On April 20, 2023 residents who live in the Mt. Pleasant section of Tredyffrin started talking about cameras on trees in Mazie B. Hall Park.
At first people wondered if all of the parks in Tredyffrin were getting some sort of security cameras or if this was something to do with Mt. Pleasant? No one had any answers.
Well, reliable sources now tell me that the cameras have been removed by Tredyffrin, and apparently neither Tredyffrin Township public works nor the police mounted those cameras on the trees and how creepy AF is that? I mean after all, weren’t those trees facing the tot lot in that park?
A couple of residents apparently were also told that there is some sort of investigation going on? So maybe Tredyffrin should talk to the residents about this?
Sorry, not sorry but somebody randomly mounting cameras in a park facing a tot lot is kind of creepy is it not?
Can they track the camera owners somehow? Where were cameras transmitting to and why? What exactly was being photographed or recorded and why?
Calling Nancy Drew or even Scooby Doo. Where are you?
Giddy up Tredyffrin and Radnor residents because it’s always in the dog days of summer or any kind of holiday time when big ol’ important things come to be discussed. More on Dodo Land is back. Plans for Strafford Avenue and Forrest Lane.
Look my opinion hasn’t changed: too much density planned for this area between this and Holloway Land McBox Theme Park. Stormwater management and traffic issues pre-existing to any of these plans and you need to PHYSICALLYBE AT THESE MEETINGS AND BE PRESENT WHEN THEY GET SCHEDULED IN PERSON! SUPPOSEDLY COMING IN JULY. THAT IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.
The Community Development Department received a Conditional Use Application for the Hamilton Estate, properties located at 204 and 228 Strafford Avenue and 18 Forrest Lane. We have not received the digital version yet, once received I will forward it to you.
This is beyond hateful and it’s going on in Tredyffrin and based on the posts I’ve received it must be happening around Chesterbrook.
The Holocaust was no joke. It was genocide. Millions of people. Hitler was a fanatical terrorist who ordered MILLIONS killed. Mostly Jewish people but not all. Tortured, victims of human experimentation and worse. People lost their homes, businesses, personal possessions, friends, family, even their pets. (You can read more HERE.)
I don’t even have enough time in the day or words to express how despicable it is that someone thinks it’s funny to go around spray, painting, swastikas. Anti- semitism is horrible and a crime.
It seems like Tredyffrin has issues. If you see whoever is doing this, or you catch them on the security camera, call 911.
Just when you think you can take a day off and enjoy your Saturday there’s this. And this is a byproduct of the extremism in politics we have been experiencing since 2016.
Wake up media, you have stories unfolding requiring immediate attention. The same can be said for residents in two Chester County school districts and on Delaware County school district.
I actually have mixed emotions at this juncture about charter schools. When our son was in school, it was a God send due to bullying issues that were not being dealt with in public school as well as the fact we had serious issues when he was in an elementary school that was supposed to be one of the best and in some cases, there were NO books for subjects like history. We sent him to Renaissance Academy Charter School in Phoenixville. There were ups and downs as is the case with any school, but it was a good experience, and they placed a high percentage of kids in great schools. IT still is an academic alternative that I think is serving 20 or 21 school districts at this point.
But now I am starting to look at charter schools with different eyes. Because of the new kids coming to the table in 2023. Specifically in WCASD (West Chester Area School District) and RTSD (Radnor Township School District). And the one for RTSD will also involve TESD (Tredyffrin Easttown School District.)
I will start with WCASD because that is where a charter school that is kind of coming on a stealth basis. Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School. They say they have non-profit status, only it’s a little hard to find anything, not even a website announcing who they are, their board of directors, etc. They do have a Facebook page and please note how they get their jollies, making it quite clear what they are about:
First up? A fundraiser has been established on Give Send GO:
Would you like to be part of a success story? Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School in Exton, PA will be just that! We will provide a traditional classical liberal education for each and every child.
The liberal arts in particular and liberal education in general are the surest, most time-tested way to direct students toward a life that is truly free. Our rigorous K-12 curriculum is content-rich, balanced, and strong, with an emphasis upon the four core disciplines of math, science, literature, and history, and attention to music, art, physical education, and foreign languages. In addition, we believe that by training students in the moral, intellectual, and civic virtues we are equipping them to live well-ordered lives as human beings and as citizens.
Your donation will provide funds to ensure a successful application and start-up of our LICENSED HILLSDALE COLLEGE K12 school in the Exton, PA area. ALL DONATIONS GO DIRECTLY TOWARDS THE START UP COSTS OF THE SCHOOL. Attorney’s fees, administrative and marketing costs, website design, office rental, postage and other miscellaneous fees will be covered. All board members are VOLUNTEERS. We will open a K-8 program in the Fall of 2024 and add a grade level each year until we have our first graduating class, the Class of 2028.
For more information on the Hillsdale College K12 program, click on this link:
Come and meet members of the board and learn about a classical education. Valley Forge Classical Academy Charter School is slated to open in the Fall of 2024 for K-8 students. Each year we will add one year of our high school program and graduate our first class in 2030!
