, but three 19th-century stone houses of a certain era.

You see the first house above. My ultimate old house love, beautiful and lovely Loch Aerie mansion. I have written about her enough that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel and restate her history.

Loch Aerie on Lancaster Avenue in Frazer in East Whiteland Township enters the next decade with a guaranteed and brilliant new lease on life. She is being restored to her former glory, and will have an adaptive reuse that will ensure her place in architectural history for decades to come.

Old stone house Francis Ave, Berwyn, Easttown.

Next on my list is a house I was reminded of this morning. I know nothing of her pedigree. It is the great stone house on Francis Avenue in Berwyn.

My great friend (and Chester County historian and artist) Catherine Quillman and I stumbled upon this beauty in 2016 one fall afternoon.

We took a wrong turn somewhere after leaving Jenkins Arboretum and all of a sudden we were on Francis Avenue in front of this house. And before anyone flips out, we did not trespass. I had a camera with a zoom lens with me and I took photos from the street. This house captured my fancy for a number of reasons, including the fact that the stonework reminded me a lot of Loch Aerie.

I know absolutely nothing of the history of this house other than its 19th century and in Easttown Township . I think it probably has a name (possibly according to a 1912 atlas it appears it was maybe called “Rhydlyn” home of James G. Francis, whose sister in law I believe was famed local photographer Lucy Sampson according to census records from the early 20th century and according to the census she lived there for a while!) I don’t know if it is listed on any national registries or even a state or local registry. I couldn’t find it listed anywhere. (I am told it is mentioned HERE.)

It strikes me as a similar vintage to Loch Aerie. I also do not know the current ownership of the home but I am told it is being preserved as part of some kind of a development. I am also told that the glorious slate roof is no longer which I can’t say surprises me because old slate roofs are incredibly expensive to maintain and it’s a lost art of the craftsmanship of roof building. There are very few slaters left.

My last house which captured my fancy a great deal in this last decade is the Joseph Price house in West Whiteland Township.

This house is on S.Whitford and Clover Mill Roads in Exton. The Joseph Price House in West Whiteland Township.

Here is a wonderful little slide show presentation on prezi. This house is historically listed. It was built in 1878 and altered in 1894 by the house namesake inhabitant at the time. It was altered from a Gothic style to a Queen Anne style.

I was also told in the 1990s it was separate apartments inside and there were also cottages around it which were rented out as well.

In the 1950s and 60s there was a large barn there that was a sale barn for cattle run by Bayard Taylor —a blog reader told me that. He knew because his mother did bookkeeping for that business while she was in college.

This house is not completely deserted I am told there is a caretaker who still lives there. However, this house has an uncertain future at best and nobody seems to know what will happen to it. Which is a shame because it’s very cool.

So as we lift a glass one last time to toast a crazy tumultuous decade everywhere, let us think of our future and historic preservation. There are so many cool houses like this throughout Chester County from all eras of time.

Less development. More land and structure preservation and adaptive reuse. That’s my final wish for Chester County for 2019.

Please do not trespass on these properties. Either get permission to wander around or look from the street.

Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!

Joseph Price House. West Whiteland Township.

s.whitford and clover mill road, exton (again)

I was going by today and decided to take another photo of this old gem. An old gem that just rots day after day.

This house is on S.Whitford and Clover Mill Roads in Exton. The Joseph Price House in West Whiteland Township.

Here is a wonderful little slide show presentation on prezi.

Someone told me that someone might still live there, not sure how that is possible but who knows? I am guessing part of the house still has an apartment someone lives in. I don’t know if it’s a caretaker or whomever owns it.

I was also told in the 1990s it was separate apartments inside and there were also cottages around it which were rented out as well.

In the 1950s and 60s there was a large barn there that was a sale barn for cattle run by Bayard Taylor a blog reader told me recently. He knew because his mother did bookkeeping for that business while she was in college.

Every time I post about this house I get all sorts of comments. I am not the only one that notices this old house.

The house was built in 1878. It was altered in 1894 by its namesake inhabitants. Dr. Price. According to the West Whiteland Historical Society he altered it from a Gothic to a Queen Anne style.

This is just one of those houses that captures the imagination of almost everyone who drives by it. Maybe someday a preservation buyer will drive by it and it will be saved. Until then I just sort of falls apart.