“What are the natural features which make a township handsome? A river, with its waterfalls and meadows, a lake, a hill, a cliff or individual rocks, a forest, and ancient trees standing singly…If the inhabitants of a town were wise, they would seek to preserve these things, though at a considerable expense; for such things educate far more than any hired teachers or preachers, or any at present recognized system of school education.” – Henry David Thoreau, Journal 3, January 1861
The Pennsbury Land Trust Invites You!
CURRENT FOCUS: Exciting Possibilities for the John Hope House
During 2020 and 2021, Pennsbury Land Trust has been exploring options for the potential restoration or renovation of the John Hope House, located within view of Route 1, to the right of the Township Building access road. This historic home was acquired with land purchased from Toll Brothers in 2014. With the immediate future of the structure up in the air, in collaboration with the Township, the Land Trust took the step to commission John Milner Architects to complete an architectural investigation to determine its historical and architectural significance.
The investigation provided justification for the preservation and exterior restoration of the original stone section. The recommendations from John Milner Architects note that the basic form of the circa 1790-1810 stone building has survived largely intact. Evidence supports its exterior restoration. The work would include the removal of modern stucco, repointing of the original stonework, and reconstruction of missing original architectural features such as windows, doors, wood shingle roof and wood cornices.
The John Hope House is included within the boundaries of the Brandywine Battlefield National Historic Landmark.
Restoring the exterior of this highly visible property would add to the corridor of history already represented along Route 1. It would also demonstrate our commitment to preserving our part of the history. For the Land Trust, it offers a valuable opportunity that coincides with its mission. Smaller opportunities wait in the wings with the potential of creating a Native Plant garden at the site and creating educational opportunities for sharing historic architectural lessons and reacquainting residents and visitors with our local history. Some have also suggested having it as a centerpiece for a small picnic park or outdoor event area. The possibilities are exciting,
In our current Pennsbury Land Trust membership appeal, we have requested feedback from our current and future members about this endeavor. Do you have any suggestions for the future uses of the John Hope House? Would you like to be a part of our effort? We are anticipating creating fundraising events and tapping potential grant money to support the Land Trust’s continued involvement in the project.To that end, please consider sending your input to the Land Trust via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!