Historic Houses

In the Field: Our conservation team restores historic guardhouse, Glen Foerd Mansion, and more

by Melissa Romero on June 29, 2021

From guardhouses to gazebos, and monuments to mansions, our conservation team has been busy this year, restoring historic buildings and structures all throughout the Philadelphia region. 

Keep reading below to learn more about just some of their recently completed projects.

Ambler Gazebo 

Earlier this year, the conservators brought a historic gazebo back to life. They were responsible for the replacement of the entire roof, including the metal crenellations (the battlements of a castle or other building that look like notched teeth). The gazebo is on the grounds of the historic Lindenwold estate in Ambler. Notably one of the most daunting restorations at the site, this entire project took about six months. Learn more in the Montgomery News.

Labor Monument

The Conservancy is proud to partner with the Association for Public Art on numerous public art pieces in Philadelphia parks. Our conservators recently completed the restoration of the wooden benches and graffiti removal of the Labor Monument (2010, by John Kindness) in Elmwood Park. This conservation work was led by the Association for Public Art and in partnership with Tatti Art Conservation. 

Labor Monument Conservation from Association for Public Art on Vimeo.

Fairmount Park Guardhouse

This late 19th-century guardhouse was carefully and meticulously restored by our conservators at their headquarters at Thomas Mansion, before making its move to its permanent home in the Wissahickon on Forbidden Drive (just off Wise Mill Road). 

The guardhouse was previously located at a private residence in Montgomery County. The guardhouse was unlike any other our conservators had worked on before, says Conservator Tom McPoyle.  “It’s Gothic Revival, but it’s the first I’ve seen with decorative scrollwork panels and trimmed, recessed panels on the interior instead of floor to ceiling beadboard,” he says. “We also uncovered a Victorian color scheme with four different colors under many layers of paint. Most guard boxes would have had three at the most.” 



Glen Foerd Mansion

Glen Foerd Mansion is the only Delaware River estate located in Philadelphia that is open to the public. Our conservators have been longtime stewards of the historic mansion. Most recently, they restored the shutters on the second floor and repaired the cornice. They also completely restored the porch roof railing on the front of the mansion.  

Learn more about the mansion in this behind-the-scenes virtual tour! 

Behind the Scenes Tour of Glen Foerd-“Choose your Own”! from Fairmount Park Conservancy on Vimeo.

And stay tuned for updates on these ongoing projects: 

1. Hatfield House renovations in East Fairmount Park

2. Ohio House renovations in West Fairmount Park

3. Sheep Barn roof restoration in the Wissahickon 

4. Smith Memorial Playhouse renovations in East Fairmount Park

5. Chief Wingohocking statue restoration in New Hope

Learn more about our talented team and the architectural conservation services that they offer here.

Photo of Labor Monument courtesy of Association for Public Art.