The WC Press Preservation Issue - October 2019

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The fight to save West Chester’s open spaces comes to Crebilly Farm, plus... the West Chester Preservation Awards & the Borough’s Arboreal Conservation Efforts

















“If we don’t care about our past, we cannot hope for the future.” –Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis



COLUMNISTS Becca Boyd Jamie Jones Andrea Mason DJ Romeo Rotary Club of West Chester Moore Maguire Group Published By... Mathers Productions 24 W Market St, Ste 4 West Chester, PA 19382 610-344-3463 The WC Press is a monthly magazine distributed free of charge to more than 250 businesses. For a free digital subscription, visit For more information about specific distribution locations, visit

Cover photo of Crebilly Farm by Erik Weber



Our no-nonsense table of contents


#THEWCPRESS Our favorite social media posts from fans are getting printed


A PASSION FOR THE PAST The forces behind the West Chester Preservation Awards


Caroline Dunlevy feels at home behind the bar at Limoncello


The movement to preserve Chester County’s farmland


OWNER OF THE MONTH Erin Cosgrove and Stellar Hair Studio’s eco-friendly practices


Preserving West Chester, one tree at a time


Our guide to the can’t-miss happenings this month


Find the five differences between the two pictures and win!






from the


Dan Mathers shares some personal insight into this month’s theme

I’ve owned seven cars in the last 16 years. For those doing the math, that’s a new auto loan every 27 months and 13 days. Since graduating from college in 2009, I’ve had 10 different mailing addresses, and after buying my first house in February 2016, I sold it in May 2019. I’m well aware of my costly tendency to ditch my current possessions in the hopes of finding something better. But I don’t think I’m out of the norm. Our consumer culture is built upon an inclination to satisfy through shopping. The idea of designing products to fail and thus encouraging new purchases is so rampant it’s got a name: planned obsolescence. I’ve bought a new $600+ cell phone every two years for the entirety of my adult life (plus a few replacements for those lost, broken or stolen), and I’ve traded in or chucked all the old ones. That’s nearly $4,000 in cellular devices, and all I have to show for it is the Galaxy S8 that’s currently sitting on my desk begging to be exchanged for an S10. My girlfriend Morgan, however, is on the complete opposite end of the consumer spectrum. The home we recently purchased is less than half the size of our previous residence, and it required a significant amount of downsizing. It was during this process that I discovered she still has every cell phone she’s owned since her teenage years, including three flip phones and a Motorola Sidekick. She had so many clothes that hadn’t been worn in years that we ended up donating nine entire trash bags to Goodwill before we moved, and another four to Salvation Army after. She has two full crates of cards, letters and photographs. I began production on this issue the day after we moved into our new home, which means every minute not spent working on this magazine was dedicated to unpacking. This confluence of events has helped me realize that we probably owe a lot to the kind of people who possess Morgan’s penchant for preservation. Somebody saved Galileo’s telescope back when he was simply a heretic, and some sentimentalist preserved the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal before A.A. Milne’s books became classics. Items of historic importance must often be recognized as possessing intrinsic value and conserved as keepsakes long before their true value is ever fulfilled. The stories we’ve printed in this issue are about just those kinds of people, people who see the value in preserving our present and our past. It’s thanks to them that the fabric of this community is shaped. West Chester wouldn’t be the charming borough it is today if it weren’t for the organizations working to secure our history. It wouldn’t be filled with beautiful buildings, criss-crossed by tree-lined streets, or surrounded by rolling farmland without the efforts of these folks. As we continue to unpack and declutter, I’m doing my best to keep this in mind. Each time I’m frustrated by a pile of outdated digital cameras or old notebooks, I try to remember there may just be value my eyes are missing. Beneath that pile of printouts from Accounting 101 might just be a first edition Harry Potter. Odds are there won’t be, but I can always hope. —





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Making a Difference Each month the Rotary Club of West Chester contributes a column that explores the organizations and initiatives that are making a difference around the world and right here in our community.

Tanzania may seem a world away from West Chester. The differences in climate, culture, traditions, education and beliefs between the two places could hardly be greater. But, for one group of Rotarians, there is a strong connection between our idyllic suburban Pennsylvania town and the sub-Saharan African nation. Albinism is a genetic condition resulting in the lack of pigment in one’s skin and eyes. In the United States, it is relatively rare, occurring once in about every 14,000 births. In Tanzania and neighboring countries, however, it is much more common. In fact, the difference is an entire order of magnitude greater: albinism occurs once in every 1,400 births in the region. It is also much more deadly, not from the disease, but from the ancient beliefs, superstitions and the practice of voodoo. Albinos are believed to be cursed and are thus persecuted and even killed. Certain albino body parts are believed to carry magical powers and are considered very valuable. Children are often dismembered and sold to witch doctors. It is not uncommon for parents to cut off a hand of their own child and sell it for quite a bit of money. Here in West Chester, Rotarian Ernest Zlotolow engaged the international committee of the Rotary Club of West Chester and created the Children’s’ Orthopedic Rehabilitation Strategies (or CORS) initiative. This group combats the atrocities that are occurring half a world away by soliciting money from major donors to fund operations. One of the most powerful contributions that CORS makes is contingent on its relationship with Shriner’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Shriner’s doctors have completed several reconstructive surgeries and fitted countless victims with prosthetics who were flown here from Tanzania. Since it is cumbersome to bring people here, Shriners and CORS have also created an outreach program, training surgeons and prosthetic teams worldwide in the cutting-edge programs developed here in the Philadelphia area. Recently, a symposium was held in Havana Cuba, funded by CORS, where 100 surgeons were trained in the practices. Obviously, these only fix part of the problem. The greater issue is the underlying beliefs that have been in place for centuries. That is why CORS is working with organizations such as Amnesty International and Under the Same Sun to change perceptions of people with albinism and persecute those who hunt and/or profit from their deaths and dismemberment. There has been progress, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done. Changing cultural norms — even ones that we here in the states feel are obviously abhorrent — is often a long and challenging process Living in West Chester, it’s hard to believe that such atrocities still exist. But thanks in part to the hard work of a few Rotarians, CORS continues to fight for those folks. – Interested in making a difference? The Rotary Club of West Chester meets at West Chester Country Club every Thursday at noon.





R O F N O I A PASS T HE PAST The forces behind th e v r a e t s i e o r n P A r e w t s e ards West Ch story by Kate Chadwick

©Timlyn Vaughan Photography




N 1969, New York City's iconic Grand Central Station was teetering on the brink of urban extinction. The twin forces of disrepair and the financial distress of the station's owner, Penn Central Railroad, put the iconic building in danger of being torn down and replaced by an office building. The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), which had helped to implement the city's Landmarks Law, fought to keep the station's owner from obliterating the historic building, but it looked like all hope was lost when the New York State Supreme Court overturned the station's landmark status and decided in favor of Penn Central. And then a minor miracle happened. One of the city's best-known and most-beloved residents, former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, having read about the decision in the New York Times, called the MAS office and offered to help. A committee was formed to endeavor to save the station, and, after a hard-fought battle that went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, that fight was won. The victory set a precedent for historic preservation not only in the Big Apple, but nationwide. And while the star power of Onassis assisted in pushing the issue into the headlines, it was her passion for the cause that ultimately propelled it. As she said at the time, "If we don't care about our past, we cannot hope for the future."

