Dear Residents and Friends of Springfield Township:
After years of neglect, the Black Horse Inn is being restored! Once again, it will be a living landmark on Bethlehem Pike.
For over 250 years, the Black Horse Inn has stood as a constant reminder of our community's 18th century roots and 19th century heritage by providing a respite for local residents, farmers, lime-carriers, and stagecoach travelers between Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley. Many of Springfield's current residents have fond memories of the Black Horse Inn as a local tavern. Today, with its place assured on the National Register of Historic Places, the Inn stands as a keystone to the cultural, economic, and social revitalization of Springfield Township's very own "Main Street."
In the spring of 2004, Springfield Township commissioned the architectural firm of Kise, Straw & Kolodner to evaluate the preservation potential of the Black Horse Inn. The firm's seventy-plus page Executive Report on the Black Horse Inn offered a detailed survey of the existing condition of the Inn's structure and specific recommendations for its restoration. As our guide to the restoration of the Black Horse Inn, the Report recommends that the stabilization and preservation of the structure be accomplished in two phases over the next three years.
Collectively, the Springfield Township Historical Society and the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike, in partnership with the Commissioners of Springfield Township, have taken on a significant challenge. Over the next three years, we have made it our goal to raise $1.5 million to restore the Black Horse Inn. The challenge of the Capital Campaign to Restore the Black Horse Inn calls for:
- $150,000 in public appeal support;
- $450,000 in "major donor" support;
- $791,000 in grants from county, state, and federal agencies and public and private foundations throughout the Delaware Valley; and
- $109,000 in a Springfield Township contribution.
Over the past six months, we have been very active in meeting this challenge. During this time, sixty-five residents and friends of Springfield Township have pledged $37,500 to the Campaign. On behalf of Springfield Township, the Society and Friends have made application to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for a $100,000 Keystone Preservation grant to assist in this preservation effort. Through the auspices of Congressional Representative Allyson Schwartz and State Representative Larry Curry, we have also applied for a $500,000 federal appropriation request and a $5,000 grant from the Commonwealth Department of Community and Economic Development. But to date, the most encouraging expression of support has come from the Township's Commissioners.
Recently, the Commissioners publicly agreed to commit $109,000 to the Campaign. As a result, the Springfield community is now poised to meet that challenge. You can make a pledge today to help us reach our goal of $150,000 in community support of this effort.
You can make a one, two, or three-year pledge to the Capital Campaign by completing the enclosed return envelope with your pledge commitment and a check for your first year's pledge. Or you can donate directly on line with a credit card by going to savetheblackhorse.org. Either way, your donation is completely tax deductible.
Thank you for your support. Your contribution will help make Springfield Township's restored, historic Black Horse Inn a vibrant and vital part of our community again.
Edward C. Zwicker, President, Springfield Township Historical Society
Donald R. Mitchell, President, Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike