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Black Horse Inn

Black Horse Inn Timeline (1988-2008)

History index

As of Feburary 2008

1988
Springfield Township Historical Society applies to have Black Horse Inn listed on National Historic Register.
1989
Black Horse Inn approved for listing on National Historical Register but owner, Robert McCloskey, objects to listing. Property remains eligible.
1992
Last Living Owner Robert McCloskey dies.
1993
Executor of McCloskey Estate seeks to sell property.
1997
Black Horse Inn property is sold to Mark Mendelson for $900,000. Mendelson heads Hampton Real Estate Group (Hampton REG).
2000
Hampton REG wants to raze Black Horse Inn and erect CVS pharmacy on property. Zoning hearings begin with Springfield Township. Property has split zoning: front half, commercial; back half, residential
2001
In reaction to possible demolition of Black Horse Springfield Township Historical Society forms ad hoc group of the board, headed by T. Scott Kreilick to find solutions to preserve Inn. STHS circulates petition in community to preserve Inn, 3,000+ signatures are collected. Ellen Manning and Ellyn De Guida form the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike to galvanize the citizens of Springfield Township to save the Inn. Liz Jarvis writes brief history of Black Horse Inn with photo for distribution at stores, etc. Township denies Hampton's requests for zoning variances. STHS seeks pledges from community members to help preserve Inn. Idea is proposed that Inn be moved to back of property and deeded to township leaving front of property to Hampton REG to develop. Township and STHS want Hampton to leave Black Horse where it is and STHS begins looking for tenants to occupy it. STHS also develops plan with Keystone Hospice to relocate to property. Andrew Jarvis draws a suggested plan for Keystone and the property showing development near the road and parking lots in the rear.
2002
Demolition of the Inn is delayed but relocating Black Horse to back of property still a real possibility.
2003
Mendelson and the Hampton REG agree to sell property to Moreland Developers. From 2001 through to 2003 Keystone Hospice continues to refine plans to relocate to Black Horse Inn property. Moreland developers offers a plan to relocate Black Horse across Bethlehem Pike . This plan is considered by Commissioners in August of 2003 but efforts continued to permit the building to remain in its original location. Finally, there is agreement in September for Inn to remain in its current location.
2004
Black Horse Inn deed transferred to Springfield Township under an agreement between the township and Moreland Development. Architectural firm of Kise, Straw & Kolodner is retained to plan the restoration of the Inn. A contractor for Moreland Development, following an earlier version of the development plan begins demolition of east portion of the Black Horse Inn, gouging out a 7 x 12 foot hole before being stopped by a passing building inspector.

Township allocates $225,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund for Black Horse Inn restoration and forms Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee.

April 2005
The East side of the Black Horse Inn is repaired at the expense of a subcontractor for Moreland Developers.
July 2005
Community Groups and Township Form Alliance

The Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike and the Springfield Township Board of Commissioners sign agreement to collaborate on the restoration of the Black Horse Inn. The Friends take on the lion's share of fundraising for the project. Also named in the document is the Springfield Township Historical Society (STHS), using its tax-exempt status to bolster donations and work as the repository of all funds raised by the effort (with the exception of township contributions). The township-appointed Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee (BHIAC), operating as the right hand of the Commissioners, oversees quality control of the restoration while making recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on a monthly basis.

July 2005
Restoration effort receives $150,000.00

Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-Pa.) announces that she has secured a $150,000 federal grant for further preservation and conservation efforts at the historic Black Horse Inn. The funds are included in the Save America's Treasures program within the Fiscal Year 2006 Interior and Environmental Appropriations Act. The bill passed the House, with Rep. Schwartz's support, by a vote of 410 to 10.

In announcing the grant, Schwartz praises local organizations for their efforts to preserve the historic landmark. "Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike, the Springfield Township Historical Society, local elected officials, as well as local citizens, should be applauded for their hard work to preserve and protect the Black Horse Inn," says Representative Schwartz.

The Inn's chimneys are also restored in preparation for future soffit and roof work by Stonehenge Masonry, Erdenheim.

Aug 2005
Claiming the Black Horse as her first real community project, the Erdenheim artist known professionally as Anthe turned her talents to fund raising as restoration of the Black Horse Inn started to gain momentum. Her contribution took the form of a portrait of the inn, prints of which are for sale at businesses along Bethlehem Pike, with proceeds aiding the restoration effort.
Sep 2005
Volunteers clean-up at Black Horse Inn and restore rear enclosure to original porch.
Oct 2005
State Senator Vincent Hughes Tours Black Horse Inn

State Senator Vincent Hughes tours the historic Black Horse Inn in Flourtown to show his support for the ongoing restoration of the building and to discuss with local officials and community volunteers just how he can help. The Senator calls the Black Horse Inn restoration the "linchpin" of larger revitalization and vows to work in conjunction with State Representative Lawrence Curry to help ensure that a $500,000.00 capital budget line item for the restoration will become a reality.

Representative Lawrence Curry Presents $500,000 State Grant for Historic Black Horse Inn

Representative Lawrence Curry presents a $500,000 state grant to the further preservation and conservation efforts at the historic Black Horse Inn. The funds are part of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program authorized by Governor Edward Rendell and administered through the office of the Secretary of the Budget. The program provides state grant funding for regional economic, cultural, civic and historical improvement projects.