Troops pose outside of the West Chester Armory in 1925. The armory is now known as the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center and is the recipient of a Historic Preservation Award. A similar passion for the past can be found right here in the borough of West Chester in the present day, as the Preservation Awards committee gets ready for its annual event, to be held on October 17, to honor those working on behalf of historic preservation in our own community. The objective is a simple one. "Our core mission," says committee Chairman Allen Burke, "is to elevate awareness and appreciation of West Chester Borough's rich character and to encourage its preservation."

town Foundation (WCDF) and Historic Preservation Awards committee since 2014, having spent most of that time as chairman of the latter. "I became involved because of my love of West Chester and the extraordinary historic architecture we have been blessed with," Burke said. "The borough has a kind of magical attraction that few can clearly define. I think it has a lot to do with our architectural gifts, and the people who gave so much to save them for us."

The borough has a kind of magical attraction that few can clearly define. I think it has a lot to do with our architectural gifts, and the people who gave so much to save them for us.

Indeed, a look through the 2018 winners include renovation and/or restoration projects that are textbook “architectural gifts.” There are nods to Ruby Jones Hall at West Chester University, Biddle Guest House on High Street, the residential restoration at 401 West Union Street, the restoration and renovations of the historic Dower House and Chimney Hill residences on Goshen Road, as well as an adaptive reuse award for Iron Hill Brewery, which occupies the site of the former F.W. Woolworth Five and Dime Store.

Burke lives in the borough (“and I am never leaving”), having moved here 22 years ago to work for QVC. Although he retired in late 2011 and started a consulting firm, he serves on the borough’s planning commission and has been on the board of the West Chester Down-

Bernardon architect Phil Yocum is one of the two remaining original members of the Preservation Awards committee. He remembers that as a child growing up in Exton, West Chester was his family’s destination for both shopping





©Timlyn Vaughan Photography

and socialization. "From an early age I appreciated the unified character of the borough, with its downtown commercial district, square, brick houses and sidewalks," he told us. "A strong early influence was sitting with my Grandmother Chandler on her porch at the corner of Dean and Darlington Streets, chatting with all the neighbors. It taught me the important social value of traditional towns."

ciate the quality of architectural work being done here,” he says.

Phil credits his family and the town of West Chester for setting his course. "My family continually instilled an appreciation of Chester County’s history, and of West Chester’s architectural character," he told us. "An interest in architecture naturally led me to focus on historic architecture in my professional career." As a member of the West Chester HARB (Historic Architectural Review Board) since 2007, Yocum has had the opportunity to review and comment on numerous proposals. “I came to appre-

Yocum was approached in 2009 by local architectural historian Jane Dorchester, who asked him to join a group she was developing into what would eventually become the West Chester Preservation Awards Program. "My understanding is that the idea originated with the board of the WC Business Improvement District (BID), who then asked Jane to formulate the program. The BID recognized that the borough’s historic character was a strong component of its economic suc-

It wasn’t just the town’s architecture that was significant in Yocum’s estimation. “The abundance of local authors, historians, and educators is also unique for a small town, “ he said. “A program recognizing West Chester’s significant historic preservation projects and educational efforts was a logical next step.”

The Fountain at Marshall Square Park was installed in 1889, and it’s restoration earned a Historic Preservation Award. cess. Our original group staged the initial awards ceremony in 2011, a modest breakfast event at Chester County Historical Society." (The CCHs building, it's worth noting, is itself a recipient of an adaptive reuse Preservation Award in 2017, having past lives as a horticultural hall, an opera house, and an army post, before acquiring and then combining with the adjacent YMCA to form a contiguous space.) In the intervening years, that program — along with that modest breakfast event — have both grown significantly. Now entering its ninth year, the Preservation Awards and its tireless committee members have reached a continually wider audience to better promote the historic preservation of West Chester.





That former modest breakfast event is now a stylish catered evening affair attended by 200-plus people, and one "that is both a social and educational experience," Yocum says. The awards program is sponsored by the West Chester Downtown Foundation. There are three categories of awards: the Bricks and Mortar Award, given for architectural projects that exemplify best preservation practices; the Service Award, given to people and educational projects that help preserve West Chester's history; and Legacy Awards, granted to both individuals and organizations who bring about a better understanding of the borough's history as well as the preservation of its historic fabric. As Jane Dorchester herself wrote in County Lines magazine in 2017, “It’s not just business owners, residents and government officials who have worked to preserve as much of West Chester’s historic character as possible. It’s also architects, contractors and artisans who physically preserve, restore and rehabilitate West Chester’s buildings so they can continue to tell the town’s story." Indeed, according to Yocum, the focus is to both educate and preserve, and that means there are a variety of construction projects, large and small, past and present, worthy of being singled out, and not always for keeping a building exactly for its intended purpose. "Over the years, the program has recognized projects that adapt historic buildings for new uses, construct sensitive additions, provide careful stewardship over a long period, restore important public features — such as the fountain at Marshall Square park — and even brand new buildings that significantly contribute to the neighborhood’s historic character. Recently the awards program has recognized some of the borough’s early preservation projects, such as the Sharples Works, that first illustrated the potential economic benefits of preservation." Another key example of that adaptive reuse was the conversion of the former Armory on High Street into the present performing arts home of the Uptown! Entertainment Alliance, a 2017 Preservation Award winner, and a project with which local preservation leader and WCDF board member Roy Smith

was heavily involved. Or, as Allen Burke puts it, Smith "was a key driving force" behind both it and "a plethora of borough enhancements." Smith, a resident of West Chester since 1998, was Chairman of the West Chester BID when the Downtown Foundation was formed, and, already being involved in many aspects of preservation, he told us it was a natural fit for him to join the board. Formerly occupied by the 56th Stryker Unit of the National Guard, the Armory building was being outpaced by its occupants, particularly for the storage of Stryker units — "think small tanks," says Smith — on site. As plans progressed for a new facility to be built in northern Chester County, the building was ultimately abandoned in 2013. The Pennsylvania Department of General Services took on the task of disposing of the building, listing it for sale for $960,000, with the proviso that anyone who agreed to rehabilitate the Armory according to federal historic preservation guidelines would receive a 20% discount on that list price.

We feel it’s also important to expand the public’s understanding that preservation goes beyond physical structures. The program has recognized authors, educational programs, and walking tours... Right around the same time, according to Smith, the fledgling Uptown! Entertainment Alliance was looking for space in the borough for what was its initial plan: to bring a movie theater back to West Chester. “With the assistance of the two state representatives, Senator Andy Dinniman and Representative Dan Truitt, Uptown! was given first right of refusal to purchase the building,” Smith said. A for-profit investment company, The Uptown! Bravo Theatre, LLC (UBT), was formed to help raise funds for the purchase and conversion of the Armory, and became the owner of the building when it closed on the sale in December, 2015.