Seems lot o’ stuff happens at 21 Hagerty Blvd in West Chester in as far as certain political based gatherings? So this would be a charter school in WCASD BUT will it meet the requirements of public schools? This school tried before didn’t they? Or is this another proposed school with some of the same players?
Does West Whiteland know about this since they seem as if they are looking at property in West Whiteland? Get out the #popcorn because the Stepford Mommies for Totalitarianism will want this school and like their behavior in school districts will want the taxpayers paying for this too. I will say honestly, that the lady running the fundraiser? Has a lot of charter school experience, so she is sharp.
Now back to Radnor Township School District. And people in Tredyffrin Easttown School District need to pay attention because this is a charter school being proposed at Valley Forge Military Academy and College’s campus, which straddles a couple of municipalities and counties, doesn’t it? And who exactly recruited this school to Valley Forge’s campus? Was it in fact Valley Forge Military School and College which as we know got rejected on their own application prior to this one?
I first bought you the odd tale of Radnor and Pennsylvania Military Charter School at Valley Forge on December 15th, 2022:
Then the Philadelphia had a whopper of an article on Christmas Eve. My late father always said big news sneaks in on weekends and holidays and not enough people pay attention.
Supporters are trying again to open a military-themed charter school on the grounds of Valley Forge Military Academy and College, despite a denial from the Radnor school board last year.
Unlike the previous proposal — which was put forward by the military academy and which Radnor rejected as an apparent effort “to subsidize VFMA and make VFMA available to students through the use of public funds” — the latest application is being advanced by backers with no formal ties to the Main Line private school, including a recently retired Republican state senator and a former head of a charter school advocacy group. The chairman of the proposed charter’s board said it would be a “marriage made in heaven.”
In the latest proposal, Pennsylvania Military Charter School would still rent facilities from VFMA — paying $3 million a year, according to its application to Radnor, compared with $500,000 in the proposal rejected in May 2021…..The new charter application is supported by a charter school management company that started in Arizona and now runs schools in states including Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina.
The company, Charter One, initiated the latest application, said Joshua Johnson, the chair of the board for the proposed charter, which is now pending before the Radnor and Tredyffrin/Easttown school boards.
A retired U.S. Army Green Beret who now works for a leadership development firm, Johnson, who lives in Carlisle, said he was contacted by Charter One to serve on the board.
“We think there’s still a need … to have an alternative to a traditional school that’s based on military school principles, but doesn’t fall into that boarding school category,” Johnson said in an interview, adding that some parents “can’t necessarily afford the tuition Valley Forge charges.”
Unlike VFMA — which costs $39,000 for boarding students, and $24,000 for day students — the charter would be free to attend. Charter schools are publicly funded; in Pennsylvania, school districts pay charters based on the number of enrolled students and what the district spends per child.
Pennsylvania Military Charter says it would enroll 975 students from kindergarten through 12th grade — about four times as many students as are currently on the campus. The boys-only academy enrolls about 140 students in grades 7 through 12, while 80 more are enrolled at the military college, according to school officials….The charter’s $17 million budget includes $1 million for an educational service provider fee; that money would go to Charter One for professional services and operational supports, Johnson said.
According to the charter’s application, the fee would also cover an “aggressive” marketing plan to potential students, including paid social media advertisements and direct mail.
Among those who have also agreed to serve on the charter’s board are recently retired State Sen. Bob Mensch, a Republican who didn’t seek reelection, and Lenny McAllister, a senior fellow with the conservative Commonwealth Foundation who previously was CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools.
Following Johnson’s presentation to the Radnor board, the lone public comment came from a woman who questioned why the charter hadn’t included gender identity or sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination policy; whether gay or lesbian students would be welcome; and what plans the school had to avoid hazing and abuse. (In rejecting the previous charter proposal, the Radnor board had said VFMA failed to adequately address community concerns about abuse allegations at its school.)
“Respect for persons is absolutely one of the things we’re going to drive,” Johnson said. “But when it comes to gender identification, it will be our policy that the gender and name on the birth certificate is how they’re going to be addressed at our school.”
SO….has Tredyffrin Easttown School District (TESD) scheduled their hearing yet? Here is the entirety of the January 17th Radnor School Board Meeting:
Here are 3 smaller videos which pulls out some crucial public comment:
This all gives me pause. Essentially, I have to ask if these people wanting to start charter schools which all supposedly have Pennsylvania non profits but will really be run by entities in other states should even be allowed to open charter schools in Pennsylvania?
And of course, then you have to wonder how they will deal with what public schools are required to have and do have as far as the many complicated issues facing public schools? And will they be fair and equal and non discriminatory in all areas including sexual and gender identity? And why should people have to watch their tax dollars get siphoned off for schools started by people who have so many issues with public schools that haven’t been upheld by the courts over the past few years? Gender/sexual identity, books they don’t like, masking, vaccines, etc.? Why are taxpayers supposed to pay for their peculiarities?
Truly if you have time, watch and listen to the recent Radnor meeting. And remember that is not just a concern to residents in the Radnor Township School District service area in Radnor Township Delaware County but also in Tredyffrin Easttown School District in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships in Chester County. Interesting things include a website possibly intimating approval – https://www.military.academy/valley-forge when they are far, far from it. They do not seem to have a business plan but they have plans for a course of study called ethical hacking. And as this hearing goes on , the charter presenters seem to become well, combative and uneasy.
