Friday, August 14, 2009

Lessons Not Learned

Completed in 1921 by renowned architect Horace Trumbauer (Philadelphia Museum of Art, Free Library of Philadelphia), Whitemarsh Hall in Wyndmoor was razed in 1980 to make way for Stotesbury Estates, a suburban townhouse community.
More recently, T. P. Chandler's 1897 Dunminning Mansion in Newtown Square was sold to Bentley Homes and razed for development in 2007. Chandler founded the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Architecture.
Lynnewood Hall, another Trumbauer masterpiece designed for Peter A. B. Widener, sits vacant in Elkins Park. Owned by the First Korean Church of New York, the Cheltenham Township Planning Commission has twice denied the church use of the building as a residence, an example of elected officials legislating on behalf of predatory developers and encouraging suburban sprawl.

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