By that time, it had become apparent to the founders of Uptown! that there was a need greater than just a movie theater, the plan for a performing arts center took hold, and the focus shifted to financing the conversion into a suitable venue. It was through a combination of grants, donors, investors and loans, structured into a fairly unique financial package, according to Smith, that resulted in raising the nearly $5.2 million needed for the conversion to take place. The result is a 327-seat main stage, a second floor performance space that can hold up to 100 people, an intermission room with a bar and seating, and a lower level that serves as both additional performance space and as a theater school. “Now just entering its third year of operation, the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center is an unqualified success, offering entertainment for a wide range of interests — Broadway quality theater, jazz concerts, opera, improvisation, a young person’s theater school, and a whole host of musical performances from classical to contemporary,” Smith told us. “And yes, fulfilling the initial founder’s dream: movies. In addition, the building has provided a much-needed meeting space for corporations and community organizations. During its first two years of operations, attendance at nearly 500 events totaled more than 50,000.” According to Phil Yocum, the goals of the committee extend beyond recognition of literal brick and mortar and include recognizing individuals and their initiatives. “We feel it’s also important to expand the public’s understanding that preservation goes beyond physical structures. The program has recognized authors, educational programs, and walking tours,” he told us. “Last year we recognized the efforts of [the late] Kay Eby Moore for her work to create the West Chester Old Fashioned Christmas and Christmas Parade. That original 1980 event kindled the public’s appreciation of the Borough’s unique historic character, encouraging support for creation of the West Chester Historic District in 1988.” Another example is Ray Ott, Jr., who received a Preservation Legacy Award





©Timlyn Vaughan Photography

in 2017 for his significant contributions to West Chester conservation efforts, both as a professional planner and as a private citizen. In the mid-1980's, Ray nominated the West Chester Historic District (aka the West Chester Business District) to the National Register of Historic Places, where it was listed in 1985, according to the WCDF website. Ott was instrumental in the adoption of the Historic District Ordinance in 1988 and the formation of the Historical and Architectural Review Board (HARB) in 1989, as well as an early advocate of the Main Street Program. He championed the BID in the 1990s and has occupied a seat on its board since its inception. Ott’s firm, Ray Ott & Associates, is responsible for both 1999’s West Chester Comprehensive Plan and 2010’s West Chester Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan. The latter was one of the first historic preservation plans in the Commonwealth and is now used as an example for other municipalities. As a local resident, Ott talks the talk and walks the walk, leading educational

tours and restoring several historic properties. His recognition by the committee serves as yet another way to reach West Chester residents and encourage them to think in terms of preservation, even just in their own little corner of the world. “We try to encourage the average homeowner to see the value in maintaining their property, cleaning the masonry, or carefully repairing their porch,” Yocum said. “West Chester is fortunate to have citizens who largely respect the unique character of the town and the associated responsibility of property ownership.” There is no monetary prize associated with the Preservation Award — just the well-earned accolades. “Bronze plaques are installed on construction projects selected for recognition each year,” said Chairman Allen Burke. “The awards committee has also discussed creating a self-guided walking tour of the past winners. This could further the educational mission of the awards program. The building/project must be within the

The front proch of this pre-1850 home at 210 S Walnut St was removed in 1965. Using designs from porches built in the same era, the were able to reconstruct a proch that matched historic precedent. confines of the Borough of West Chester, and it must be public space. Home interiors do not qualify, only exteriors, public spaces like businesses do. And people can nominate their own home — we love that.” Whether you live or work in a historically significant building or not, there is always one right around the corner, and it’s one of the things that makes West Chester so fundamentally… West Chester. "Historic Preservation is a hallmark for West Chester, with more than 4,200 structures within the borough listed on the National Register of Historic Places," said Malcolm Johnstone, Executive Director of the West Chester Business Improvement District. "It's more than just an inventory of attractive buildings. It's our culture."






of the Month PHOTO Erik Weber INTERVIEW Dan Mathers

Caroline Dunlevy feels at home behind the bar at Limoncello How long have you been at Limoncello? It will be one year this January Only one year? That’s pretty quick to earn Bartender of the Month. I worked my way up pretty quickly. To what do you attribute that climb? I’ve been serving for my entire life, basically. I worked at my family’s restaurant, Brother’s Pizza, growing up, and most recently I moved to Jacksonville Beach, FL and got a job bartending there. It was a really nice place, like Limoncello. When I moved back, I knew some people who worked at Limoncello, and I got to talking with Frank [Mingrino, the co-owner and GM], and I showed my worth and worked my way into the role.

What brought you back to West Chester? I have a big Italian family, and I missed them. I didn’t expect to be as much of a homebody as it turns out I am, because I love to travel, but I think I like coming back home best. I missed my grandmother’s home-cooked meals. How’s it been? I’ve made so many new friends. Coming back from Florida, I knew things would be different. Since I’m about to be 25, a lot of the people I knew here had graduated and moved back home or to the city. I was worried I wouldn’t have anyone here, but I’ve made a great group of friends which makes going to work fun. What’s your favorite aspect of the job? Probably getting to know all the customers and seeing everyone I know in town. I’ve worked all over town, and I get to see these people I wouldn’t typically get to catch up with on a regular basis. Because everyone comes to Limoncello? Oh yeah. The place is always busy, our happy hour is great, and everyone is a friend to everyone else because of how often they’re there.

What do you think keeps bringing them back? The atmosphere. We offer complementary bruschetta and limoncello, which makes everyone feel special. Our staff go out of the way to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable, not just the regulars. And the food’s not bad either, right? It’s amazing. Before I worked here, it’s where we came for special occasions. Where can we find you when you’re not at work? Probably having a drink with my coworkers at Split Rail or Ram’s Head (or Limoncello). I’ve also found a new passion in CycleBar at Dilworthtown Crossing — I try to go six times a week. It’s really fun and getting me in great shape. Name one thing you can’t live without? The shrimp and crab fra diavolo: spicy marinara with a long hot pepper, over linguine with shrimp and crab meat. It is amazing. Anything you wanna tell our readers? Come see me at the bar on Wednesday and Thursday nights, especially for our happy hour, which runs from 4-6:30pm, when we have great discounts on drinks and an awesome tapas menu.