With both of these proposed charter schools there seem to be many troubling questions, sadly. Here’s hoping the media steps up and really digs in.
Again, in conclusion, I am not against charter schools in the least. But these two give me pause. Also is there really a need for their brand of charter?
One of my favorite magazines is Country Living. When I have time, I read it as soon as it hits my mailbox, cover to cover.
But it has been a busy few months, and the magazines ended up in a neat pile next to my reading chair in my bedroom on the footstool. Until today when I decided to dig into my overdue periodical reading pile.
Well guess what business and who are right there inside the September, 2022 issue of Country Living magazine? One of my favorite Chester County businesses and owner. Yup, Malvern’s own Life’s Patina and the creative dynamo behind everything , Meg Veno.
You know how much I love Life’s Patina because pretty much every time she has an event, you can find me there shopping and taking photos! And my husband gets me Life’s Patina gift certificates for Christmas.
Part of the reason I love Life’s Patina is it’s simply put, beautiful. Every time I visit. But it is also because of Meg and her team. They are seriously the nicest. And Meg is just positive and kind. In the chaos of today’s world, this makes a huge difference. Also? They make everything look so effortless and magical. You can’t help but get a good feeling every time she opens her barn!
Also worth mentioning is how lucky is Historic Yellow Springs Village and West Pikeland Township that Meg Veno and Life’s Patina are sprinkling their magic on the Jenny Lind house? They have stripped her back to the beginning and done an incredibly painstaking renovation that is almost there. I feel that her renovation,when finally completed, will bring new life and renewed energy to Historic Yellow Springs Village which it needs.
I mean seriously, how lucky is West Pikeland Township to have both Jeff Devlin and Meg Veno taking an interest and putting businesses that celebrate Chester County and her history right there in this small Chester County municipality? So lucky! Adaptive reuse of the best kind totally loaded with heart and talent and effort!
And the funny thing is I was one of the first people who suggested Jenny Lind to Meg when she was saying she wanted a new challenge.
I have however almost regretted suggesting Jenny Lind and Yellow Springs to her at times because of the duration of the renovation, the obstacles and challenges of truly restoring the Jenny Lind. However, the renovation has survived COVID and all that this time in the world and supply chain issues that every renovation everywhere has suffered. When the Merchantile & Cafe opens it will be truly amazing!
So to say I was thrilled when I saw one of my favorite magazines featuring one of my favorite businesses and business owners was an understatement…even if I am a few months late.
So Meg & Company, I am so terribly sorry I didn’t open my magazine sooner! So well done and deserved. Lots of places are inspired by what Meg creates at Life’s Patina. Make sure you check out one of their sales when you can!
I just watched a replay of a Radnor Township school Board meeting. It was a special hearing about a proposed charter school. Now charter schools are always a hot button topic with school districts because essentially, they have to share money and resources. School districts never share well or necessarily willingly with charter schools.
Charter schools are publicly-funded, tuition-free schools, but they differ from traditional public schools in key ways. Comparing charter schools to public schools requires weighing a few different considerations.
First, charters have more flexibility. Rather than being part of a public school district, which dictates curriculum and standards in all schools, charters operate autonomously through individual agreements, or charters, with state or local governments that dictate rules and performance standards.
Given the ability to operate through these agreements, individual charter schools can tailor their curriculum, academic focus, discipline policy and other matters generally decided at the school district or state board level. In return for that flexibility, charter schools are supposed to be more accountable to parents and the state or local governments that authorize them….
The charter school movement, which gained prominence in the late 1980s and has been gaining ground ever since, began as a way to close the achievement gap between white and non-white students. Many charters still view that as a core mission.
But many of the same problems that plague traditional public schools are found in charters as well. New Orleans, where nearly all public schools became charters after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, still deals with the stratification of students and a pernicious racial achievement gap, says Adamson, who has studied the impact of charter schools in New Orleans…Education experts recommend that parents do research into the charter, visit the school and compare it carefully to the public-school alternative. Look beyond test scores and talk to educators who work at the school and parents who send their children there….Quantitative data includes test scores, graduation rates, college attendance rates and similar metrics, he says. Qualitative information could include surveys that measure student and family satisfaction, the type of curriculum they use, their beliefs and their policy on discipline.
So. I will state for the record, I do not have a problem with charter schools. Our child attended a very good one. But it was inclusive. Based on the Question and Answer segment after the presentation here, I am not sure what to think.
I did record it:
I do not know how this will play out, and honestly, I am not sure this concept will fly in the Main Line of today, even if it is proposed to be on the campus of an existing military school and college. One thing I do not get however is why the JROTC or whatever would go to Norristown, versus creating something on Valley Forge’s Campus?
The reality is Valley Forge Military Academy and College seems to be dying, doesn’t it? They have already sold off land, haven’t they? The school when you drive by no longer seems as crisp and tidy as it once was, does it? So what happens if there is no charter school approved? Do they keep slicing off bits of land and selling, or close up shop altogether and sell the whole kit and caboodle?
