The Cheltenham Township Historical Commission recently released its March newsletter, which includes a historical description of 1900 Ashbourne Road.
A sketch proposal for the property by Lynnewood Gardens was submitted to the Township in August. The development plan calls for 99 residential units, commercial space, and paved parking.
The Commission’s historical description of the property is as follows:
“In this photo of a 1909 map, the parcel of land in question appears under the “Hills” in Chelten Hills. It is to the right of the Cheltenham Military Academy, where president Grant’s son attended class. That is now the site of the Cheltenham School District offices, in the old Lynnewood Elementary School. On the parcel of land intended for development, a spring house and lake occupy the land. The present day post office is on the James Day Rowland plot to the right. That tract was part of the land owned by PAB Widener, who lived across Ashbourne in Lynnewood Hall. Note that the race track and polo fields are still in place in this then-rural part of the state.”
“This photo offers a closeup of the same area where the proposed construction is to take place. Note the Wind Pump by the creek, presumably to pump up water for household use.”
“This maps has a different orientation and the parcel in question appears under the word West. The map is from the 1930s and shows that the military school and the Rowland estate are both gone, but the springhouse and lake still remain. The Elkins Estate and Tyler School of Arts are at the bottom of the map, and the source for their water features comes from the springhouse on the parcel proposed to be developed.”
“A view from Google Earth shows that the area is undeveloped and still marshy, despite the lake being filled in.”
Photos courtesy of the Cheltenham Township Historical Commission. Feature photo courtesy of Movoto.com