Becca Boyd shares tips on life and cooking on her blog at


As the dark comes earlier and the winds blow colder, I remember my most warming recipes and can’t wait to taste them again. I’ve been hankering for this baked oatmeal dish; it makes the whole house smell like cinnamon and fills an empty belly like none other. If, like me, the fall makes you feel habitually rushed, you’ll love this recipe for peanut chicken lettuce wraps — it will be a weeknight lifesaver (not to mention outstandingly healthful). – Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal 8x8” pan 1 c. pecans, chopped, divided 1 large egg 1/4 c. unsweetened shredded 1 c. vanilla unsweetened coconut, divided almond milk 1 tsp. cinnamon, divided 1 c. reduced fat milk 1 tbsp. brown sugar 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 1/2 tsp. and 1/8 tsp. salt, 1 Macintosh or Golden Delidivided cious apple, diced (unpeeled) 1 tsp. baking powder 1 c. shredded carrots 2 c. old fashioned oats 1/2 c. raisins 1/3 c. maple syrup 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place two bowls next to one another – one small, one large. 2. In the small bowl, put 1/2 c. nuts, 2 tbsp. coconut, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, the brown sugar, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Mix to combine. Set aside – this is the topping. 3. Place remaining nuts, coconut, cinnamon and salt in the larger bowl. Add baking powder and oats and stir to combine. 4. In another large bowl, whisk maple syrup and egg until combined. Add milks and whisk to combine. Pour milk mixture over oats mixture and stir to combine. 5. Add apples, carrots, and raisins to oat/milk bowl and stir to combine. 6. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray. Add coconut oil to oat mixture in a steady stream while stirring, and immediately pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with reserved topping and place in preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until topping is golden. 7. Let cool to firm and serve. To reheat, place in 300 degree oven, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal 8x8” pan 2 tsp. Sriracha 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter 2 tbsp. Tamari or soy sauce 4 c. broccoli slaw Juice of 1 lime 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 tbsp. roasted peanuts, 2 tbsp. honey roughly chopped 2 tsp. fish sauce 2 heads Bibb/Boston lettuce

1.Whisk peanut butter through Sriracha in a large bowl until blended. 2. Add chicken, slaw and peanuts and stir together. 3. Divide into lettuce leaves and serve. OCTOBER 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM








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photo on prior page of Crebilly Farm ERIK WEBER story MICHAEL LYNCH


n our collective imagination, the idea of farming is often evocative of rural life throughout the United States and over the course of its history. Here in West Chester, that concept is literally and particularly close to home. Anyone who may explore the landscape not too far outside of the borough would immediately discover how southern Chester County is marvelously speckled by a patchwork of rolling historic farmland. According to the U.S. Census on Agriculture, in 1900 there were six million farms, and agriculture employed 41% of the American workforce, whereas in 2015, there were two million farms and only 1% of people worked in farming. Although our information and technology-based economy of the 21st century is largely disconnected from agriculture, farms remain a central element of rural heritage in our community. This is a result not only of the historic and economic relationship between farmland and the local community, but also of the multi-generational nature of family farms, which promote a deep-rooted connectivity between land and place. Fortunately for residents of Chester County, the Agricultural Land Preservation Board (ALPB) approaches this deep-rooted connectivity to land and place with a clear sense of reverence.

The Agricultural Land and Preservation Board The ALPB is a nine-member board appointed by the Chester County Board of Commissioners which was created in 1989. Its purpose is to carry out the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, and to partner with landowners, nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to permanently preserve farmland in Chester County. These partnerships are designed to preserve the most productive non-irrigated

Milky Way Farm farmhouse

IN 1900 THERE WERE SIX MILLION FARMS, AND AGRICULTURE EMPLOYED 41% OF THE AMERICAN WORKFORCE, WHEREAS IN 2015, THERE WERE TWO MILLION FARMS AND ONLY 1% OF PEOPLE WORKED IN FARMING agricultural soils in the world, provide adequate local and county park and recreation opportunities, preserve significant natural areas, and to encourage revitalization of developed lands.

In the past year, the ALPB preserved its 500th farm in Chester County, bringing the total number of agricultural acres preserved in the county to just under 40,000, an astounding number by any measure. Brianne Zanin is the Director of Open Space Preservation for Chester County and speaks about the importance of farm preservation and the ALPB’s efforts to preserve agricultural acreage in Chester County. “[Farm preservation] encourages the continuation of Pennsylvania’s extensive agriculture industry and local supplies of fresh food,” she says. “It also protects natural and historical resources such as productive soils, surface water, groundwater, air quality,





Director Biranne Zanin and Commissioner Terence Farrell © Erik Weber

wildlife habitats, scenic beauty, quality of life, and Chester County’s history.” Zanin also pointed out how preservation of area farms is beneficial for the county’s tax revenue stream, as it keeps property taxes constant. “Farmland use has been shown to provide more in tax revenues to municipalities and school districts than they consume in municipal and school services. Therefore, the preservation of farmland can keep property taxes down for all of the landowners in a community.” Zanin also commented on the reaction from Chester County residents to the ALPB’s prioritization of the creation of open spaces. “The overwhelming support from the community to have open space as a key priority really is unique,” she said. Zanin explained how the rapid growth between 1982 and 1987 effectively chipped away 30,000 acres of the county’s green spaces, which led to a call for action. “Chester County was the first in the region to formally set aside funds for a rigorous open space preservation program... to blaze a trail in saving land.”

Chester County has become somewhat of a gold standard for balancing preservation efforts with economic growth, according to Zanin. “Over the years we have become the envy of the state — and the nation — in terms of how we manage our growth along with our preservation. The incredible working relationships with the state and the municipalities over the years has allowed for the farmland preservation program to flourish.” Zanin added that the continuous financial commitment from the state and county has allowed the Chester County Department of Open Space Preservation to develop into a robust program that can leverage funds and be a fundamental catalyst in the larger efforts for farm preservation. Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell is also deeply involved in land preservation, and he speaks to the importance of farm preservation and how it specifically impacts the West Chester community. “Chester County’s decision 30 years ago to actively begin preserving open space is now paying dividends in ways that I believe the


original County Commissioners who started the program would not have even thought possible,” Commissioner Farrell said. “The value of our preserved farms, along with parks, conservancies and trails, go beyond attractive, to ways of increasing property values, attracting businesses, creating jobs, and benefiting our health,” he added.





The 500th Preserved Farm Commissioner Farrell also discussed the response from the residents of West Chester and the surrounding Chester County area regarding these efforts, and how he might characterize the level of support from the community. “Chester County residents, including those in and around West Chester, understand the value of a focused open space program, and the preservation of farmland is a very big part of that. When the $50 million open space referendum was set back in 1989, Chester County citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of it — 82 percent. And that focus has never waned,” Commissioner Farrell reported. Farrell additionally disclosed that since the development of the ALPB in 1989, the county has spent $215 million to preserve open space — around $110 million of which is preserved farmland. And that spending has leveraged a further $424 million via municipal partners, conservancy partners, farmers, and donors. Any discussion of land preservation, however, inevitably raises the concern of how to sustain economic growth,

and Commissioner Farrell commented on the complex balancing act between conservation and development. “VISTA 2025, our 10-year economic development program, is probably one of the only programs — if not the only economic program in the nation — that recognizes the importance of preservation


in contributing to the attraction of business and industry to Chester County,” he said. “Preservation is a big part of the cultural character of Chester County, and developers understand that this is a great attraction, not just for those who

are moving to West Chester and the surrounding area for the first time, but for those who want to continue to live here as well,” Farrell added. Nonetheless, satisfying the concerns of local residents while meeting the demands of a thriving and burgeoning housing market can often prove to be incredibly challenging for county officials. Perhaps no other local controversy captures this delicate balancing act between the two opposing forces of preservation and economic growth more aptly than Crebilly Farm. Crebilly Farm in Westtown Township is bounded on the North and South between West Pleasant Grove Road and Route 926, and East and West between Route 202 and South New Street. The farm is one of the few remaining large expanses of pristine and untouched open space in eastern Chester County, and it is also recognized as having great local historical significance, as it is the site on which part of the Battle of the Brandywine took place on September 11, 1777.