It’s not a stand alone idea that no one has done, I just don’t know how it will fly on the Main Line. Face it, Main Line School Districts don’t even ever want charter schools in my opinion. It means fund and resource sharing and it also is an ego thing since public schools especially on the Main Line are supposed to be the greatest period.
The sticking point here I feel will be what was raised by that parent who asked about how the school would handle sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. This resident did not see it in their mission statement. Mr. Johnson responded that gender identification and name would be the same as found on a student’s birth certificate.
OK ummm…Pentagon seems to feel differently these days, yes? Or are supposed to?
The Valley Forge Military Academy, a long-standing Main Line private school that in recent years has faced declining enrollment and allegations of mismanagement, has been denied in a bid to open a publicly funded charter school.
The Radnor school board, which rejected the application Tuesday, said the proposed Valley Forge Military Academy Charter School wasn’t sufficiently independent from the private school. The charter was proposed to be located on the academy’s campus and would have paid rent to the academy.
“It appears that representatives from VFMA applied to form a charter school in an effort to subsidize VFMA and make VFMA available to students through the use of public funds,” the board said in its denial, which was posted on the district’s website Wednesday. It called the application “plainly against the spirit and the letter” of Pennsylvania’s charter school law….The school has been accused of overlooking sexual abuse and hazing. Enrollment has declined, and the school has incurred financial losses. Alumni have accused trustees of mismanagement, though the board has denied those claims and maintained the academy is on the right track….During hearings before the Radnor board, representatives of the military academy said some students interested in their school had been rejected due to their inability to pay tuition.
That isn’t a rationale for the school to form a charter, Radnor’s school board said — adding that the purpose of the charter law “is not to subsidize private school tuition through the use of public school funds.”…The school board cited other faults with the application, including that the academy had failed to respond to community concerns about hazing and abuse allegations at its school….And because some of the proposed charter’s facilities would be in Chester County, it erred in failing to also apply to the Tredyffrin/Easttown school board, according to the Radnor denial.
I found their presentation on Radnor Township School Board’s website, which I found cumbersome to noodle around on, so I will share below. I wonder since part of this VFMAC campus is in Tredyffrin, are they presenting a charter application to that school board as well>
I have no dog in this race, my goal here is to inform only. There is a meeting scheduled about this for in the new year. It is actually a continuation of the public hearing on this Charter School. The date the school board lady announced was Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 at 7 PM . If interested in this, pay attention to the meeting schedule and contact THEM. NOT ME. A new charter school is a relatively big deal, let alone a military one, so I am kind of surprised about zero media coverage. Have a good night.
Mt. Pleasant is truly a historically important part of Tredyffrin. And so undervalued it’s horrible.
Because Tredyffrin did not deal with student rentals for so long, this is also where student housing slumlords have set up quite the slumlord student rental shop going back years and years. Suffice it to say, the college students who rent there have historically treated an entire historic area like animal house.
I would like Tredyffrin to take a look at the historic value of Mount Pleasant. They never really have.
The Carr House on the corner of Upper Gulph and Radnor Street Road was built c. 1774. The Carr School was built in 1833. Another house close by according to the deed was built around 1789. 961 Mt. Pleasant Avenue was built around 1810. 941 Mt. Pleasant was built around 1860.
And what about the significance of Mount Pleasant over the past 100 years plus as a historic black neighborhood? Let alone a community which survives to this day? Generational residents? I think that’s pretty freaking cool.
You notice a house in a photo above. I don’t even know if it’s still standing, because it was targeted for demolition years ago. It was the home of revered community leader and civil rights activist, Mazie B. Hall.
Now this where I have always been puzzled about Tredyffrin. They have bragging rights to Mazie Hall since she lived in Mt. Pleasant. I think they even named a park after her. So why not honor her 103 years on this earth by trying to preserve the community she fought for and called home? Every time I hear anything about Mt. Pleasant I feel like they are trying to erase what it is, or just deny it’s existence.
Mazie B. Hall – educator, mentor, civil-rights activist, community leader and friend to many – passed away Sunday evening at age 103.
She was affectionately known simply as “Miss Mazie,” and until only recently she called the Mt. Pleasant section of Tredyffrin her home since her birth in 1902. According to those who knew her, Miss Hall left a legacy of caring and compassion….she was humble, not “stuffy,” and modestly talked about her life. She fondly recalled her luncheon visits to her Mt. Pleasant home, where Miss Hall was a genteel host. She baked a special dessert, Sally Lunn cake, a slightly sweetened teacake, reminisced Rector, serving it with the proper silverware and glasses. The gracious host also took her guest on a tour of the grounds.
“She showed me trees that her father had planted,” she remembered.
Miss Hall graduated from the former Tredyffrin-Easttown High School and then graduated from West Chester Normal School (West Chester University). Until her death, she was the university’s oldest graduate. The school maintains a scholarship fund in her honor…..Her career as an educator also included serving one year as principal at the former Mt. Pleasant School in Tredyffrin in the 1930s. When schools in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District became segregated, she was involved in the movement for desegregation.
She teamed up with long-time friend Margaret Collins to crusade for fair-housing practices on the Main Line during the 1950s. Their efforts influenced the formation of the Pennsylvania Fair Housing Act, the basis for federal fair-housing laws.
