Skip to main content

Efforts to save J.G. West Barn recognized by preservation group

06/19/2013 03:09PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, News

The J.G. West Barn in Franklin Township was the subject of year-long preservation efforts in 2012.

By John Chambless

Staff Writer

The year-long wrangling over the fate of the J.G. West Barn in Franklin Township has at least one definite conclusion: An award.

The Franklin Township Historical and Architectural Review Board (HARB) and the Franklin Township Historical Commission will get the Chester County Historic Preservation Network's 2013 "Grace Under Fire" Award during a ceremony on June 19 at Historic Sugartown in Willistown Township. 
The award, which is one of five being given out, recognizes their efforts to save the J.G. West Barn during 2012. Paul Lagasse, chair of the HARB, and Dolores Hughes, chair of the Historical Commission, will accept the award at a Volunteer Recognition Celebration.

The barn sits adjacent to the township building in the Kemblesville Historic District. The only structure on township property that's designated as historic, it's seen as a contributing resource in the potential National Register nomination of the J.G. West House, now on a separate property nearby. Dating to around 1815, the barn became the subject of controversy as the township supervisors considered whether to undertake repairs to the structure or demolish it.

The HARB and Historical Commission members worked on three presentations to the supervisors in 2012. In February, they outlined options for the barn; in June, they presented a review of the work needed on the barn and proposed a fundraising plan to underwrite that work; and in September, they  recommended that the supervisors reject demolition.

The award recognizes the HARB and commission for "their efforts, persistence and resilience in preserving historic resources." The supervisors narrowly voted in favor of demolition of the barn, but the process has been paused by pending legal action.

In a press release, Lagasse wrote that, "The HARB and HC would like to acknowledge the support and assistance they received from Karen Marshall, Chester County's Heritage Preservation Coordinator; the late Jane Davidson, a pioneering and nationally recognized historic preservationist; the late Mary Dugan, a locally noted preservationist; Bob Wise and Seth Hinshaw of Wise Preservation Planning; Bruce Knapp, president of the Chester County Historic Preservation Network; and many others who generously assisted the HARB and HC with their work.

"It is an honor to receive this award and to be included in the company of the other awardees," Lagasse continued, "but our efforts would not have been possible without the help of others."

In a letter to Lagasse, Bruce Knapp, the president of the Chester County Historic Preservation Network, wrote, "This award recognizes organizations for their efforts, persistence and resilience in preserving historic resources. CCHPN recognizes the reality that sometimes these efforts are successful and sometimes they are not. But they always provide lessons that other organizations, individuals and municipalities will find helpful. Your past and current actions with the Franklin Barn certainly deserve this award, given in a light-hearted but very appreciative way."

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline

franklin township jg west barn kemblesville historic district

You might also like

Dinniman announces recycling grant for Franklin Township

State Senator Andy Dinniman announced that Franklin Township will receive $3,073 in state funding to support its recycling efforts.

Supervisors hear about speeding on Old School House Road

The problem of speeding along Old School House Road was the focus of debate at the supervisors meeting on July 16.

Legal wrangling continues over proposed expansion of mushroom facility in Franklin Township

"Gourmet's proposed mushroom substrating operation simply is not permitted under the provisions of the [zoning] ordinance."

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • The Heart of Poverty

    08:15am — 12:30pm

    What is poverty? What does it look like in the U.S.? In Chester County? Join us for this free sem...

  • Brandywine Zoo Spring Opening!

    10:00am — 03:45pm

    Visit the zoo as the environment is getting ready to burst to life for the spring season! Join u...

  • Bug


    Set in a seedy Oklahoma City motel room, the play centers on the meeting between Agnes, a divorce...

  • Newark Symphony Orchestra Concert

    03:00pm — 05:00pm

    THE NEWARK SYMPHONY PRESENTS “STURM AND DELIGHT!” Simeone Tartaglione, Music Director James Al...

  • Share in this fun concert designed for the whole family, providing a unique opportunity to get up...

  • Cheerleading Open House!

    03:00pm — 06:00pm

    Hydro Force is an All Star cheer company offering a fresh, competitive cheerleading experience ...

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.


    04:00pm — 07:00pm

    The Oxford Lion's Club is focused on serving the community and support many local organizations. ...


Chester County High School Sports