Crebilly Farm © Erik Weber Today, a second, fervent skirmish is taking place at the farm, but this time in the form of a historic preservation fight. In 2017, Horsham-based Toll Brothers home builders filed plans with Westtown Township to build a 317-unit housing development on the Crebilly land parcel, which was proposed to be a blend of single-family detached homes and townhouses. Many local residents strongly opposed — and continue to oppose — the proposal, claiming that in addition to the loss of a piece of land as historically significant as a Brandywine Battlefield site, such a development would increase local traffic, cause a decline in property values, increase pollution, raise taxes, and negatively impact the area’s quality of life. Since the submission of the development proposal in 2017, several grassroots opposition groups have formed to challenge Toll Brothers’ plans in court, which include Crebilly Farm Friends and Neighbors for Crebilly. The sale of the land is conditional and contingent upon the approval of the

SINCE THE SUBMISSION OF THE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL IN 2017, SEVERAL GRASSROOTS OPPOSITION GROUPS HAVE FORMED TO CHALLENGE TOLL BROTHERS’ PLANS IN COURT... Westtown Board of Supervisors, who denied the initial application in December 2017 — a decision which was upheld by a judge in October 2018. An appeal in the Commonwealth Court in Pittsburgh was filed in May of this year. A new application by Toll Brothers has recently been received by the township and is slated to be submitted to the Planning Commission on October 7. This renewed effort by Toll Brothers means

that the whole development proposal process will begin again, while opposition to the development continues as the appeal makes its way through the legal system. As of press time, no decision has been reached on the appeal with the Commonwealth Court. Historic farmland connects local residents to a collective past — to an era when more people lived closer to the land and were guided by the complexities of the seasons. Nowadays, with all of our domestic luxuries and amenities, modern living tends to be less connected to the surrounding land, and more connected to gadgets and devices. Perhaps now more than ever, as the world continues to further entrench itself in an information and technology-driven economy — where most of us live in (sub)urban areas and work indoors — preserving the historical and agricultural richness of the West Chester countryside continues to be a battle worth fighting.





Design Dilemmas Andrea Mason of Perceptions Interiors is a professional interior designer who wants to help you upgrade your space

You don’t always need to think brand new. Whether it’s a dining room table or a worn out dresser that is making your space look dated, refurbishing these pieces of furniture is a great way to practice preservation and sustainability while also creating a new look! Preparation: Often the furniture in our homes already have a stain on them, so in order to transform these into new pieces, it’s important to sand off the existing stain or varnish. A low grit sandpaper will be most useful when working with varnish or lacquer that is hard to remove or has many layers. Once the furniture is reduced to its natural wood, you may decide to fill in any dings or scratches that remain after the sanding is complete, depending on the desired look. Wood putty will help cover imperfections. After the putty has dried, a high grit sandpaper should be used to smooth over the spots where it was applied. For larger pieces of furniture, it may be beneficial to invest in an electric hand sander to make the work quicker and easier. Product Selection: Just like painting a wall, the furniture should be primed before paint is applied to ensure that the final outcome is the desired color. When you select a darker color, gray primer works best. When a lighter color is desired, it is best to purchase a white primer. After the primer is applied and dried, a high grit sandpaper can be used to buff out any brush strokes or drip marks. After all the hard work is done, you can now move on to the fun part which is selecting a paint color and applying it! Application: There are a variety of ways to make a worn piece of furniture into an original work of art. One of them is by using bright colors that can create an accent or focal point in a room. Another fun application is if your piece has drawers, the frame and drawers can be different colors. Applying a stencil design to the furniture will add a bit of texture to the space. One of the greatest perks to refurbishing is the amount of freedom there is to be creative! Finishing Touches: It’s advised to apply two to three coats of paint to the furniture. Once the paint or stain is applied you may decide to add a varnish to the piece. By adding a varnish it will seal the paint, help protect it, and also gives it a glossy, vibrant appearance. If the piece of furniture you’re refurbishing is a heavily used item such as a dining room table or dresser it is imperative that a varnish is applied in order to preserve all your hard work! – If you want something that is refurbished without lifting a finger my two favorite local shops to check out are: Old Soul Decor at 119 W Market St. Thrifty Vintage at 14 N Church St.






of the Month PHOTO Erik Weber INTERVIEW Dan Mathers

Erin Cosgrove talks about Stellar Hair Studio’s eco-friendly, client-focused practices. How’d you get into the industry? I always wanted to have my own salon. I went to beauty school outside of high school after getting a partial scholarship, then I worked in a chain salon for a while before working for a small business owner. How was that experience? I learned that if I was going to take this seriously, if I was going to make a good living, I needed to bust my ass. So, for five years I would waitress during the day and cut hair at night as I built my client list. After building that list, I was able to bring a large number of my clients with me when I joined a much nicer, boutique salon in West Chester where I spent the next 12 years.

Was there a big difference transitioning to a boutique salon? Well, there was a difference in the price point for my customers, but I also brought a different level of experience by that time in my career. I was also working to market the salon: I built the website, ran social media and promoted myself and the business. Sounds like good experience for starting your own salon. Greatest opportunity to learn. I had to wear so many different hats and have my hands in everything. What made you take the leap? Essentially, my children — I have four kids. When my kids had grown to the point that they were going to school full time, I was outgrowing the space I was in, and it just felt like it was the right time. I didn’t want to stay where I was, because running that salon was living someone else’s dream, and I wanted to build my own dream. So, what have you built? Well I’ve only ever worked in customer service, so I’ve made sure the experience here is focused on the individual. We have an in-depth consultation with each new client, and we take into account their desires and explain through our expertise how we’re going to

achieve that. We work hard to make sure everyone feels comfortable. What was your inspiration for the space? I wanted to bring in repurposed materials to add character and to make sure they didn’t end up in a landfill. We have chairs form an old barbershop — two were built in 1958. All my mirrors are from The Four Seasons Hotel in philadelphia. I understand your focus on preservation goes beyond the decor. We partner with Green Circle Salons — they recycle all hair and salon waste and keep 95% of it out of landfills and out of our water. It’s crazy to think of all the chemical waste that just goes down the drain in most salons. We can’t recycle a large part of our waste through conventional means, but Green Circle enables us to recycle everything from curling irons and blow dryers to shampoo caps. They even collect all the hair and make it into booms for oil spills. Seems like the responsible thing to do. There’s supposed to be an upcharge for each client, but I don’t pass that on to the customer because it’s just so important to me. I don’t know why every salon isn’t doing it.






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The Resident Theatre Company presents CABARET October 4 - 20

Uptown! Speaker Series: Joanna Lohman Tuesday, October 15

Jazz Cocktail Hour: Cedric Napoleon Quartet Friday, October 25, 2019

Mason Porter

Saturday, October 26, 2019




n a rainy August afternoon, Michael Dunn meanders through Marshall Square Park on the way to his favorite tree. It’s not the champion blue ash off Matlack Street, with scaly limbs that soar over 90 feet into the air, draped in metal roping to protect it from lightning strikes. Nor is it the petite paperbark maple, its trunk awash in glorious auburn curls of bark. No, his very favorite tree perches unobtrusively here in the southwest corner of the park, its slender green needles just starting to flush with an early-autumn rust. A native of China, the dawn redwood is one of the rare deciduous conifers that drops its needles in the fall. Dunn loves it because it is low maintenance and capable of absorbing a massive amount of water, which makes it a perfect choice for flood-prone locations. “I get lots of calls from people who buy a house with one of these trees in the yard. They want to know what’s wrong with their pine tree — why the needles are turning brown and dropping off in the fall,” he says. “After I explain it, they think it’s the coolest tree ever.” Dunn is the Consulting Municipal Arborist for the Public Works Department, where he focuses on municipal forestry, which includes tree preservation and planning during construction projects. Prior to that, he worked as a consultant, getting his start as a volunteer in 2015. “I was concerned with how things were going,” he recalls. “There was significant canopy loss. Trees were maxing out on soil volume, too large for their space. And the current tree replanting program was just sticking trees in there.” Dunn grew up here and attended Shippensburg University to earn a degree in geoenvironmental studies, during which time he spent summers at the U.S. Forestry Academy, taking courses and working with a crew, which led to a full-time gig after college for six years. He also spent six seasons in Flagstaff, Arizona battling wildfires as a member of the Mormon Lake Hotshots,

an organization he characterizes as the “Army Rangers of firefighting.” With more than 20 years of experience, he now works for Bartlett Tree Experts, and also runs a side business, Brandywine Urban Forest Consulting. Today, Dunn is committed to maintaining and growing West Chester’s shade canopy, and in the process, protecting a legacy of historic specimens while fostering an innovative preservation plan for the future.

Michael Dunn is the Consulting Municipal Arborist for the Public Works Department

DEEP ROOTS West Chester boasts a long and illustrious tradition in horticulture. “Our specimen quality is outstanding,” Dunn says. “Most of our large trees are from the Victorian era, and our major street trees span from Victorian times through the 1960s.”





The town is home to about 25 Pennsylvania “champions,” a designation that means the tree is the largest in the state of its species. That’s calculated by measuring its circumference at breast height (“CBH,” or 4.5 feet from the ground), the spread of its canopy on an XY axis, and its overall height. Among them: a champion scarlet oak that graces the grounds at borough hall; on West Chester University’s academic quad, students relax in Adirondack chairs under the shade of a champion oak; and that towering blue ash in Marshall Square Park carries the title, too. West Chester appears often in Jill Jonnes’ 2017 book Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape, including a story about how WC’s own Hoopes Brothers and Thomas Nursery was instrumental in constructing the cherry blossom landscape in Washington, D.C. (We profiled the Hoopes Brothers and Thomas Nursery, one of the town’s original three industries, in our “Made in West Chester” issue last month.) In 1912, Japan gifted a large number of cherry trees to the United States as a symbol of friendship, but when they arrived, they were covered in scale insects and needed to be quarantined. Fortunately, the Hoopes Nursery, known for being on the cutting edge of horticulture, had already been importing them for years and thus was able to provide replacements from their extensive stock collection. In fact, Joshua Hoopes designed the plans for Marshall Square Park, which was named for botanist Humphry Marshall. According to the Friends of Marshall Square Park website, “Marshall was born in 1722 and never went to school after the age of twelve; yet (appropriately for a cousin of William Bartram, America’s most celebrated explorer/botanist) he published in 1785 Arbustum Americanum, the American Grove, the first botanical essay in the Western hemisphere,” states the website’s “About the Park” page.

Trees aren’t just aesthetically pleasing. “Trees are a shared resource, even when they are on your property — to the citizens, to the homeowners, and to the town itself,” Dunn asserts.

starting with the economic benefits. “If a street in the market district is shady and lined with trees, people linger longer and buy more,” he says. “Property values are greater in areas of towns and cities with trees. In New York City, for example, the value of a home on a tree-lined street is 40% more than a comparable home on a street with no trees.” On top of the real estate and retail value, there is also the reduction in heating and cooling costs for homeowners whose dwellings are flanked by trees.

It is a bold claim, one that he backs up with sweeping supporting evidence,

But let’s set aside the economic benefits of our leafy companions for a moment.


A weeping beech shades the pavilion at Marshall Square Park “Then there is also the psychological impact,” says Dunn. “Trees reduce stress. Hospitals that incorporate trees into their landscape have lower levels of stress.” He isn’t making this stuff up. In a March 1, 2012 article in Scientific American, writer Deborah Franklin describes the results of a pivotal study published in 1984 in the journal Science. “Environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich, now at Texas A&M University, was the first to use the standards of modern medical research — strict exper-





imental controls and quantified health outcomes — to demonstrate that gazing at a garden can sometimes speed healing from surgery, infections and other ailments. Ulrich and his team reviewed the medical records of people recovering from gallbladder surgery at a suburban Pennsylvania hospital. All other things being equal, patients with bedside windows looking out on leafy trees healed, on average, a day faster, needed significantly less pain medication and had fewer postsurgical complications than patients who instead saw a brick wall.”

potentially harmful chemicals transported to those same waterways.

Lastly, Dunn cites the environmental benefit of trees, such as the carbon dioxide they absorb from the air. According to the NC State University Cooperative Extension’s website, “One large tree can supply a day's supply of oxygen for four people, and a healthy tree can store 13 pounds of carbon each year, which for an acre of trees equals 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide.” The website further states that trees are similarly important for stormwater control, where they reduce surface water runoff from downpours, decreasing soil erosion and the accumulation of sediments in streams, as well as reducing the number of

“This ordinance is the most progressive ordinance in the state,” he states, with its main goal to increase West Chester’s canopy. “We want to maintain the quality of what we have, which requires improving the standard of care. With this ordinance, contractors who perform tree work must abide by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for tree care, which include OSHA safety requirements, and having a certified arborist on staff.”