Now I knew Miss Collins as I called her. I used to wait on her when I worked at Bryn Mawr Feed & Seed a million years ago. She loved to garden. She would show up in her crazy beat up old station wagon and I was the one who would wait on her. I worked there at that nursery after I stopped working in New York. I was totally disenchanted at that time by the financial services industry and decided to explore my passion for gardening professionally. (Suffice it to say working for the widow who inherited and eventually shuttered the business almost killed my joy of gardening for a while, but that is a story for another day.)
So sorry for going off on a tangent, but when I think of Mazie Hall and all that she accomplished, I think of Miss Collins. And when I think of Mt. Pleasant, I think of Mazie Hall. And that’s part of the historical context of Mt. Pleasant. The history matters.
Back to Mt. Pleasant. It still suffers from off campus student housing woes and 2022 is no exception. Now depending on the year there are some houses that aren’t so bad, and then there are other years where all the off-campus houses in Mt. Pleasant are bad. This year I’m going to start with one house in particular.
This house is a real party palace. and if they were smart college students and just didn’t throw ragers seemingly every Friday afternoon, maybe they wouldn’t bother their neighbors so much? The house is the student rental at 985 Mt. Pleasant.
I am told the Tredyffrin Police were there around 5 PM. And then I think a bit after that. And apparently again at some point after 8 PM. I am told the first two visits were just one officer, but the third visit around eight was at least two officers.
The kids put up blue tarps so neighbors can’t see in the back, but you can hear them just fine. Super loud.
And the thing is this, there are some college students who coexist in residential neighborhoods with absolutely not a problem. They do their thing, their neighbors do their own thing and it’s fine. But then you have the ones who do the animal house. And the sad thing is Mt. Pleasant is one of those areas that is victimized by the student houses every year.
Like I said before, some years are better than others. This year I’m only hearing about this house so far . I actually heard that there were a couple of other rentals that the landlords stopped renting to students and started renting to regular people, and residents in Mt. Pleasant think it is so nice to see flowers outside instead of old beer cans.
It’s time for Tredyffrin Township to show Mt. Pleasant some respect. They also need to actually pay attention to off-campus student housing, not just pay it lipservice.
And the kids that live off campus? Do we really think the majority of them would behave this way where they grew up? I mean there’s no knowing for sure, we know they want freedom and they want to have fun, but they just need to remember they’re living and co-existing with people who have real jobs, have families, and are entitled to a reasonable expectation of quiet enjoyment where they live.
And to off campus student housing landlords? Just because you don’t live there, it should still be a little bit more than an income investment. You have also invested in another community. Try to give a damn once in a while, eh?
Today Radnor Township is being visited because THEIR planning commission meeting Tuesday September 6th has a big old bomb of a plan which will affect Tredyffrin Township residents in Chester County. The pretentious A.F. name is “St. Honoré” for the development and there is an as equally pretentious A.F. street name proposed of “Rue St. Honoré” .
Zut alors! Mais oui, très prétentieux for a developer whose late father was born in Chester, n’est-ce pas? Which is why I found a better name to propose: Dégueulasse (disgusting, revolting, sh*tty, swinish, putrid) and Rue Dégueulasse or perhaps even Rue Dégoûtant? (And yes, dear developer, I can have these opinions.)
The location of this plan is DoDo Land in Wayne on Strafford Avenue, first mentioned on this blog in 2020. I had written about it then because of Tredyffrin Township residents and Radnor residents, because it just seemed like a shall we say, greedy development prospect?
What is even more concerning is if you look at the planning packet in it’s entirety, it looks like two more properties are folded in? 211 Strafford Avenue and 227 Strafford Avenue?
Here is the packet below. I don’t trust things to not disappear on agendas, so have fun wading through. It also has things on yesterday post concerning Garrett Hill:
Look, this is a lot to digest with VERY little time to do it. I know that Tredyffrin residents were VERY, VERY concerned the last time plans for DoDo Hamilton’s property came up in Radnor. Then I remember the strip the house sale.
And I wouldn’t say DoDo wouldn’t do this, because it was a fact she sold other properties for development when she was alive, correct? Including further out in Chester County? What I also seem to recall were neighbors being super concerned even while DoDo Hamilton was alive about stormwater management issues as a result of this property. And people were super concerned about stormwater management last time this property came up in Radnor, so, what now that it seems two additional properties are part of this?
Without strong preservation ordinances, things like “vinyl windows with short lifespans replace historic wood windows that could be made energy-efficient,” Prichard says. “In the end, all of thesesmall changes lead to a drastic overall change in the appearance of historic neighborhoods, even when no buildings are lost in the process.”
“Unfortunately, I think it’s gone.”
Radnor Township commissioner Jack Larkin is referring to the mansion at the corner of Strafford and Eagle roads once occupied by the late Campbell Soup heiress Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton. The township is powerless to stop the razing of the Victorian-era home for a residential development. As written, its preservation ordinance “is very vague,” says Larkin. “We don’t have the authority to preserve private property, [and its location] would make it very difficult to build around it.”
