Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Historic Commission looking to repurpose 1816 home

03/24/2015 03:29PM ● By Richard Gaw
The L-shaped Lamborn House sits in the middle of New Garden Township Park, just behind the New Garden Police barracks off of Gap-Newport Pike. Archival evidence dates the original construction of this home to 1816, but recent renovations by members of the township's Historic Commission suggest that the structure should not just remain an artifact of the township's history, but a part of its future. 

Pointing out several interior and exterior upgrades recently made to the structure, two members of the commission said at an open house on March 22 that the home is now fully equipped to be lived in through a rental arrangement with the township, an idea that the commission has shared with township supervisors. The house could also be easily retro-fitted to become a studio space for painters, sculptors, weavers and other artisans, as well as become an ideal location for gallery shows and artisan open house events.

"I can see the commission going to the township with the key to the home, and saying, 'We did our part. Now it's your turn," said Dr. Margaret "Peg" Jones, a longtime advocate for the preservation of historic structures in the township. "Now that the hard work has been done to restore it with modern conveniences, it can now become income producing, with the rental fees being put into an escrow for any house repair work that needs to be done."

Over the past year, the Lamborn House has gotten re-plastered interior and exterior walls; new windowsills; interior painting; new light fixtures; freshly scrubbed plank floors; an outdoor deck with railing, as well as a new stove and refrigerator.

Historic Commission chairman Brian Roberts said the idea to have the house occupied was inspired by talks with award-winning historian Kim Burdick, who is not only the curator of the historic Hale Byrnes House in Newark, but also lives in it.

"A house is always better if someone lives in it, as opposed to sitting empty," Roberts said. "We took the pieces we had to work with, in order to make the house come alive again."

For more information about the historic Lamborn House, e-mail Dr. Margaret "Peg" Jones at [email protected].

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected].