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Historic Comission

Interested in the history of Upper Uwchlan?
The Upper Uwchlan, A Place Betwixt and Between
by Estelle Cremers is available now!

Order your copy at the Pre-Publication Price.

order form


Interior of Simpson's store ca. 1920. Courtesy of Robert Simpson

Cover to cover, The UPPER Uwchlan, A Place Betwixt and Between, will introduce the reader to the origins of the township prior to its 1858 incorporation to the building of the Marsh Creek and State Park. It is a thoroughly researched and well documented publication showing the townships location between the Welsh Tract at Radnor and the Welsh settlement on the upper Conestoga Creek. This history will appeal to a variety of reader interests. It includes detailed mapping from several time periods, three churches' tombstone listings, Revolutionary War history, Underground Railroad and Civil War information, Fox Hunting, Schools, Churches, Villages and more.

Did you know that...

"The UPPER Uwchlan, A Place Betwixt and Between," written by Estelle Cremers is a collaborative effort with the staff of Tri-County Heritage Society, Pat Drake, Pamela Shenk, and Carole Wilson.

Order Now !!


Historic Commission

The Commission consists of 7 members appointed by the Board of Supervisors for a 3-year term; with a variety of tasks ranging from inventorying historic structures, renovating the Windsor School, and reviewing proposed developments to assess the impact on historical structures with the site, if applicable.

The Commission is presently engaged in "Deed Descent" research on a number of historic structures.

Meetings are held on the 4th Monday of the month at 7:00 P.M. in the Township Building.

Members of the Historic Commission include:

Name

2006

Year Appointed Term Expires
Mary Louise Farrow
Chairperson
1/88 12/31/2007
Nancy G. Copp

.Member

1/91 12/31/2008
Misty Bartel

Member

5/06 12/31/2008
VACANCY

12/31/2006
VACANCY

 

  12/31/2006
ALTERNATE .   12/31/2006
VACANCY .   12/31/2007
VACANCY 12/31/2008


The facts about the National Register

Recently there have been a spate of articles in various newspapers reporting on the supposed restrictions placed on a property once it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This article is meant to clear the air of these misconceptions, and to be used in the future by those of us concerned with accuracy to try and educate reporters, developers and public officials about the role the National Register can play in community preservation.

First of all, the National Register of Historic Places is a federal program overseen by the National Park Service, but administrated on the state level by each State historic Preservation Office. The offices go by many names: in the case of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Bureau for Historic Preservation acts as the State Historic Preservation Office.

According to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which created the National Register, there are no restrictions placed on the owners of any privately owned property, whether listed individually or as part of a historic district. The National Register does not restrict private owners from changing, adding to or demolishing their historic resources.

However, by Federal Law, listing on the National Register can help preserve historic resources in the following ways:

If a municipality wishes to prevent private property owners from irrevocably changing what the municipality perceives as the municipality's historic resources, then it may decide to adopt a Historic District Ordinance, by which the municipality establishes a Historical and Architectural Review Board (HARB) to oversee the historic resources found within the municipality's designated Certified Historic District. Many times, these Certified Historic Districts are based on National Register Historic Districts, having the same or similar boundaries. This is where the confusion comes in. Many residents of the municipality may be aware of the existence of the National Register Historic District. They may assume, when they are informed that they can't make changes to their buildings, that it is the National Register placing those restrictions on them. In fact, it is the Ordinance which established the Certified Historic District that places restrictions on what property owners can do to their buildings. To add to the confusion, both kinds are referred to as "Historic Districts". Maybe it's time we came up with a more precise, less confusing vocabulary that distinguishes between (or among) the different kinds of historic district.

In the meantime, the first thing a property owner should do, after learning that his/her property is listed on the National Register, is ascertain whether or not it is also included in a Certified Historic District. If it is not, then there are no restrictions as to what that property owner can or cannot do to the property.

Upper Uwchlan Township does not have an Historic Preservation District Ordinance. We are reviewing an Ordinance which protects our Historic structures from demolition "By Neglect." That is, an Historic structure shall not be allowed to deteriorate (caved in roof, broken windows, etc.) to a point where it is for all practical purposes, demolished. A copy of the proposed Ordinance (under review as we go to print) is available at the Township Building.


Pennsylvania Municipalities that have adopted historic preservation ordinances have been very successful in avoiding courtroom challenges since the Historic District Act was passed by the General Assembly in 1961. In instances where litigation has been unavoidable, Pennsylvania courts have shown consistent support to municipalities which consider protection of their historic resources as necessary in promoting the "general welfare, education and culture of the communities in which these distinctive historical areas are located."

Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which states, in part, "The People have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment," supports local governments in enacting historic district or ordinances.

Over one hundred Pennsylvania municipalities, comprising boroughs, townships and cities of various classes, have enacted preservation ordinances under state enabling laws. Three such laws; (1) the Historic District Act, No. 167 as amended, (2) the Municipalities Planning Code, Act of 1988 as amended, and (3) the Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law of 1972 as amended, provide the authority under which local governments can protect their historic resources. (Excerpted from HARBulletin, vol. 7, No.2 Summer/Winter 1996)



Upper Uwchlan Township
140 Pottstown Pike
Chester Springs, Pa 19425
Township Offices : 610-458-9400
Building Department : 610-458-7474
Police Department: 610-458-5862