The Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) is a public advisory body created by state and local laws, the Board of Historical Architectural Review is known, locally and nationally, as HARB. HARB operates under the authority of the State of Pennsylvania's Historic District Act, General Assembly #167 of 1961, as amended 1963. Lower Merion Township's HARB was created by Ordinance #1902 of 1980.

HARB's purpose is to help protect the distinctive and historic character of Lower Merion Township by considering the effects of proposed changes to buildings and properties within historic districts and on the Historic Properties List and by ruling on their appropriateness.

The Historic Resource Preservation Ordinance - enacted 3/15/2000, contains the references to all Code Chapters impacted by this ordinance.

Preservation Briefs

HARB Preservation Briefs is a series created and produced by the HARB for the Township.

A Short History of the Township - Brief No. 1
HARB's Role in the Community - Brief No. 2
Historic Districts: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions - Brief No. 3
Researching Historic Properties - Brief No. 4
Historic Resources and Opportunities - Brief No. 5

HARB Guidelines for Applicants

A series of brochures, published by the HARB, that contain information about architectural review standards and guidelines to help move a project quickly through the approval process. The brochures are available from the Township's Building & Planning Department (610-645-6200). PDF copies are linked below.

General Information for Applicants - Guideline No. 1
New Construction and Additions - Guideline No. 2
Alterations and Renovations - Guideline No. 3
Repair and Replacement - Guideline No. 4
Signs and Awnings - Guideline No. 5A
Wood Windows - Guideline No. 6

HARB Certificate of Appropriateness Application

Download a Certificate of Appropriateness application and after completing the application, then download the map of the historic district in which your project is located. Please note that historic district maps are required as part of the application information. The application, addenda and checklists are also available in the Building & Planning Department of the Township of Lower Merion (610-645-6200).

HARB Certificate of Appropriateness (CofA) Application (PDF 190KB)

Addenda: (PDFs)

CofA Application addendum for Signs & Awnings Only, includes checklist
Ardmore Storefront Design Guidelines  
Ardmore Commercial Historic District Map
Gladwyne Historic District Map
Mill Creek Historic District Map
Haverford Station Historic District Map
English Village Historic District Map
Harriton Historic District Map
Merion Friends Meeting/General Wayne Inn Historic District Map

Submission Checklists: (PDFs)

Additions & New Construction Checklist
Renovations & Alterations Checklist
Repairs & Replacement Checklist

Historic Preservation Awards

The HARB and the Historical Commission periodically co-sponsor awards. The 2017 Historic Preservation Awards were held on October 19 and took place at the Levering Mill Tribute House.

In 2017 the Township was proud to honor 9 historic preservation projects, 3 individuals for communication/education efforts, 8 past members of the HARB and Historical Commission, and Gerald Francis, recipient of the Robert DeSilets Award.

View the 2017 Historic Preservation Awards Presentation (PDF, 1.1 MB)

View the 2012 Historic Preservation Awards Presentation (PDF, 10.2 MB) 

Useful Links

Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission
Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia
Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties
National Park Service Preservation Briefs

Upcoming HARB Meeting Dates

Submission materials, including completed application forms and all other supplemental material required, are due 11 days prior to the HARB meeting (typically two Fridays before the Tuesday HARB meeting). Subject to later notice of change of time and location, Applications for Certificates of Appropriateness will be heard starting at 8:15 AM on the following dates:

Historical Architectural Review Board

Regular Monthly Meeting

MEETING NOTICE
HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD
LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP

Notice is hereby given that the Historical Architectural Review Board of Lower Merion Township will hold a meeting on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 8:15 AM in the Board Room on the Second Floor of the Township Building, 75 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA. The Board will review the following applications beginning at 8:30 AM:


 

Reorganization for 2017


Application No.       16-29

            Property: 29-33 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
            Applicant: Jack Burns Architecture
            District: Ardmore

Previous versions of this application had been heard and approved several times last year. The applicant returns with some changes: The entry door of 29 E. Lancaster Ave. is no longer recessed, and various changes have been made to the rear elevations.


Application No.       17-01

            Property: 21 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, PA 19003
            Applicant: Jack Burns Architecture
            District: Ardmore

Application to replace windows and repair brickwork on the existing one-story structure, which was built as the Christian Science Reading Room in 1946. A two-story addition is proposed above the existing structure, replicating its brickwork and three-bay layout facing Rittenhouse Place. Two bays of the north side elevation would be faced with brick; the remainder would be clad in cement siding. A railing would run along the current front roofline. A pilot house on the roof will give occupants access to a roof deck.


Application No.       17-02

            Property: 949 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035
            Applicant: James Wilson
            District: Gladwyne

Application to install a painted wooden sign hanging from an iron rod attached to the building’s stucco façade.


Application No.       17-03

            Property: 651 Merion Square Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035
            Applicant: Styles Homes, LLC
            District: Mill Creek

Construction of a new 4,500 sq. ft. single family home on a vacant lot. Materials include “Heritage Mica” stone product, HardiePlank horizontal siding, Pella 450 Series windows, and Azek trim.


Informal Review

            Property: 501, 503, 507 Old Lancaster Road, Haverford, PA 19041
            Applicant: Mike Main
            District: Haverford Station

Preliminary presentation of a potential development project to reconfigure two properties including the triangular property at the east end of Old Lancaster Avenue south of the railroad tracks. The narrow end of the property at 501 Old Lancaster Road currently contains a row of garages for a tree service and a larger two-story garage structure. The proposal is to physically move the residence at 503 Old Lancaster (a contributing resource in the district) to the east and north to link with the existing two-story garage. The existing home at 507 Old Lancaster (a contributing resource in the district) would be renovated. A new twin residence would be constructed between 503 and 507, resembling the style of the recent development across Old Lancaster Road. The potential applicant seeks feedback on the idea before pursuing an official application.


 

NOTE: Applications acted upon at the Historical Architectural Review Board will be discussed at the following meetings:

Building & Planning Committee
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
approx. 6:30 PM
Board Room, Township Building

Board of Commissioners
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
approx. 7:30 PM
Board Room, Township Building

If an application is TABLED, it is not forwarded to the Building and Planning Committee.

Anyone interested in reviewing the applications and plans submitted by the applicant may review this information in the Building Regulations Division of the Building and Planning Department at the Lower Merion Township Building (Monday-Friday, 8:15 AM - 4:30 PM).

Anyone requiring special accommodations to attend this meeting should contact this office at least three days prior to the meeting - (610) 645-6172.

Michael R. Wylie, Secretary

Board Members:
Scott Kalner, Chair
Philip Franks, Vice-Chair
Julie Alexandre
Ann Shepard Houston
Philip Ivory
Ina Sargen
Sharon Sorokin 
 
Next HARB meeting: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 @ 8:15 A.M.

 

 

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