MAKING NEW PLANS With all of the contributions of West Chester’s urban forest, it seems prudent to protect it for future generations. Enter the borough’s completely revamped tree ordinance, nearly 17 years in the making by the Shade Tree Commission, and passed unanimously this past August. “WCU Professor Joan Welch started working on it, and [now Mayor] Diane Herrin put the legal framework to it,” Dunn says.

One part of the code addresses street trees, summarized in the Daily Local News on August 27, 2019. “The ordinance states

A massive white oak towers above the courtyard at the West Chester Public Library that residents are not able to eliminate tree wells in the public right of way,” writes Bill Rettew. Under the new code, the borough will plant and maintain street trees. When it comes to their removal, the homeowner is now responsible for only half the costs, with the borough footing the other half of the bill. And the homeowner must replace the tree with a new one, with the typical cost around $750. Residents tasked with repairing their sidewalks must also ensure that their plans comply with the new code. An emerging technology that Dunn is excited about is called Silva Cell, a geo-engineered tree well that both nurtures the tree’s root system as it grows and also provides a storm water management system. “An average Silva Cell installation is $4,000-$8,000 to plant a normal-size tree,” notes Dunn. “Digging and excavating a wider area puts in a surface without compaction, which means it doesn’t cause sidewalk upheaval. It can last 100 years and provides $18,000 in savings





West Chester University’s campus is home to impressive specimens, like this bartram oak per year. Plus, in dense urban environments that pose significant risks to trees, the survivability is way higher.” (If you’re curious about the dollar value your trees potentially save/earn for you, Dunn recommends an online tool called “i-Tree,” which calculates the dollar value of a tree based on the aforementioned factors.) Another part of the ordinance addresses heritage trees, which refers to a tree located on private property with a DBH circumference of 24” or greater that is not on the excluded list, such as invasive species (listed in the ordinance). Anyone with a heritage tree on their property cannot trim or cut it down without first consulting the borough. In 2017, the borough implemented the Stream Protection Fee Program as a way to raise the revenue needed to comply with federal and state stormwater management guidelines. Leveraged equally on residents, businesses, government entities, and nonprofits, the fee is calculated based on the size of the property and the square footage of impervious surfaces (such as driveways). The money may only be used for stormwater-related improvements and projects. “This allows more stormwater to be retained here rather than running into the Delaware River,” Dunn explains. “The 21stcentury is going to be about the economic ecology. Carbon sequestration and tree value, and also quantifying stormwater and putting an economic value on it.” To incentivize homeowners with a heritage tree on their property, the ordinance includes a plan (the details of which are still in development) where these homeowners can receive an annual credit on their stream protection fee, up to $250, available on a sliding scale. Dunn’s advice for borough residents is simple. “If you have a tree on your property, call me first before cutting it down.” He stresses the importance of keeping heritage trees. “Replacing a tree with another tree is not equivalent,” he states. “A fouryear-old tree is not twice the value of one that is two years old. An average 20-inch caliper tree provides $12,000-$18,000 in services and cost savings.”

Michael Dunn believes that West Chester is poised to become a living laboratory. “We have a university inside of the town. We have a long horticultural history and active advocates. We can combine our efforts to come up with a plan that can serve as a template for other communities.” For his part, Dunn is just getting started. “We need creative designs to make large trees in urban architecture work,” he says.

GROWING INTO THE FUTURE “No one who has loved a single tree will be able to set it aside,” writes a Kirkus reviewer of Jill Jonnes’ Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees and People in the

American Cityscape. Indeed, we all have a tree (or several) that occupies a special place in our hearts. Perhaps it’s the stalwart live oak that guards the Ocracoke lighthouse, its gnarled branches twisting in upon themselves in a centuries-old pose. Or the row of sycamores that lines High Street south of the university, their mottled white and gold branches cut away from the power lines over the years such that they resemble upturned palms. From the beloved trees that inhabit the backyards of borough residents, to the comfort of shaded sidewalks in a flourishing downtown, West Chester is poised to be a leader in urban landscapes for generations to come.






— S AV E T H E D A T E —



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Every Saturday & Sunday

Harvest Festival Weekends

Come out to Highland Orchards to celebrate the season with family activities including hayrides, pumpkin painting, scarecrow making and sand art every weekend from noon-5pm. The event is open to the public, but you’ll need to buy event tickets for $5, available on the farm, if you choose to take part.

Apple and Pumpkin Picking

Step into the fields (and orchards) and snag your own fruits and seasonal decorations. You can buy apple bags in three sizes: half-peck ($15), peck ($25) and half bushel ($40) which is about 30lbs of apples! And, if you buy an apple bag, you won’t need a permit ($6) to take part in pumpkin picking, which includes a shuttle out to the fields where you can select your own pumpkins and pay based on size. Highland Orchards 1000 Marshallton Thorndale Rd 610.269.3494

October 4

Fall Gallery Walk

An eclectic mix of gallery receptions and one-night exhibits is what makes Gallery Walk an evening of fun and surprises. More than 20 artists display their work at six prominent galleries, who will combine with dozens of additional “one-night-only” art show hosts throughout downtown West Chester, including shops, banks and restaurants throughout downtown. The event starts as 5pm and is presented by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce and Sunset Hill Jewelers and Fine Arts Gallery, is rain or shine, and you can find out more about participating businesses on the chamber’s website. Downtown West Chester 610-696-4046

October 5

Chester County Day House Tour

Take part in the oldest house tour event in the nation and experience Chester County’s finest examples of new and historically significant homes. The event starts at 10am and takes place in the southeast quadrant of Chester County. Tour tickets are $50, with the picnic lunch option costing an extra $12 and VIP privileges running an additional $50. The proceeds benefit the Women’s Auxiliary to Chester County Hospital’s Heart to Heart Pledge. Tickets are available at the Chester County Historical Society (225 N High St), or through the hospital’s website.

October 13

West Chester Chili Cook-off

On the 2nd Sunday of October the streets of Downtown West Chester close for a day of food, fun and philanthropy. 70+ chili teams, comprised of restaurants, businesses, hometown cooks and non-profit organizations, set

up shop right on the street and cook chili vying for the coveted People’s Choice Award. There are also more than 40 different vendors to browse, and your ticket for all the chili you could ever eat only costs $10, can be purchased the day of the event, and supports all the great works of the Rotary Club of West Chester. The party kicks off at noon. Downtown West Chester

October 17

Preservation Awards

We’ve highlighted their works in Kate Chadwick’s feature on page 15, and now you can mark your calendar to attend the West Chester Downtown Foundation’s 2019 Preservation Awards, honoring the outstanding projects that keep West Chester a premier historic community at the Chester County Historical Society. Tickets for the event are $25, can be purchased at the door, and include the ceremony and reception. West Chester Downtown Foundation 225 N High Street |





10/26 & 27

October 19

Block Party & Open House

Enjoy live music, a beer garden, food trucks, children’s activities and historical reenactors FOR FREE! That’s right this free event at Chester County Historical Society is in an effort to drum up support for a contest that’s awarding $2 million in preservation funding to sites of historic importance for women. CCHS is the site of the first PA Women’s Rights Convention, and this historically significant buulding is in need of funding to help repair the roof. Vote at the event (the location with the most in-person votes earns $50,000) and online to show your support. 225 N High St | 484.329.7853 Chester

Treehouse World Fall Festival

As if Treehouse World wasn’t already fun for the whole family, come out and enjoy a full day of adventure, running from 10am-4pm. Basic admission to the event starts at $12 and includes access to Treehouses, Pirates Cove, Warrior Woods and Gaga Pit, plus face painting and the opportunity to pick and paint your own pumpkin. You can opt to purchase individual passes for activities like Ziplining and Tree Climbing, or upgrade your pass to include two adventure activities. Save $2 when you purchase your tickets online before October 14. 1442 Phoenixville Pike | 484.329.7853

October 23

Halloween Parade

Throw on your favorite costume and join the fun! The Parade gathers on Market Street between Church & Darlington and kicks off at 7pm before heading down Market and up Gay Street. There will be marching bands, cheerleading and dance team performances from West Chester University and area high schools, plus great floats and costumes.

