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Black Horse Inn

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Source: Springfield Sun
Date: April 16, 2004
Byline: Joe Barron

Architect chosen for Black Horse

Springfield Township addressed its new responsibilities as a historical conservator Wednesday when the board of commissioners selected an architect to plan the restoration of the Black Horse Inn.

The board also announced the formation of citizens' committees to advise on the Black Horse and on open space.

In a unanimous vote, the commissioners selected Kise, Straw and Kolodner, an architectural firm based in Philadelphia, to work on the Black Horse, which will become township property under an agreement between the township and the developer of the site.

Kise was one of four firms to present a proposal to the board at its workshop meeting Monday. Board President Glenn Schaum said after the vote Wednesday that the firm's representatives impressed the board with the depth of their organization, and their presentation had inspired the commissioners' with confidence.

Five members of the firm, including an architectural conservator, spoke to the board Monday, promising a number of incidental services in addition to design and construction. They could also assist with fund raising, they said, as well as filling out the state-mandated paperwork on archeological finds at the site.

The discussion of archeology left the commissioners uncertain about how much land on the property would require archeological documentation, and whether the state requirements would interfere with the developer's timetable for building a Walgreens and a state store.

Under the agreement between the developer and the board, only the immediate area around the inn will be deeded to the township, in addition to the building itself.

"We're not clear on where the state's going to tell you to stop," Kate Cowing, the group's architectural conservator, told the board.

Kise, Straw, and Kolodner divided the work on the Black Horse into phases, with the assessment of the building and exterior renovation to be accomplished first by the end of next winter.

The firm's price for phase one would be $104,640, most or all of which of which would be defrayed through county and state grants, according to Schaum.

"That's the idea," he said Wednesday.

The firm's representatives also said they would like to begin working with the township ad hoc citizen's committee as soon as possible, to avoid misunderstanding or unpleasant surprises later in the restoration process.

At Wednesday's meeting, Commissioner Tim Lawn announced the township would accept applications for the committee through April 30. Interested residents should send letters of application and resumes to the Township Manager at the Administration Building, 1510 Paper Mill Road, Wyndmoor, PA 19038.

The township will also accept applications for the new open space committee through April 30, Commissioner Robert Gillies said.

In other business Wednesday, the commissioners appointed David Sands and Mary Holland, both of Oreland, to fill two vacant slots on the township planning commission.

Sands is a civil engineer with Urban Engineers in Philadelphia, the construction manager of the Route 309 renovation.

Holland is an architect and a principal of Cicada Architects and Planners, also of Philadelphia.

Interviewing with the board of commissioners Monday, both applicants said their experience and background could prove valuable to the planning commission.

"The planning commission could use an architect," Holland told the board. "The work of the planning commission is close to what I handle every day."