Check Out New Chester County Time Machine Site on the May 2nd Gallery Walk

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The Chestnut Street Friends Meeting on the corner of Church and Chestnut Streets, West Chester, as it appeared in 1898. Photo by Gilbert Cope.

Scan the QR code at Colonial Metal on North Church Street with your phone's card reader to view this photo from the spot where it was taken. This is a new site on Chester County Time Machine West Chester Walking Tour.

The Chestnut Street meetinghouse was built in 1844 of green serpentine stone by the Orthodox Friends. When the orthodox sect rejoined the Hicksite Friends of High Street Meeting, their meetinghouse was sold to the Day Care Association of Chester County in 1961.  By 1967, the day care was seeking more space and sold the building to the Borough of West Chester. Borough Council was seeking a site for a multi-story parking garage and announced that the meetinghouse would be razed. This unleashed a great public outcry against the demolition of the historical building.

 Despite constant protests expressed through petitions, an informal referendum and the formation of a citizen’s action group, Borough Council unanimously voted in favor of razing the meetinghouse and creating a level parking lot. This was accomplished in 1968. As a result, the public realized they needed a way to legally protect historical buildings and the process to establish the West Chester Historical Architectural Review Board began.

Pamela Powell, Photo Archivist

The Chester County Time Machine is generously supported by AT & T Foundation and Digital Exhibition Systems, Inc.