October 26

Chester County Historical Society Second Annual Halloween Ball The Spirits of Chester County invite you to CCHS for an evening of spooktacular fun! This event runs from 6:30-10:30pm and features a live auction, music, costume contest and open bar. Catering will be provided by Brandywine Catering, and costumes are encouraged! Keep in mind that this event is 21+. Tickets are $100, can be purchased through CCHS’ website, and all proceeds benefit their educational programming. 225 N High St 610-692-4800 |

October 26 & 27

Brandywine Ballet’s Fall Repertoire Series

This fall series mixed repertoire production features the title work, Carmina Burana, choreographed by Nancy Page and set to composer Carl Orff’s masterpiece of the same name. It is a tale of life, fortune and fate. Also featured are two additional works by Ms. Page: Never Ending Road, set to the hauntingly beautiful music of Lorenna McKennitt; and an excerpt from Colour Brillanté, set to music by Antonin Dvorak. Viseral Form, a co-creation by Tim Early & Rick Callender, set on Brandywine Contemporary dancers, looks to create a visceral response to the shapes and colors from artist Stephen Early’s paintings, set to music by Gustavo Santaoalla. Tickets are $25-$42 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office. Saturday’s show is at 4pm, Sunday’s at 2pm. Emilie K Asplundh Concert Hall 700 S High St | 610.696.2711





Near and Far

Jamie Jones of Whirlaway Travel explores some travel options abroad and highlights their local counterparts

This is a story of humility. As a travel advisor I remind people every day that you get what you pay for. It’s nearly impossible to have a five-star experience at a three-star resort — you’re not getting champagne taste on a beer budget. Yet despite offering this advice to others, I recently failed to heed my own warnings when it came to a renovation in my house. Our home is a tiny Cape Cod in the borough with a single bathroom. This bathroom has never been updated and was beginning to show its age. (Who am I kidding? It had been showing its age since we moved in!) It had Linoleum floors, a leaky toilet, worn tub, rusty radiator, rotting windowsill, and a pesky leak that found its way to the basement if the shower curtain was not pulled just right. There was not one relaxing, spa-like aspect to this bathroom we all wait in line for every morning. It was high time to renovate. We received a few labor quotes and after adding material costs, couldn’t believe how much this tiny room was going to cost. Then a handyman was recommended who worked on an obscenely low daily rate and received rave reviews. We invited him over to look at the space, and he said it would be a simple job, done in five days, and he could handle everything. We’d found our unicorn. With labor costs under control, we splurged on the materials. My husband gutted and rewired the bathroom, providing a clean slate for said “handyman” to knock out the install while we were away. I was so excited to return home to a shiny, sealed bathroom! The day came, and to our horror, not only was the job not done, but the work was horrendous, and got worse as the job dragged on. My husband finally snapped and brought in Vince Stancato (the best plumber around) who found and fixed countless issues. Mr. Handyman was fired on the spot, and we brought in the person to whom I owe my sanity, Davis Thomas of Davis’ll Do It. The bathroom had to be gutted again, and all new materials had to be purchased. Davis worked his tail off to provide us a beautiful finished bathroom, just shy of a month from the original start date. I learned quite a few things though this process. The relations to travel planning are uncanny: 1. Don’t skimp on labor. Hire an experienced professional. 2. If your materials (experiences) are not installed (planned) properly, it can end up a huge waste of money. 3. Make sure to give yourself enough time to get the job done (make the most out of your destination). 4. Mentally prepare for hiccups along the way. 5. You can’t put lipstick on a pig, aka, you get what you pay for. This month has been a test to our marriage and sanity. Had we not tried to skimp, we’d have saved time, money and undue stress. Everything worked out in the end, but it was all thanks to three five-star, local business owners, who I highly recommend: Cornerstone Electrical Solutions – 610-425-0779 Vince Stancato Plumbing – 610-692-4930 Davis’ll Do It – 301-481-4490 —



2019 Mazda3 Sedan

2018 Mazda6 Sedan

2019 Mazda CX-5

Piazza Mazda

(610) 399-5330

of West Chester



The West Chester Chili Cook-off is this month; mark your calendars for October 13! If you can spot the five differences in this photo from a prior cook-off, email your answers to, and you’ve got a chance to win a Barnaby’s gift certificate. Congrats to our September winner, Deputy Collin B. Meisenhelter, from the Chester County Office of the Sheriff.





October Playlist DJ Romeo curates a list of the tracks you’ll be singing all month The following is a list of songs that will take over the radio stations in the next few months. You’ll soon know them by heart and play them ‘til they’re tired. But, good news: you can download them first and look like the cool musical genius to all of your friends. | @DJRomeo24

Lauv – “Feelings” Post Malone – “Circles” Blackbear – “Hot Girl Bummer” Maroon 5 – “Memories” Camila Cabello – “Shameless” Katy Perry – “Small Talk” Liam Payne ft. A Boogie Wit da Hoodie – “Stack It Up” Twenty One Pilots – “The Hype” Zac Brown Band – “The Owl” Alessia Cara – “Rooting For You” Halsey – “Graveyard” 5 Seconds of Summer – “Teeth” Charlie Puth – “Mother” Fall Out Boy ft. Wyclef Jean – “Dear Future Self” Little Big Town – “Over Drinking” OneRepublic – “Wanted” Chris Janson – “Good Vibes” Old Dominion – “One Man Band” Chris Brown ft. Gunna – “Heat” Post Malone ft. Ozzy Osbourne & Travis Scott – “Take What You Want” Summer Walker – “Playing Games” Luke Combs – “Even Though I’m Leaving” Russell Dickerson – “Every Little Thing” YNW Melly & 9lokknine – “223’s” Kelsea Ballerini – “homecoming queen?” Lady Antebellum – “Ocean” Hailee Steinfeld – “Afterlife” The Lumineers – “Donna” Gang Starr ft. J. Cole – “Family and Loyalty” Green Day – “Father of All…”



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