Hope Lodge: Site Description
Hope Lodge has all of the utilities and facilities needed for the current level of operations, visitation and public programs.
Hope Lodge comprises a total of 43.8 acres. 12 acres are considered part of the historic/interpreted zone (~10 in gardens and lawn). Approximately 20 of the 32 remaining acres are arable cropland. Approximately 10 acres are naturalized wooded areas that provide havens for a diverse population of wild flora and fauna.
Access from main roads is very easy. Hope Lodge is located on the east side of Bethlehem Pike, a secondary north-south artery between Germantown/Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia and Quakertown/Allentown. The site is located c. 2 miles southwest from the Fort Washington exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Route 309 bypass. Hope Lodge is also located only 2 blocks from the secondary east-west artery, Skippack Pike (Route 73.)
The main, paved-surface public parking lot has space for 33 cars, 3 buses. The gravel-surfaced auxiliary public parking lot has space for about 20 cars. The volunteer parking lot by the garage has one handicapped accessible space and space for 6 more cars. The staff parking lot by the Tenant house has space for 8 cars. The field behind the auxiliary public parking lot is used for overflow parking for large events. It has space for about 250 cars.
Public water is supplied to Summer Kitchen wing, Garage, Tenant House. A public water supplied fire hydrant is located on site and installed below grade in a pit. Bottled spring water for drinking is provided by a service for consumption by staff, volunteers and the public.
On site septic system with 1 tank and pump serves Summer Kitchen wing and Garage. On site septic system with 1 tank and pump serves Tenant House. Effluent is drained to septic field located on site northwest of Tenant House.
Buried wires in pvc conduit connected to a high voltage supply in an on-site pit supply Hope Lodge mansion, Summer Kitchen wing, Garage, Tenant House and Barn with electricity from a public utility.
Direct burial lines supply Tenant House with natural gas from a public utility.
Direct burial lines supply Hope Lodge mansion, Summer Kitchen wing, Garage, Tenant House with telephone service from a public utility.
Handicapped restroom facilities are currently located in a rented portable toilet unit and are barely adequate. Increased site visitation will require the expansion of restroom facilities, both standard and handicapped accessible.
A designed garden in the colonial revival style with brick walkways, an arbor, formal flowering plant beds, small-scale, flowering trees and an adjacent herb garden are situated directly south of Hope Lodge mansion and the Summer Kitchen wing. It is enclosed by stone walls on the north and west sides and situated several feet below the grade of the ground directly surrounding Hope Lodge mansion. This garden is original to the Degn period of residence at Hope Lodge, but has been somewhat modified by the PHMC.
The north driveway (staff entrance driveway) on the Hope Lodge property features two stone pillars topped with round finials joined by a curved stone wall flanking each side of the entrance. On one pillar is sculpted the words, “Hope” and on its opposite is sculpted words, “Lodge.” These are original to the Degn period of residence (and possibly pre-date it.) The driveway is lined with a single allee of silver maple trees on its southern edge and a double allee of trees (maple on the inner row, London plane on the outer row) on its northern edge that is original to the Degn residence.
Buildings listed (or have been determined eligible for listing) on the National Register:
- Hope Lodge Mansion (1740)
- Summer Kitchen Wing (Degn addition) (1923)
Other buildings, not listed:
- Barn (1750)
- Garage (1923)
- Greenhouse (1923)
- Farm House (caretakers house) (1923)
- Tool House (reproduction privy) (1970)
Major known significant archaeological resources at the site
- The 1798 Direct Tax record includes beside Hope Lodge mansion (called the "dwelling house"), a kitchen, barn, a stone tenant house, a storehouse, a stone shop, a haybarn and a stable. Many of these have not been located.
- An adjacent brick cistern is located below grade south of the Summer Kitchen wing;
- An ice house foundation and brick-lined cistern are located below grade east of the Summer Kitchen wing;
- A stone wall is identified as being located below grade in the lawn north east of the Tenant House;
- An unexcavated archaeological feature was discovered in 2000 in the cultivated field north east of the Tenant House;
- A well believed to be from the 18th century is located in the cellar kitchen and has not been excavated;
- An 18th century orchard located on the lawn west of Hope Lodge mansion is identified on historic documents and through infrared aerial photography;
- The exterior perimeter area of the original 18th century Morris barn;
- The area identified as being the location of the c. 1740's Morris stable/carriage house/granary north east of Hope Lodge mansion and north of the current staff driveway;
- The courtyard contained within the stone wall currently surrounding Hope Lodge mansion and Summer Kitchen wing in which 18th century outbuildings are documented as having been located;
- 18th century gardens, retaining walls and paths (including from time of Morris residency) west and south of Hope Lodge mansion;
- Early-mid 20th century Degn rose garden, lily pond (now buried), sunken garden, garden walls and paths south and east of Hope Lodge mansion;
Deed restrictions per May 20, 1958 indenture
“Whereas the Orphans’ Court of Montgomery County by Decree dated November 15, 1957, has authorized the Trustees to transfer part of the Trust property, known as ‘Hope Lodge on Bethlehem Pike’, to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania...to continue to administer and operate Hope Lodge as a Museum and permanent Exhibit typical of the architecture and furnishings of the Colonial period of America for the enjoyment and education of the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and others, by deed conveyance in fee simple and to include the land, grounds and other real estate appurtenant thereto...”
Hope Lodge on the Bethlehem Pike and contents conveyed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be controlled and managed by the PHMC “to repair, maintain and operate the same as a historical exhibition, in such manner as will conform to the objects and purposes as set forth in the Will of Alice S. Degn, deceased (hereinabove referred to) as an exhibit typical of the architecture and furnishings of the Colonial Period of America.”
Between Keasbey and Mattison Company, and Susquehanna Pipe Line Company (now Sun Pipe Line), dated December 11, 1934
Between Keasbey and Mattison Company and the Borough of Ambler, dated March 17, 1937.
The southern border of the site terminates at center line of former Pa. Railroad (Trenton Cut-Off Branch) currently used for railroad freight traffic.
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