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.

perspective: it takes too long for dangerous bridges to be fixed

A friend of mine took this photo today Pennswood Rd Bridge, Bryn Mawr, PA

This is not a post about Chester County it’s about orphaned and other bridges in need of repair in our area, state, country.

Pennswood Rd Bridge 2007

The bridge in the photo opening this post and throughout this post is the orphaned railroad bridge on Pennswood Road in Bryn Mawr, PA. It’s in Lower Merion Township. This bridge has been falling apart for decades quite honestly. I started photographing it in 2007.

Pennswood Rd Bridge. 2007.

It takes far too long for unsafe and run down bridges to be repaired in this country. I photographed the deterioration of this Pennswood Road bridge between 2007 and 2012. I think I had some other photos once upon a time but I can’t find them.

Pennswood Rd Bridge 2012

This bridge had holes that you could see through to the railroad tracks and rattled like all get out. Underneath this bridge runs Amtrak and SEPTA trains. The bridge is on the orphaned list like many others that were built by railroads and then orphaned – original railroad companies go out of business successor railroads disavow responsibility. I don’t quite understand how it all works but that seems to be how it works.

Pennswood Road Bridge at some point between 2007-2012

What happens is the federal government will pay for most of this repair, the state will pay for some of the repair, and the final bit will be the responsibility of the local municipality. In this case, Lower Merion Township. After the bridge is rebuilt it becomes the responsibility of the municipality.

Pennswood Bridge 2012

I have to give credit here to the local commissioner in Lower Merion (Scott Zelov) who has been at this since he became a commissioner in 2006. It’s absolutely ridiculous that it took so long to get to this point. And the bridge was failing long before he took office. It’s been failing since I was in high school.

This is a definite problem across the country. I have seen programs on news shows that run nationally like network news on orphaned and dangerous bridges. In 2019 Pennsylvania was still on the short list of states with the worst bridges. Our state was number 2 in the country according to the CBS news affiliate in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Post Gazette also covers the topic.

In 2013, Penn Live published an article about bad PA bridges. In 2017 the York Daily Record said PA was number 3 in the country for bad bridges. The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about the topic in 2018 and many other times. (Click here for some sort of state database.)

Anyway glad this Lower Merion Township bridge is finally getting replaced. I just wish it didn’t have to take so long. Do you have a failing and/or orphaned bridge where you live? What’s being done (if anything)?

Here are two articles about the Pennswood Road Bridge:

Main Line Media News: Bryn Mawr bridge on Pennswood Road to be replaced
Richard Ilgenfritz rilgenfritz@21st-centurymedia.com @rpilgenfritz on Twitter Dec 13, 2019

Main Line Media News: Work could begin later this year on last orphaned bridge in Lower Merion
By Richard Ilgenfritz rilgenfritz@21st-centurymedia.com @rpilgenfritz on Twitter May 23, 2018 Comments

Pennswood Road Bridge 2012.