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 3, 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: 24 West Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
            Applicant: Let Them Play Learning Center
            District: Ardmore

Applicant proposes installing aluminum façade signs with vinyl graphics to be applied to the front (facing West Lancaster Avenue) and rear (facing Haws Terrace) entrances of the commercial building.

Application No.         17-30

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

Applicant seeks approval for a projecting bracket-mounted hanging sign at the rear (Cricket Avenue-facing) doorway to the store. On July 25, the applicant received approval to re-face an existing corner sign and to install two new façade signs near the main entrance.

Application No.         17-31

            Property: 52 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
            Applicant: Oanh Le / LaBelle Nail Bar
            District:  Ardmore

Applicant seeks approval for two signs (one facing East Lancaster Avenue, the other facing Rittenhouse Place), each with illuminated channel letters mounted to a raceway. The signs would be mounted to the transom window area similar to how the sign at the former Firinji restaurant in the same building was applied.

Application No.         17-26

            Property: 17 Haverford Station Road, Haverford, PA 19041
            Applicant: LA Building Contractors Inc./Children’s Book World
            District: Haverford Station

Applicant returns following a denial of the September application by the Board of Commissioners of a proposal to replace two existing nine-light storefront windows and a main entrance door with new single-pane aluminum-frame windows and an aluminum-frame door. New design shows simulated transom divisions at the top of the storefront windows.

Application No.         17-22

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

Applicant appeared before the HARB in July and September. The previously presented two-story rear and side addition has been revised to include a third story, which will be visible from the east side on Merion Square Road. Also changed, at the HARB’s request, are rooflines and siding details. 

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 in July and September for this development proposal on a triangular property bound by Old Lancaster Road and the railroad. Applicant seeks approval to demolish a contributing property to the historic district at 503 Old Lancaster Road. Also required for the development to proceed as designed are an Historic Resource Inventory amendment (to classify the remaining contributing house at 507 Old Lancaster Road) and approval of Conditional Use incentives to reduce setbacks and allow for side garages (instead of front-loading attached garages) on a proposed twin residence. An additional single-family residence would be constructed on the east end of the site.

Informal Review

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

Applicant proposes to renovate an existing non-contributing single-story house, adding a second story and altering the architectural style. The house faces the curvilinear Loves Lane on both the front and rear.


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

Building & Planning Committee
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
approx. 6:30 PM
Board Room, Township Building

Board of Commissioners
Wednesday, October 18, 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
Ann Shepard Houston
Philip Ivory
Ina Sargen
Sharon Sorokin 
Next HARB meeting: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 @ 8:15 A.M.



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