Closures & Information:

The Lower Merion Township Building is restricted to public access and will be available for a limited appointment only basis. Please click here for a department directory. The Transfer Station is opened with regular hours but masks and social distancing are required. Clean up Weekend is back on July 11th and July 12th Fill out your Census today at!

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


Notice is hereby given that the Historical Architectural Review Board of Lower Merion Township will hold a meeting on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 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.       16-23

            Property:  920 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035

            Applicant:  Gladwyne Montessori School

            District: Gladwyne

This application seeks a Certificate of Appropriateness to install two fabric awnings over the side entrances of the historic school building. One entrance is to the basement/ground floor level Kindergarten, the other will be over the main school entrance directly above it. Each fabric awning would be laced to welded aluminum tubing, which would be anchored to existing masonry or concrete.


Application No.       16-24

            Property: 537 Old Lancaster Road, Haverford, PA  19041

            Applicant: Maura A. & Henry S. Gillen IV

            District:  Haverford Station

This application seeks a Certificate of Appropriateness to replace an existing vinyl-clad wood frame window with a composite window, and resurface a rebuilt enclosed former rear porch (formerly stucco) with board-and-batten siding.


Application No.       16-25

            Property: 428 West Montgomery Avenue, Haverford, PA  19041

            Applicant:  Richard Welge

            District: Haverford Station

This application seeks a Certificate of Appropriateness to install an exterior kitchen exhaust vent for this second story unit, creating a rectangular opening in the stone façade.


Discussion: Graystone Homeowners Association

            Property:  428 West Montgomery Avenue, Haverford, PA  19041

            District:  Haverford Station

Following recent applications for changes to individual units of the Graystone condominium building, the HARB will discuss the need to have uniform exterior modifications for all units, to maintain a consistent appearance. Members of the Homeowners Association are invited to attend.


Informal Review: 38 W. Lancaster Avenue – The Ardmore Theatre

            Property: 38 W. Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA  19003

            Applicant:  John Cluver, Voith & Mactavish Architects

            District:  Ardmore Commercial

Applicant is seeking preliminary comments from the HARB prior to a potential future application. This proposal would alter the façade of the Ardmore Theatre building, removing the existing, ca. 1940s marquee and installing a new marquee in the character of the original dating from 1922; the installation of a new metal and glass storefront system in the central bay, including new transom with signage; new metal and glass storefronts elsewhere along the sidewalk elevation, including the replacement of the stone base; new sign boards on either side of the central bay opening; the repainting of existing windows; and minor masonry repairs as appropriate.



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

Building & Planning Committee
Wednesday, October 13, 2016
approx. 6:30 PM
Board Room, Township Building

Board of Commissioners
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
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, November 1, 2016 @ 8:00 A.M.



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