In case you’ve ever wondered why we can’t trust local government to protect historic assets or structures that should be historically protected (like Loch Aerie and Linden Hall in East Whiteland Township, Chester County) look no further than the glorious example set by the Federal Government.
Witness demolition by neglect of the Kennedy-Supplee Mansion on the edge of Valley Forge Park as seen from Route 422.
Yes, our government at work. This mansion is owned by the National Park Service. Apparently they are looking for a tenant:
National Park Service (NPS) at Valley Forge National Historical Park is accepting responses to the Kennedy Supplee Mansion Request for Proposals (RFP) until a responsive proposal is received or the RFP is cancelled. Please refer to the RFP for more information.
Site tours are now available. Please contact Patrick (Pat) Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How about that? Have they taken a good look at the mansion lately?
It is simply shocking.
The Daily Local had an article about the renting out of historic properties in Valley Forge in 2015.
The Italianate style 19th century mansion was last used as a restaurant until they went belly up. Since then it has sat and rotted. It has it’s own Wikipedia page.
It is part of that same HABS study it seems that also wrote up Loch Aerie.
Summary from the Historic American Buildings Survey is found on the Wikepedia Page. It is very interesting.
But the moral of this story remains if our own Federal Government doesn’t maintain the historic structures or assets they own, how on earth can we ever be confident in historic preservation on a local and state level?