The Pennsylvania At Risk list draws statewide attention to the plight of Pennsylvania’s historic resources, promotes and supports local action to protect historic properties, and encourages funding and legislation that supports preservation activities. Preservation Pennsylvania will waive field service fees for At Risk Properties for the year, and provide additional services and support (e.g. letters of support for the Keystone Grant).
On February 6, 2017, Preservation Pennsylvania announced the addition of 11 new places to its list of the commonwealth's most endangered historic resources. The 11 sites were selected from nominations submitted by the public and will become Preservation Pennsylvania’s work priorities in 2017.
2017 Pennsylvania At Risk List
· Plymouth Meeting Historic District, Abolition Hall, Hovenden House, Montgomery County
· Mifflin House, York County
· Jewelers Row, Philadelphia County
· Buck's Tavern, Dauphin County
· Hoke House, York County
· Moon Lorn, Washington County
· Meadowbrook Farmstead, Chester County
· Ekin House, Allegheny County
· Monessen Savings and Trust, Westmoreland County
· Kiddie Kloes Factory, Carbon County
· The Yorktowne Hotel, York County
Click here to read or download the 2017 publication Pennsylvania At Risk offering further details about each site. (Preservation Pennsylvania members will receive a printed copy in the mail.) Listings include "Get Involved" actions to make a difference in your local community.
Preservation Pennsylvania offers individuals, communities and
organizations free technical assistance to help prevent historic
properties from reaching At Risk crisis status.
You can help!
Not all At Risk properties can be saved, but At Risk data analysis proves that many can. Calling attention to the plight of these special places gives each one a better chance of finding the right combination of people, support and ideas -- the resources necessary to result in a "Save"! Get involved! To take action in your community, consult our free publication, How to Protect and Preserve the Places that Matter to You.
ABOLITION HALL, HOVENDEN HOUSE, AND PLYMOUTH MEETING HISTORIC DISTRICT
Germantown Pike and Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County
THREAT: Compromised Setting by intensive residential development and demolition for possible road realignment
Plymouth Meeting's National Register Historic District was Pennsylvania's first designated under the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act. Abolition Hall and Hovenden House are widely considered among the nation’s most important sites related to abolition history and the Underground Railroad. The sites are also connected to generations of artists, including Thomas Hovenden, painter and former head of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
202 Cool Springs Road Wrightsville, Hellam Township, York County
THREAT: Demolition for industrial development
Jonathan and Susanna Mifflin were pioneers in the Underground Railroad in the 1820s and 1830s. Located just north of Wrightsville on the west bank of the Susquehanna River, the property provided an ideal location to keep fugitive slaves safe until they could be transported across the river to Columbia.
UPDATE 3/28/2017: From Supervisor Galen L. Weibley of Hellam Township via Facebook
Attention Township Residents: The Township zoning office has received a demolition permit for the Mifflin House located in Wright's Crossing Commercial Complex. At this time I would like to take this opportunity to explain what is to follow.
Demolition permits are generally a private matter and the township does not get involved with individuals’ personal property decisions. However, given the unique history of the Mifflin House, a few items are listed in the township zoning.
Under the township zoning ordinance, Section 490-20 details a Historic Overlay District in which the Mifflin House is listed on Exhibit F as an important historical site. The zoning allows for a voluntary review by Kreutz Creek Valley Preservation Society (KCVPS, Inc.). In addition to meeting the normal requirements for obtaining a zoning permit, the Township zoning office shall contact KCVPS, Inc. regarding all applications for alteration and/or demolition of a building, structure, or site within the Historic Overlay District. KCVPS, Inc. will review the permit and meet with the applicant to recommend options to preserve the existing structure.
I have received confirmation from township staff that notification was sent to KCVPS, Inc. regarding the demolition permit. The demolition permit will now be sent to Commonwealth Codes before issuance of final approval.