The developer, Haverford Properties Inc., didn’t respond to several requests for comment, and it seems residents are mainly concerned about the density of the development. “There hasn’t been an attempt to save [the mansion], nor any significant community outcry over its impending demise,” says Prichard, a Radnor resident and member of the township‘s historical commission.
Now I don’t know if Haverford Properties is involved in the development at this point, do you? What I see from the documents in the planning packet, it’s C.F. Holloway. Yessss people, Cas Holloway, and is it fair that some refer to him as a neighborhood killer? Look what he did in Ardmore. The houses he took down were gorgeous old stone Main Line houses, and he pushed people out that I knew who were renters in one address, so IF 211 Strafford Avenue is being folded into this plan, what happens to the Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn?
The Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn is a historic home. I remember when the original B & B owners were looking for approval a bunch of years ago, and you would have thought they wanted to add rapists and murderers to Radnor Township. Ha, those residents should be careful what they wish for, right? In 2016 The Radnor Historical Society honored the Wayne Bed & Breakfast.
Local Garden Tour Friday, June 7, 2013, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Nominal fee of $10 and reservation required. Tour four unique gardens surrounding wonderful homes in Radnor and Tredyffrin Townships. The tour begins at the garden and greenhouses of Mrs. Dorrance Hamilton (only open from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.). on Strafford Avenue. Then visit the Victorian garden across the street at Traudi and Bob Thomason’s Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn. The Thomason’s property features a 110 foot copper beech, thought to be the second largest in the state, wonderful outdoor spaces for sitting and relaxing, including a large pool and spa surrounded by gardens, and an inviting porch that wraps around the circa 1890 inn. Myrna and Paul Paluba will host at their creatively executed, multilevel garden with raised beds, water features, and a peace garden for contemplation. Maud Walker will host at her garden which is highlighted by an unusual collection of trees and shrubs, including a magnificent weeping beech, whimsical garden decorations, and a replica of an Irish garden shed. Directions to all of the gardens will be provided at the Hamilton property. Further information, including how to make reservations, will be sent to you in March. This event is cosponsored by RHS and the Radnor Conservancy.
~ radnor historical society 2012
Ha! With this development when it comes to plantings and trees, wonder what will be left? Don’t answer that, it’s a we shudder to think conversation, mais oui?
Another old thing I found on Developing DoDo land was
Representatives of Haverford Properties are scheduled to meet with Radnor Township residents for the first time Thursday.
The company has not formally submitted plans to the township, but some residents, already disgruntled over development in the sought-after area, say they feel a sense of inevitability. Under what’s known as “by-right” development, Haverford Properties can legally build housing on the parcel.
“They have, without question, the right to develop that property. We have no discretion,” said Jack Larkin, a township commissioner who represents the section of Radnor where the development would be built. “We can never say we don’t want a particular industry in our town because we don’t like what it is.”
By LINDA STEIN | PUBLISHED: January 13, 2020 at 11:30 p.m. | UPDATED: August 23, 2021 at 10:47 a.m.
RADNOR – Although no plans have been filed with the township, word is getting around that a developer has set his sights on the Wayne property of the late Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton, who was one of the Main Line’s iconic grande dames.
“The developer has shown me two concept sketches for the lots; the first is purportedly a by-right plan, and includes approximately 40 homes,” Larkin wrote in his newsletter. “This is, to me, an unattractive plan: Because the units are, by right, single family dwellings, cramming 40 homes onto the two lots means filling them with houses without space for buffers, open space, or stormwater recharge areas.”
Larkin continued, “The second plan would require a conditional use approval by the township, and would put approximately 50 homes into the two lots -41 town homes on the western lot, and nine single-family dwellings onto the eastern lot. Because the homes on the western lot are town homes, they leave a lot of space for the things that are absent in the by-right plan: Stormwater management, sidewalks, buffers, and open space. The density is problematic for me, but with that in mind, it is a good plan.”
“When we first discussed the property, they took my stormwater concerns seriously and the concept sketch they presented had already incorporated stormwater management facilities above and beyond what was required by the ordinance,” Larkin wrote. “Second, when they met with the township engineer for feedback, they promptly incorporated his feedback into their design. Third, they’ve already asked for a meeting with residents to discuss their plans and get your feedback.”
Meanwhile, about 40 nearby neighbors sent this statement to Larkin: “We understand and appreciate the developer’s rights to develop the property, and our goal as a neighborhood is not to squash any development, but to mitigate any negative changes to the neighborhood and keep its current character. For those of us who have lived here many years, we have seen the negative effects of cutting down trees on the Hamilton’s property and the building of just four homes on the corner of Strafford and Eagle Road. Despite the assurances of the engineers, developers, and other experts, our neighborhood has been substantially damaged and our lives negatively affected by ‘tiny’ changes to the Hamilton’s property. There are approximately 40 neighbors on Strafford, Hedgerow, Grant, Forrest, Fairfield, and Old Eagle School who will attest to being harmed financially by the improper regulation of storm water runoff in the past.
