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, July 25, 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.

Property: 31 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Applicant: Dohyun (Paul) Kong – Bam Bam Seoul Kitchen
District: Ardmore

Applicant proposes a new projecting, illuminated sign for a restaurant space that will occupy two storefronts in the building currently under renovation at 29-33 East Lancaster Avenue. Letters reading “Bam Bam” would be halo-lit from behind on an orange background.


Application No.         17-20

Property: 21 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, PA 19003
Applicant: Paulette Kules – Pun’s Toy Shop
District: Ardmore

The former Christian Science Reading Room building has been renovated for retail use. The Pun’s sign will span the width of the front façade, covering the limestone band and the carved name of its previous occupant.


Application No.         17-21

Property: 2 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Applicant: Carrie Kohs, PucciManuli
District: Ardmore

Applicant proposes re-facing an existing projecting illuminated corner box sign and installing two new non-illuminated building signs above storefront windows, one facing East Lancaster Avenue and the other facing Cricket Avenue. Also shown is the repainting of stucco façade elements around storefront windows. This Art Deco-style building was previously Melodies Café and most recently a Clinton campaign office.


Application No.         17-22

Property: 929 Merion Square Road, Gladwyne, PA 19035
Applicant: Jeff & Erin Addis
District: Gladwyne

Application for a rear two-story addition to this stucco ca. 1874 house. Addition would incorporate an existing rear frame addition clad in horizontal siding and project beyond the home’s right side. This property was before HARB for window replacement in 2013 and 2014.


Application No.         17-23

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

Application to renovate an existing contributing home at 507 Old Lancaster Road, demolish a contributing home at 503 Old Lancaster Road and build a new twin home with front-loading garages on the site, and demolish a group of garages at 501 Old Lancaster Road and replace them with a new single family residence. Other changes to the properties include a new garage behind 507 and a change in use from commercial to residential at 501. Applicant was before HARB for an informal review on February 7, and has submitted site plans, renderings, an engineer’s report, and a Historic Resource Impact Study.



Property: 104 West Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Applicant: Kaminski+Pew
District: Ardmore

This proposed five-story mixed-use retail/residential building would lie just outside the Ardmore Historic District. However, because of its proximity to the district and the potential impact on it, a Condition of Approval from the project’s Tentative Sketch Plan (dated May 23, 2017) required the applicant to seek comment on the Preliminary Plan from the HARB. Elevations and a rendering have been submitted for the HARB’s review.



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

Building & Planning Committee
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
approx. 6:30 PM
Board Room, Township Building

Board of Commissioners
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
approx. 7:00 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, September 12, 2017 @ 8:15 A.M.



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