In 1986, the East Brandywine Historical Society recommended to the Township Planning Commission the creation of an East Brandywine Historical Commission. By resolution, the Board of Supervisors established the Historical Commission in the spring of that year. The Board’s resolution identified a broad range of duties, including survey and research, review of demolition permits affecting historic resources, publishing historical books and brochures, and maintaining official historic resource maps and archives.
In 1989, the Board of Supervisors, as part of an updated Township Zoning Ordinance, adopted a historic resource protection article. Among other things, the new article created a historic preservation overlay district, to be regulated through the Historical Commission (in an advisory role to the Board of Supervisors) and a Board of Historical and Architectural Review (HARB). In the absence of a Certified Historic District, however, the latter was never established; the provisions authorizing the HARB eventually were deleted from the Zoning Ordinance. Also in 1999, the Village of Guthriesville was determined eligible for the National Register.
Since its establishment, the Historical Commission has witnessed a period of relatively intense development in the Township. Farming has waned dramatically, and in its place a number of large parcels have been developed or are in various stages of the development process.In 2007, the Historical Commission authored a substantial strengthening of the Zoning Ordinance provisions protecting historic resources. Adoption of this revised zoning article occurred in 2008. The new language and map incorporate the Commission's inventory results, while a comprehensive review of demolition proposals (including a procedure for denial of a proposed demolition), attention to demolition by neglect, and a Historic Resource Impact Study procedure are important additions. In combination, these measures should help protect the Township's most important historic resources, as well as the surrounding historic landscape.
Researching Historic Properties Links
- Chester County Archives Research Guide + Deed Abstract
- Chester County Primer- Architectural Styles
- Architectural Field Guide
- PHMC How to Complete the PA Historic Resources Form
- PHMC Historic Resources Survey Form
- Chester County Archives Historical Resources Holdings
- Chester County Archives Genealogical Resources Holdings
- Chester County Historic Preservation Planning Manual
- CCHPN Resource to Research Your Property
- National Register of Historic Places Chester County
- National Register Bulletin- Guideline for Surveys
- BHP Guidance for Historic Preservation Plan
- Design Guidelines- West Chester HARB
Chester County Archives & Record Services
601 Westtown Road, Suite 080
West Chester, PA 19380-0990
Created in 1982, the Chester County Archives was established to preserve and make available the historic records of Chester County. The archives currently holds over 2,940 volumes and 1,823 cubic feet of original public records of enduring historic and cultural value. Serving over 3,000 researchers a year, the archives is a primary destination for genealogists, property researchers, local historians and academics researching all facets of Chester County history
Chester County Historical Society
225 North High Street
West Chester, PA 19380-2691
Chester County Historic Preservation Network
P.O. Box 174
West Chester, PA 19381
Bureau for Historic Preservation
The Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 2nd Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0093
This State Commission reviews nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, conducts initial reviews of applications for the federal investment tax credit for the restoration and rehabilitation of historic properties, and provides information and technical assistance. Its Pennsylvania History and Museum Program and Keystone Historic Preservation Grants are available to eligible organizations.
National Register in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has entered its complete inventory of National Register and National Historic Landmark properties in the Commonwealth on a new website called ARCH. It includes more than 3000 National Register nominations
Preservation Alliance of Philadelphia
1616 Walnut Street, Suite 2110
Philadelphia, Pa 19103
The Alliance is the Philadelphia region’s non-profit preservation leader, dedicated to the protection and appropriate development of Greater Philadelphia’s historic resources - buildings, communities, and landscapes. A membership organization, Alliance programs include public advocacy, the acquisition and maintenance of preservation easements, and the provision of grants and technical assistance to stewards of historic house museums. The Alliance sponsors the annual Preservation Achievement Awards and conducts monthly insider tours of historic places, publishes Preservation Matters, a quarterly newsletter, maintains an award-winning web site with the latest in preservation news, and has a number of publications available to the public.
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Northeast Field Office
6401 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144
The field office of the private, non-profit organization chartered by Congress in 1949 serves Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. The Trust encourages public participation in preservation, provides limited financial assistance through grant and loan programs, and publishes widely.
257 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
This statewide membership organization assists Pennsylvania communities and groups to protect and utilize the historic resources they want to preserve. It also monitors state legislative activity, publishes a newsletter, and administers a grant program for Philadelphia preservation projects.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1250 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
The Society is an excellent source of materials on Philadelphia history, including census records, old newspaper articles, family histories, maps and atlases. The Society also has a large collection of watercolors and early photographs of various buildings and landscapes throughout the Philadelphia area.
Athenaeum of Philadelphia
219 S. 6th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
The Athenaeum holds an extensive collection of architectural plans and drawings by noted Philadelphia architects and other materials useful in researching old Philadelphia houses.