Photos courtesy of Carla Zambelli
Hosted by the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust, the much-anticipated 9th annual tour will take guests behind the scenes of eight historic and breathtaking properties in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships on Saturday, September 28th, 12 – 5 PM rain or shine. House tour visitors have the opportunity to discover the rich, architectural heritage of the area as they explore private residences, barns, a historic church and more!
The featured properties span 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and visitors are invited inside for a glimpse of what it is like to live, work, and worship in these unique historic structures. Each property has generations of original stories to tell.
“We are excited about the 2013 house tour,” commented Pattye Benson, Trust President and Chair of the annual tour. “Our goal is to present a variety of historic properties that will inspire those who may be interested in living in a historic house, while sharing a bit of local history with you at the same time. With the cooperation of generous homeowners, many volunteers and supportive individual and corporate sponsors, you can experience the buildings that make this area distinctive and beautiful.”
The Duportail House, circa 1740 farmhouse in Chesterbrook, will be the featured ticket pick-up point for the 2013 House Tour. General Louis Lebeque Duportail, chief engineer of the Continental Army, used Duportail House as his quarters during the Valley Forge encampment of the Revolutionary War.
The private homes on the house tour are as diverse as their owners. In the 1960’s, the Fox Company purchased and developed 865 acres into 28 different ‘villages’, now known as Chesterbrook. The development plan protected several historic buildings, including the William Roberts Green Valley Farm, circa 1846, in the middle of the ‘Ridings’ townhouse community.
Visitors will delight in the splendor of Avonwood Farm, an early 18 grounds that seems to fit into the landscape as was typical in Pennsylvania’s colonial period. The current owners purchased the property in 2009 and the house, barn and grounds has undergone extensive renovations to bring new life into an old house while maintaining its integrity and original, unique architectural features.
Down a long tree-lined driveway in the Radnor section of Tredyffrin Township, house tour guests will have an opportunity to visit Hidden Hollow Farm, the original dairy farm of the A. J. Drexel Paul Estate. Fields and gardens create the perfect backdrop for this remarkable colonial-style stone farmhouse from 1895.
Calling this historic home for nearly 45 years, the current owners added a modern wing to the old via a three-story, partially glass tower containing a circular staircase. The redesigned residence houses an extensive collection of predominantly contemporary Philadelphia paintings and sculptures.
The tour includes two historic properties in Easttown Township, including the summer home of Philadelphia attorney J. Lewis Twaddell, designed by influential Philadelphia architect William Price in 1892. The Arts and Crafts country cottage in Devon boasts original nineteenth century hand-carved staircase, exquisite fireplace details and beautiful leaded glass windows.
Also in Easttown, the 1750’s fieldstone farmhouse known as Lenape Farm will open its door to visitors. Noted Devon architect Brognard Okie restored the farmhouse and expanded it into a striking country home in the late 1920’s. In 1949, Lady Sarah Russell, niece of Winston Churchill, purchased the home for a summer residence. Churchill reportedly visited several times and locals continue to refer to the house as ‘The Churchill House’.
Knowledgeable guides staff each home on the tour and house tour admission includes individual house history booklets with map and parking details. Tickets are $35 and are available
online at tredyffrinhistory.org using your credit card. Or, you can click on a downloadable order form on the site and mail with your check to Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust, PO Box 764, Devon, PA 19333-0764.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust’s mission is to preserve and protect historic and cultural resources for the benefit of present and future generations and to educate the public about the preservation and protection of historic and cultural settings. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Jones Log Barn rebuilding project as the ‘Living History Center of Duportail’.
If you would like additional information about the Living History Center or the house tour, consult www.tredyffrinhistory.org or contact Pattye Benson, 610.644.6759 or kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org.