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, December 5, 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.         17-35

            Property:  45 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003

            Applicant: Jeki Ma

            District: Ardmore

Applicant will return with details to façade improvements to the former VFW. Non-original plywood paneling is being replaced with storefront glass and reconstructed cornices designed to match visible details in historic photographs. Second floor vinyl windows are also to be replaced.


Application No.         17-37

            Property: 35 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003

            Applicant: Peter Martin

            District:  Ardmore

Applicant proposes to renovate the first floor façade of the storefront in a style matching the applicant’s other properties at 29, 31 and 33 East Lancaster Avenue. A pent roof over the storefront window will be removed, under which a transom window is expected to be found.


Application No.         17-38

            Property:  29 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003

            Applicant: Peter Martin

            District: Ardmore

Applicant proposes to install two signs for the upcoming Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft restaurant. One sign will be façade-mounted above the first story transom windows. The second will be perpendicular to the front façade and internally illuminated with the restaurant’s “R” logo. It will be similar (though taller) to the sign of Bam Bam Seoul Kitchen installed recently at the storefront immediately to the east.


 
Application No.
        17-36

            Property: 7 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003

            Applicant: The Bercy Brasserie

            District: Ardmore

Application was tabled in November. The applicant’s current proposal is to make various modifications to the former Merion Title & Trust bank building, which was most recently occupied by Primavera Pizza Kitchen. Alterations include re-facing of the clock on the corner of the building with new architectural elements including signage identifying the restaurant, the installation of a clear acrylic canopy on the front elevation, installing a ramp/waiting area with railing on the front elevation, and re-facing a wide box sign on the rear elevation of the building. The applicant had previously proposed replacing the corner clock with a large sign at a 45-degree angle.


Application No.         17-23

            Property:  501, 503, 507 Old Lancaster Road, Haverford, PA 19041

            Applicant: Michael Main

            District: Haverford Station

Applicant appeared before the HARB several times previously for this development proposal on a triangular property bound by Old Lancaster Road and the railroad. The applicant’s current plan is to enlarge and move the house at 503 Old Lancaster Road approximately 60 feet to the east, renovate 507 Old Lancaster Road, and construct a new twin residence between the existing homes. Other site improvements include driveways and garages. The applicant is requesting approval for the revised site plan and the concept of moving 503.


 

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

Building & Planning Committee
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
approx. 6:30 PM
Board Room, Township Building

Board of Commissioners
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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, February 6, 2018 @ 8:15 A.M.

 

 

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