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

  1. 19-03 – 22 West Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore – Ardmore Historic District
    An application was reviewed and approved in January for the replacement of windows and other façade repairs at this address. The applicant returns with a proposal to add paneling to the first story commercial façade to replace vinyl vertical siding and other non-historic elements.

  2. 19-04 – 603 Loves Lane, Wynnewood – English Village Historic District
    This property is one of two non-contributing properties in the district. The applicant proposes to demolish a majority of the existing prefabricated residence and construct a new structure on the existing footprint with a two-car garage. The new residence has been designed to be sympathetic to the unique architecture of the district.

  3. Review For Comment – 39-41 East Montgomery Avenue
    The applicant proposes to replace three single-family homes with a four-story, 21-unit condominium building. A condition of approval for this development proposal stated that the HARB shall review the architecture (which is outside of any historic district) to ensure that the design of the building is compatible with the existing neighborhood with respect to scale, rhythm and mass, and references elements of the architectural styles found in the adjacent neighborhoods.

DISCUSSION/INFORMATION

  • January 8, 2019 Meeting Minutes
  • Update on Design Guidelines for Historic Districts and Neighborhood Conservation Districts

 

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