“The character of the neighborhood will be drastically changed by the proposed development. Haverford Properties is seeking to double the number of homes within our small community. Our current neighborhood contains 35 acres and 64 homes, approximately two homes per acre. The developers plan to build 50 homes will result in 114 homes, for over three homes per acre. We already have a traffic problem, exacerbated by the fact that our community straddles two townships and counties. The Strafford train station is a delightful anchor to our neighborhood, but it too increases motor and foot traffic. Residents are already fearful to walk on Strafford Avenue. It is a death trap (with) no sidewalks, insufficient lighting, and a dangerous curve in the road. As a community we deserve better from both Radnor and Tredyffrin townships.”
~ delco times 2020
I looked on Commisisoner Jack Larkin’s website and couldn’t find anything about DoDo Land. Perhaps he doesn’t want the general public to see his commissioner musings or has he just checked out as a commissioner?
So here is some other stuff on screenshots to make it easy:
Look, Radnor Township doesn’t care if this gets developed, that has always been my opinion. But it is also my opinion that they make have tarted up the proverbial pig here with a new developer, but this is a plan that is still too dense. And now given the meeting agenda states this meeting is slated for NEXT WEEK AS IN THE DAY AFTER LABOR DAY, residents in Radnor and Tredyffrin do not have much time to rally.
THIS IS AN IN PERSON MEETING – Tuesday, September 6, 2022 – 6:30 PM – Radnorshire Room – 301 Iven Avenue Wayne PA 19087-5297
That is all I have got on this. Residents, you rose up before, just like the residents in Garrett Hill over unwelcome development and more there. Get yourselves to the meeting, but when you storm this Bastille don’t act all cuckoo like Willistown Residents over the sewer sale. Show decorum, make your points, be heard.
Good luck. You will need it here, especially Tredyffrin residents because you are neighbors and affected, but Chester County as well as another municipality. Tredyffrin needs to get their township to take a stand and attend the meeting too. And if zoning variances are sought, Tredyffrin Township needs to be a party to this so their residents can preserve their rights, correct?
Yes Virginia, #andjustlikethat apparently there is indeed a Santa Claus. The news out of West Whiteland is La Mimi is gone girl gone.
I remember when she was manager of Tredyffrin. Never thought much of her there (Terri Woodman formerly East Whiteland’s Manager was the Asst. Township Manager at Tredyffrin 1986 – 2001 as a related aside). I remember when Gleason left Tredyffrin she was doing this whole “a job is not a life” thing (What? Would I make this up? CLICK HERE)
Then of course La Mimi popped out of retirement and popped up at West Whiteland (when La Mimi left Tredyffrin, I predicted no matter what that article said, eventually she would pop up as a manager elsewhere.)
But I digress. Suffice it to say, I have not been a fan. (Just like I am not a fan of that Supervisor Theresa Hogan Santalucia and her sunny personality and vast vocabulary and I bet she wasn’t on board with not renewing the contract of La Mimi was she?))
What happened to cause the #breakup? The eternal #pipelines of it all? Over development? Being like the Red Queen / Queen of Hearts and the whole off with their heads this is my kingdom of it all? Who knows and who knows if they will ever tell right?
However, next steps also depends WHICH consulting firm will West Whiteland use to shepherd them through? I remember when a consulting firm wanted to put a piss poor interim in Radnor the year they fired Dave Bashore. (Read this article to learn more why that Radnor Manager was removed.) I forget his name but the guy was from Coatesville and had been one of the supporters of eminent domain attempt of the Saha Farm, remember? (Coatesville folk who showed up in droves to that Radnor meeting long ago might remember.) A lot of times the consulting firms use former township managers who were not the best wherever they were, so here is hoping they vet even the interim candidates carefully. And I think it would be great if the residents could view the public CVs of potential candidates.
BUT the forensic auditors who helped Radnor back in the day sure hit pay dirt. And I am NOT saying anything remotely like that occurred, it’s just common sense that if you are removing a township manager, you look at everything and the staff, right? Just in case things were not always for the good of the residents but a petty little fiefdom or corner store, right?
Happy New Year West Whiteland Township residents. Your reorg meeting next week will be one not to be missed. It will be hybrid so you can go in person or zoom it. Monday January 3rd, 6:30 PM
I received word today that a gentleman from Tredyffrin who was a much loved Supervisor for many years has passed away. If you read his obituary which I will post, it shows what we are losing in today’s hyper-partisan times. Where are our community leaders today? People that quietly serve to forward the greater good?
In 2011 a reader editorial was written and published in then Main Line Suburban Life by then Chair of the Tredyffrin Supervisors Bob Lamina. I actually remembered this and went looking for it today. I am going to quote liberally:
Thomas Jefferson once said, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” For the better part of 13 years, I’ve had the great pleasure of serving with my friend and colleague Paul Olson on the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors. During that time, Paul has dedicated himself in his public pursuits to ensuring our local government is watchful of tax dollars, preventing wasteful taxpayer-funded expenditures for more government services that his constituents haven’t asked for, or that didn’t support public safety or promote the general welfare of our community…..During our budget deliberations, while many first seek mechanisms to raise revenues to fund additional township services, we can always count on Paul to act like taxpayers do at home: asking where we might first trim expenses.
