The grassroots fight for a better plan for the historic Corson Homestead at Butler and Germantown Pikes in the Village of Plymouth Meeting has been costly.
Now, a group of generous supporters will match every donation, dollar-for-dollar, up to $3,500, to help defray legal bills.
Just click the green button to the right to make a tax deductible donation now.
Preservation Pennsylvania, a statewide advocacy group, is serving as the fiscal sponsor for the Friends of Abolition Hall, making all gifts tax deductible.
Your donation will help us reach our goal, and meet the $3,500 challenge. Please tell your friends and neighbors, and ask them to join you in supporting this cause. (There are social sharing links on the right.)
The builder K. Hovnanian is seeking approval from Whitemarsh Township to subdivide the homestead and construct 67 townhouses on the fields that had been continuously cultivated since the mid 1700s. The project cannot proceed through land development without this initial conditional use approval.
As historian and author David Contosta has written, “The fate of this extraordinary property lies with the governing board of Whitemarsh Township. The Friends of Abolition Hall and the scores of residents who support their efforts are determined to use every legal means to save a precious piece of our nation’s life and future promise.”
The Corson homestead was a busy stop on the Underground Railroad, and it was George Corson who built Abolition Hall by adding a second story to what had been a carriage shed attached to the stone barn. Corson, his wife Martha Maulsby Corson, and his wife’s parents were ardently opposed to slavery, and opened their home to fugitives escaping this abomination. Even as a child, Corson’s son Elwood was enlisted in the struggle, and it was he who conveyed the fugitive Jane Johnson to the next safe house after she risked capture by testifying at City Hall. In the 1880s, Corson’s daughter Helen married the Irish-born artist Thomas Hovenden. They converted Abolition Hall to an art studio, and it was here that he painted The Last Moments of John Brown, which is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Helen was an artist, as well, and Chestnut Hill’s Woodmere Art Museum showcases the work of this extraordinary couple.
Residents established the Friends of Abolition Hall to press for a better plan for this National Historic Register-listed property. The Friends are not opposed to development, rather they want to see a reduction in the number of townhouses, the preservation of approximately two acres of open space immediately adjacent to the historic structures for use as a welcome park, a conditions assessment of those structures along with a responsible marketing plan and the designation of adequate parking, and an independent investigation of the full extent of a documented wetland in the fields.
The Friends maintain a Facebook page available at PlymouthMeetingAbolitionHall, and encourage you to “Like” that page. For background on the historic property, you can watch a short documentary created pro bono by local filmmaker Patrick Dolan of PFW Media. Go to www.abolitionhall.com to watch the video, which was filmed almost entirely at the Woodmere Museum.
The next hearing on K. Hovnanian’s Conditional Use Application will take place on Thursday, September 13, 7 p.m., at the Whitemarsh Township Building, 616 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill. The hearing is open to the public. Ample parking is available at the rear of the building. If the developer receives approval, the public can comment on plans at Subdivision and Land Development Meetings (SALDO) at Whitemarsh Township.
|Cecelia Anne Kuzovich||10/11/2018||$40.00||Cathy Levin||10/05/2018||$50.00||Bruce Dormuth||10/04/2018||$30.00||Anonymous Friend||10/02/2018||$25.00||Carol Corson||09/30/2018||$200.00||James R Thompson||09/29/2018||$50.00||Grace Flisser||09/27/2018||$18.00||Tamara Paulits||09/27/2018||$100.00||David Contosta||09/26/2018||$100.00||Deborah Friedman||09/25/2018||$250.00||Denise Masciantonio||09/25/2018||$25.00||Linda Poland||09/25/2018||$20.00||Anonymous Friend||09/25/2018||$25.00||Thank you to all who are dedicating so much time and effort into preserving historic charactor and resources in Plymouth Meeting at Butler Pike and Germantown Ave.||Steve Guerra||09/24/2018||$90.00||From the Guerra Family.||Maria Garman||09/24/2018||$50.00||Aaron Wunsch||09/23/2018||$50.00||Mary Celine Childs||09/18/2018||$25.00||Anonymous Friend||09/13/2018||$200.00||Anonymous Friend||09/13/2018||$100.00||Karen Thon||09/13/2018||$50.00||Lucille Leap||09/13/2018||$50.00||Marvin Walter||09/13/2018||$35.00||Bill Bolger||09/13/2018||$250.00||Anonymous Friend||09/13/2018||$50.00||Jim & Terry Devlin||09/13/2018||$50.00||Gordon Geasland||09/12/2018||$25.00||Ms Sydelle Zove: Your determination & dedication to this historically important event/decision is amazing & much appreciated. Your volunteer work on the library renovation is also remembered & also appreciated.||Anonymous Friend||09/11/2018||$100.00||I believe we need to be stewards of our history; preserve for future generations and continue the work of those who have gone before us.||Anonymous Friend||09/11/2018||$25.00||Sachiyo Searles Searles||09/10/2018||$100.00||On behalf of Sydell Zove and her dedicated crew to help preserve a significant historical landmark in Whitemarsh Township.||Anonymous Friend||09/10/2018||$2,000.00||Anonymous Friend||09/10/2018||$500.00||Anonymous Friend||09/10/2018||$1,000.00||Lisa Dresnin||09/10/2018||$50.00||Ellen Deacon||09/10/2018||$40.00||Thanks for the steadfast defense of this valuable historical site.||Gail Heck||09/10/2018||$25.00||Susan Marinell||09/10/2018||$50.00||Ted Borowsky||09/10/2018||$100.00||Anonymous Friend||09/09/2018||$10.00||Appreciating this group's work to preserve this building representing a part of our nation's history to fight racial injustice.||Ellen Stevenson||09/09/2018||$50.00||We must preserve Abolition Hall along with it's grounds, and provide access to future generations. Our history tells us who we are as a nation, and how unity, courage and patriotism are the keys to freedom. Each generation plays a role in preserving our Democracy.||Anna Toogood||09/09/2018||$100.00||I consider this a very important preservation battle and a very significant site. I certainly hope my contribution helps to preserve Abolition Hall||Sally Bishop||09/09/2018||$50.00||Elizabeth Jarvis||09/08/2018||$25.00||Agnes Richardson||09/07/2018||$50.00||David Miller||09/07/2018||$250.00||Anonymous Friend||09/07/2018||$100.00||Joel Sloane||09/07/2018||$25.00||Wally Evans||09/07/2018||$100.00||Anonymous Friend||09/06/2018||$1.00||Keep up the good work!||Loretta Witt||09/06/2018||$250.00||For Abolition Hall. Hoping we succeed. Thank you for working so hard on this important project.||Jeanne Ottinger||09/06/2018||$250.00||Janice Woodcock||09/06/2018||$100.00||Keep it up!||Nicole Fabricand-Person||09/06/2018||$25.00||Caren Borowsky||09/06/2018||$100.00|