In announcing the grant, Representative Curry reiterates the Inn's importance to the overall revitalization of Bethlehem Pike and praises the unified restoration effort of the local community groups, elected officials and appointed advisory committee. "The credit here belongs with the community groups who have sustained this effort from the beginning," Rep. Curry says. "I'm just happy to be able to help."

The Springfield Township Historical Society is expected to make the building its headquarters and archives with the exterior appearing as it did in 1880, while the interior will be modern.

Dec 2005
The Cornice and Soffit work around the roof lines of the Black Horse Inn is completed.
March 2006
A ground sign briefly describing the history of the Black Horse Inn and showing a rendering of the restored structure by local artist, Anthe, is installed at the Black Horse Inn site. Once the building is fully restored the sign will be removed from the south lawn to make way for a proposed park area.

The restoration effort progresses with the township-appointed Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee (BHIAC) searching for an architect to help modify the exterior renovations and plan for interior restoration. The Construction Subcommittee of the BHIAC assist with securing bids to re-roof the south and east roof of the Inn.

May 2006
Community raises nearly $50,000 for Black Horse Inn

John Alviti, chair of the BHI Fundraising Subcommittee, reports that the local community fundraising effort initiated by the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike has raised almost $50,000 directly from local residents for the restoration effort.

In order to secure the redevelopment assistance capital program appropriation from the Commonwealth, the Township allocates $352,000 from Capital Reserve Fund for Black Horse Inn restoration.

Black Horse Inn Restoration Effort Awarded

The broad community effort to restore the Black Horse Inn on Bethlehem Pike is presented with a 2006 Community Action Award at the annual Preservation Achievements Awards Luncheon hosted by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. The award is presented to the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike, the Springfield Township Historical Society and Springfield Township at the May 3rd event, held at The Crystal Tea Room in the Wanamaker Building in Philadelphia.

June 2006
The Black Horse Inn gets extra support as a new steel beam is installed beneath the ridge of the east roof at the rear of the building. The beam is donated, delivered and hoisted into place by Anderson Welding of Oreland. Dick Meyer, chair of the Construction subcommittee for the Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee (BHIAC), is on hand to oversee the installation.

The architectural firm of Seiler + Drury is contracted by the township to undertake the planning and implementation of the interior phase of the inn's rehabilitation as well as completion of the exterior renovations. The architects begin preparing interior plans that will balance the historic nature of the project with the safety and convenience of current code requirements.

Aug 2006
Volunteers clear debris from Black Horse Inn and begin process of airing out long-shuttered basement areas in preparation for approaching renovations.
Oct 2006
Russell Roofing of Oreland applies new roof coverings over the south and east roofs of the Black Horse Inn. In addition to a new roof, the Black Horse Inn receives another boost of support when the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) announces that the Inn's restoration effort will be awarded a grant totaling $85,000. The award is one of 27 that are part of the 2006 PHMC Keystone Preservation Grant Program, which is available to nonprofit organizations and local governments preserving or restoring historic resources listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The announcement brings the total of matching grants garnered for the Black Horse Inn restoration effort to $735,000 and is the third major grant the effort receives.
Nov 4, 2006
The Black Horse Soiree and Auction

Through dinner reservations, donations, and the sale of auction items, over $25,000 is raised for the restoration of the Black Horse Inn at the Soirée and Auction on November 4th at Sorella Rose in Flourtown. Over 200 guests attend. Profits help match state and federal grants received for the restoration of the Flourtown landmark.

A highlight of the Soirée and Auction is the presentation of a ceremonial check to the Springfield Township Historical Society and the Friends of Historic Bethlehem Pike for an $85,000 Keystone Historic Preservation Grant from the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission by Chairman Wayne Spilove. Co-hosted by the Black Horse Inn Advisory Committee, the Springfield Township Historical Society and the Friends of the Historic Bethlehem Pike, the fundraiser is co-chaired by Dianne Crookenden and Susie Disston.

April 2007
Construction documents are prepared for a Spring 2007 bid package. This phase of construction will complete all of the exterior work, followed by the start of renovations on the interior, to include structural reinforcement of the floors, insertion of the new core elements, fit-out of the third floor as an apartment and preparation of the second floor for tenant fit-out.
Aug 2007
Construction begins on the 2nd phase of the restoration effort.
Dec 2007
Due to the continued progress and proven success of the restoration effort, the Black Horse Inn receives an additional $500,000 grant from the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.
Jan 2008
Construction continues on the second phase of the restoration effort. To date approximately 50 exterior window sills have been replaced or restored, damaged porch roof rafters have been replaced or rebuilt, porch posts have been replaced, and the rear porch roof has been framed. In the basement, the first floor joists have been sistered with new joists and masonry piers have been built to support the headers. All crawl spaces have been excavated for proper ventilation and new piping has been installed to exhaust radon fumes. Some partitions on the first and second floors have also been removed as per the architects' floor plans.
Feb 2008
The Community Appeal Initiative of the fundraising effort reaches the milestone of $100,000 raised directly from the community.
April 2008
Stucco work continues and paint colors are picked for the exterior trim, windows and doors.