Paul is also a small-business owner and knows firsthand what it takes to promote economic growth and development and, if we’re not careful, how local government can impede it. He knows from experience the importance of fiscal responsibility and what it takes to make a payroll…..Paul has also been an active volunteer in our community in many ways other than in his elected capacity. A resident since 1968, Paul was president of the Devon-Strafford Little League for five years and also coached the Strafford Eagles youth-football program, now the Conestoga Generals, for seven years. He serves on the Board of Directors of Surrey Services for Seniors, and was co-chair for the wildly successful capital campaign for Tredyffrin Township’s main library in Strafford, raising over $4.8 million in a private-public partnership in the truest sense of the term.
In the spirit of volunteerism that sets him apart from equally well-meaning citizens, Paul was recently honored by the Chester County commissioners for his 400th donation of blood and blood platelets to the American Red Cross, making him the region’s top donor. I asked Paul recently why he’s been dedicated to donating blood platelets for so long. He hesitated, and then told me that he had a very good friend who died some years ago who required this form of blood transfusion. He has committed himself to donate his time, and his blood, to help others who could literally have their lives touched unknowingly by Paul’s unselfish acts of kindness.
A public servant is best defined as one who is a team player who works to achieve goals through compromise and mutual respect. Our public servants are also typically resourceful since often funding is limited and in today’s reality perhaps not available at all. But above all, the best characteristic of a public servant is that of being selfless; that is, placing the needs of others before themselves. Thomas Jefferson also said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” Paul Olson is the embodiment of a true public servant who has given much more than he has ever received from our community.
~ By Bob Lamina
Paul Olson was a true public servant. I never knew him personally, never even met him, but he always put community before self. He put community before political parties.
He was by all accounts, a consistent champion of the Mt. Pleasant section of Tredyffrin in the panhandle. This historic black community is too often overlooked and he helped with things like the Carr School/Mt. Pleasant Chapel, Main Line Mentoring, and getting a park named for Mazie B. Hall. Also active with the Red Cross, Surrey Services for Seniors, and so much more including but not limited to the huge capital campaign back a bunch of years for the Tredyffrin Library.
Paul Olson served as a Supervisor in Tredyffrin Township beginning in 1976 until 2019. FORTY THREE YEARS. That is amazing. That is awe-inspiring. I know I could never do something like that. Rest in peace, Mr. Olson.
Paul Wendell Olson DECEMBER 6, 1931 – SEPTEMBER 10, 2021 Paul Olson was a husband, father, brother, friend, and mentor. He was a community volunteer and leader who served on the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors for more than 40 years. He passed away on Friday September 10, 2021. He was 89 years old.
He loved basketball, which he played through his early 60s, including at the Senior Olympics in Salt Lake City. He loved all kinds of candy, which often filled his pockets and always his briefcase and office drawers. And he loved his wife, Andrea, a high school Fiesta Queen and college salutatorian at Iowa State University, whom he married on September 17, 1960, and with whom he raised three children.
He was a small town Minnesota boy, born and raised in Dawson, a close knit rural community in the southwestern corner of the state, the second son of Clarence Eugene Olson and Ouida Rue Olson. He took lifelong pride in his first job, sweeping floors at Hovland Drug Store as a pre-teen, and in his role on the 1948 Dawson High School basketball team that went to the state tournament. He talked fondly of his graduating class of 18 boys and 18 girls and stayed in touch with many of them throughout his life.
He attended Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota, where he studied business administration and history and started at center on the football team. He served active duty in the Counterintelligence Corps of the Army in Fort Hood, Texas, during the Korean War. He made a career in sales and marketing and managed and then owned several small firms in the laboratory testing business. His career took him through Minneapolis, Kansas City, Peoria, and New York, before landing him and his family of five in Devon in 1969.
He made his most lasting impact in life, though, as a family man and as a community volunteer and leader. In addition to his service on the Tredyffrin Township Board, he was active as a member of his church, St. Luke Lutheran in Devon, and in youth sports. He coached for the Strafford Eagles, the Paoli Wildcats, Teegarden summer basketball, and the Devon Strafford Little League, where he also served as President for a number of years in the late 1970s. He served on the board of directors for both Red Cross of Philadelphia, through whom he donated blood on more than 600 occasions, and for Surrey Services for Seniors.
Paul believed that community service, in addition to improving the community, could enrich the lives of those serving and had the power to connect people of different backgrounds and experiences. He would often encourage friends, neighbors, and acquaintances to participate in community life. He was not an enemies person, and there was not a person he served with, worshipped with, or coached who he would not greet with a warm smile and, more often than not, a firm handshake or a hug. Among Paul’s proudest achievements in township government were saving the Strafford Library, establishing Mazie Hall Park in Mount Pleasant, and helping to secure a triple-A rating on the Township’s bonds.
He is survived by his ever loving wife Andrea; his children Mike (Marilyn) of San Diego, Dave (Judi) of San Mateo, and Kris (Bob) of Paoli; five grandchildren Carly, Miles, Michael, Hunter, Jack, Sam, and Maddie; and his brother Don (Barbara).
Services will be held on Saturday, September 25th, at 11AM at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Devon, located on 203 North Valley Forge Road. The family requests that those wishing to express sympathy consider making donations to the American Red Cross.