Date: June 12, 2003
Byline: Marilyn R. Drinker
Letter: "Inn should not be demolished or moved"I attended a Springfield Township meeting June 3 where the guest speaker, a historic resources expert, defined historic properties for the commissioners, who were trying to establish guidelines for future historic preservation.
He named three criteria: the building must be more than 50 years of age, the site must be associated with an historic event, and the architecture must be significant, at least one of which conditions must be met. The Black Horse Inn, situated on Bethlehem Pike in Montgomery County, more than fulfills all three of these stipulations.
Nevertheless, at present this old building is threatened with imminent demolition or removal to a new site to make way for a drug store, liquor store and a bank. Neither of those options is acceptable to the 3,500 citizens who signed petitions affirming their interest in saving the building.
As for age, built in 1744, the inn is 259 years old. It is associated with a historic event if one considers George Washington's leading his troops past the Black Horse Inn on Oct. 4, 1777, on his way to attack the British at Germantown a historic occasion. As for its architectural integrity, nothing more need be claimed except that it is an original 18th century building still in tact.
It seems a disgrace and lack of sensitivity to even consider demolishing or moving a building of such monumental provenance. It is the distinguishing feature of Springfield Township. I implore the commissioners to do the right thing.