Upon receiving news regarding the Mifflin House, I am deeply saddened and disappointed by the private decision to erase a part of our important history here in Eastern York County. The Mifflin House serves as a reminder of Hellam Township residents’ courage and perseverance against social injustice within their community. We should all do our part to ensure the history and memory of Jonathan and Susannah Mifflin are preserved on paper before it is too late. Interested parties willing to purchase this historic house or learn more regarding the property should contact the Kreutz Creek Valley Preservation Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7590 Jonestown Road, West Hanover Township, Dauphin County
THREAT: Physical Deterioration, Demolition related to disuse
The oldest part of the property dates between 1730-1750. The newest portion was built in 1805 and served as a tavern for more than a century (the discovery of a box of gold wedding bands in the tavern walls teases the imagination). Owned by the local township, it has no use for the building.
The Georgian-style house was built c. 1750, is the oldest building in Spring Grove, and is a contributing resource in the National Register Spring Grove Historic District. Rutter’s Properties owns the adjacent convenience store, but has no use for the historic structure.
357 Parcell Road Prosperity, Morris Township, Washington County
THREAT: Deterioration related to vacancy/disuse and vandalism
A foundation’s unsuccessful effort to use the former home of painter Malcolm Parcell to host visiting artists led to the eventual sale of the 14-acre property to CONSOL Energy Land Resources Division (CNX Land LLC) for longwall coal mining. The unoccupied and remote property is deteriorating and subject to vandalism. Local advocates hope to work with CONSOL to save the property.
Campbell Lane, Schuylkill Township, Chester County
THREAT: Demolition following deterioration resulting from disuse
This National Register-listed farmstead dates from 1754 and during the American Revolution it served as both a hospital and a headquarters for American officers. Located just a few miles from the encampment at Valley Forge, the home boasted illustrious visitors such as General Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold. Since the 1930s it served as a golf club but was recently acquired by eminent domain by the Phoenixville Area School District for potential expansion. A Schuylkill Township task force hopes to find a way to save the farmstead from demolition.
203 South Water Street, Elizabeth Borough, Allegheny County
THREAT: Demolition for parking and/or storage
One of the oldest structures in the borough of Elizabeth, the brick Greek Revival building (c. 1840s) is named for its owner, General James Adams Ekin, a Civil War hero, boat builder, and descendant of the Bayard family, founders of Elizabeth. At the end of the war, Ekin served on the commission that tried the conspirators in President Lincoln’s assassination. The Ekin House needs a new owner and strategy for re- use that could include a commercial venture or return to use as a private residence.
THREAT: Demolition following years of vacancy and neglect
The Monessen Savings and Trust served the banking and business needs of the City of Monessen from 1905-1926 and stands as a living testament to the industrialists that helped shape Monessen and the Pittsburgh region, with historic ties to nationally-significant industries such as Carnegie Steel and the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. The City of Monessen owns the property, and City Council is strongly advocating for demolition. A local advocate created the 500 Donner Project envisioning a nonprofit cafe, music center, and auditorium.
West Bertsch Street, Lansford Borough, Carbon County
THREAT: Physical Deterioration
This former silk throwing mill was built in 1904 and is listed as a contributing building in the National Register Lansford Historic District. In 1935, Philadelphia-based Rosenau Brothers, Inc. converted the factory to manufacture their Cinderella brand of girls’ dresses, made famous by child movie star Shirley Temple. The building has been derelict since the 1990s but is now owned by local residents who hope to rehabilitate the building.
THREAT: Partial Demolition to accommodate modern redevelopment
This 198-room hotel opened in downtown York City on October 5, 1925 and has since been the site of most major events in York City. It was purchased by the York County Industrial Development Authority, which closed the hotel in November 2016 for a renovation expected to last two years. Materials distributed by the York County Industrial Development Authority in its search for an architect include the option for partial demolition that would include removal of the top five to seven floors of the building and new construction on top of the base.
Will you help change the outcome for the 2017 Pennsylvania At RIsk sites? We invite you to make a contribution to help with the work we'll do throughout this year to help preserve these special places. Click the link below to make a donation of any amount using Paypal, American Express or any other credit card.
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Pennsylvania At Risk Database and Archives To access a searchable database of all properties listed in Pennsylvania At Risk since 1992, click here.
PLEASE NOTE: Preservation Pennsylvania staff visited every extant site in 2016 to ascertain its current status. Community members are our eyes and ears in the field. We invite you to contact us if you have a status update or alert regarding an At Risk-listed site. Contact Julia at email@example.com