chestnut hill academy The original Chestnut Hill Academy was established in 1851 by Roger and Joshua Owen at 8030 Germantown Avenue (where the Venetian Club is now located). The school was restructured and incorporated in 1861.
springside school In 1879, Mrs. Walter D. Comegys and Miss Jane Bell announced the opening of a French and English Boarding and Day School for Young Ladies and Little Girls on Summit Street in Chestnut Hill. In 1884, the school incorporated as Springside School and moved to Norwood and Chestnut Hill Avenues, where it remained for the next 73 years. Springside School was named for the spring that ran along the property on Norwood and Chestnut Hill Avenues.
Below, the original CHA school building at 8030 Germantown Avenue, the location of today’s Venetian Club, right.
The Wissahickon Inn, eventual home of CHA, was commissioned by Henry Howard Houston, a leading Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist, who lived in the Druim Moir mansion (behind the Cherokee Campus). The Inn, designed by the Hewitt brothers, opened in 1884. In 1897, the Inn’s business began to decline when the Philadelphia Horse Show moved to the Main Line, becoming the Devon Horse Show, and improved transportation enabled Center City families to seek more distant vacation spots.
In 1898, Chestnut Hill Academy began occupying the Inn during the school season. During the summer months, the Inn continued to be used as a resort until 1900, when Chestnut Hill Academy took permanent, full-time possession of the property.
Above: Springside School at Norwood and Chestnut Hill Avenues, which it occupied until 1957. Below: The spring after which Springside School was named.
Top: View of the Inn’s Carriage Entrance from what is now the location of the Rorer Science and Technology Center. Right: The Philadelphia Horse Show with the steeple of St. Martinin-the-Fields in the background.
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