Date: August 4, 2005
Makeover for Bethlehem Pike in Springfield Twp.
There is a new lease on life for the historic Black Horse Inn in Montgomery County. The building that dates back to the 18th century is located on Bethlehem Pike in Springfield Township. Cash to preserve the inn and update the surrounding shop keeping district has arrived. For the last two decades, birds have been the only sign of life at the historic Black Horse Inn along the Bethlehem Pike in Springfield Township.
"It really has been an eye sore and it's deteriorated before people's eyes."
That's about to change. Thursday $150,000 in federal funds was presented at a news conference. Almost a million more in federal dollars will go toward sprucing up the whole section of the pike.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz/13th District: "We're looking at restoring a historic inn, which is very exciting. These dollars will be matched by private dollars but again it's part of the bigger plan for the community here."
Restoring the roof windows and inside of the 18th century landmark will be carried out over the next three years. It has been the subject of controversy though for much longer.
You may recall when some residents protested a Walgreen's going up right near the old inn. And not long after when part of the second floor of the inn was accidentally demolished while the drug store was being built. Well volunteers have since repaired all the damage.
Many community activists say they're not only looking forward to the building being preserved and restored, but transformed into a key part of the economy.
Ed Zwicker/ Springfield Twp. Historic Society: "There a lot of options for the interior of the building. Obviously, from the Historical Society perspective, we'd like for part of it to be reused as a museum and something accessible where the public can take advantage of the archives and the Black Horse Tavern itself."
That part of the project will be decided in the future. For now, the focus is on making sure the inn is always open.