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, July 11, 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:


 

Application No.         17-13

            Property: 10 West Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
            Applicant: Image 360/The Party Place
            District: Ardmore

New signs at the front and rear entrances of the former Party Land store in the Rittenhouse Arcade building. Signs will consist of internally illuminated channel letters and logo mounted to an existing raceway.

 


Application No.         17-14

            Property: 953 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035
            Applicant: Patricia Tobin, Union League of Philadelphia
            District: Gladwyne

Proposal for a new hanging sign facing Youngsford Road to replace a sign of nearly identical size and design. Also, a new PVC fence is proposed to replace a deteriorated wood fence at the rear of the property, facing Righters Mill Road and the rear property line. The fence will be gray in color and have a galvanized metal framing, 5 ft. high with posts every 8 ft.

 


Application No.         17-15

            Property:  956 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035
            Applicant: voteTEPPER, Inc.
            District: Gladwyne

Proposal to replace an existing sign at a Commissioner candidate’s campaign office with a new acrylic sign with vinyl lettering.

 


Application No.         17-16

            Property: 915 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035
            Applicant: Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless
            District: Gladwyne

This property is the Gladwyne Park. Proposal to install a diesel generator on a new 10’x10’ concrete pad adjacent to an existing building and 180 ft.-high cell tower. The generator would be enclosed by an 8 ft. high chain link fence with green privacy slat inserts and a locked gate.

 


Application No.         17-17

            Property: 47-65 Cricket Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
            Applicant: Cricket Court Partners, LP
            District: Ardmore

A previous concept of this five-story residential/retail building was shown to and approved by the HARB in July, 2016. The applicant returns with changes to the elevations including a large vent on the rear (Trolley Way) ground level façade. Other changes include adjusted window and material configurations.

 


Application No.         17-18

            Property: 557 Barrett Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041
            Applicant: John and Daphne Scullin
            District: Haverford

Proposal for a 2.5-story rear addition to a Dutch Colonial home. The addition would continue the front-facing gambrel roof to significantly increase the home’s footprint.

 


INFORMAL REVIEW

            Property: 607 Loves Lane, Wynnewood, PA 19096
            Applicant: Mike Emma
            District: English Village

One of two non-contributing properties in the English Village Historic District, 607 Loves Lane is a single-story Ranch residence with a front-loading garage. The home’s new owner comes to the HARB seeking advice for renovating the exterior of the residence with two options. A modern option would remain one-story, with proposed materials including Hardie board and batten siding, a pre-painted aluminum roof, and wood doors. An option adding a second story would have more traditional details.

 


 

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

Building & Planning Committee
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
approx. 6:30 PM
Board Room, Township Building

Board of Commissioners
Wednesday, July 19, 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
Betsy Cremer
Ann Shepard Houston
Philip Ivory
Ina Sargen
Sharon Sorokin 
 
Next HARB meeting: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 8:15 A.M.

 

 

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