Northeast Times

Construction at Glen Foerd mansion close to completion

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Im­prove­ments al­most are com­plete at one city-owned park fa­cil­ity in East Tor­res­dale and will soon be un­der way at an­oth­er, ac­cord­ing to guest speak­ers at the May 9 meet­ing of the East Tor­res­dale Civic As­so­ci­ation.

Meg Sharp Walton, the re­cently ap­poin­ted ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of Glen Fo­erd on the Delaware, re­por­ted to res­id­ents that the his­tor­ic man­sion’s four-month long roof re­place­ment pro­ject was near­ing com­ple­tion.

To cel­eb­rate the pro­ject, Glen Fo­erd will host an art ex­hib­i­tion and gal­lery talk on Thursday, May 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is free and open to the pub­lic.

Re­gion­al artists, in­clud­ing Dr. Richard Gold­berg and Don­ald Mey­er, will ex­hib­it their work on the first floor. Their paint­ings will be avail­able for pur­chase. In ad­di­tion, Mey­er will dis­cuss the man­sion’s in-house col­lec­tion of art­work.

Ac­cord­ing to Walton, work­ers re-in­stalled the per­man­ent Glen Fo­erd col­lec­tion in­to the second-floor gal­lery late last month. Florence Ton­ner, the last private res­id­ent of the river­front es­tate, amassed the col­lec­tion, which fea­tures paint­ings by not­able im­pres­sion­ists in­clud­ing Rem­brandt and Mon­et.

The city’s De­part­ment of Parks and Re­cre­ation now owns the site and leases it for a nom­in­al an­nu­al fee to the non-profit Glen Fo­erd Con­ser­va­tion Cor­por­a­tion.

The roof res­tor­a­tion ini­ti­at­ive began more than six years ago un­der Walton’s pre­de­cessor, Patrick Ho­tard, who left the Delaware River wa­ter­front es­tate late last year. The Con­ser­va­tion Cor­por­a­tion, through its Struc­tures and Se­cur­ity Com­mit­tee, raised about $800,000 in private and pub­lic dona­tions to pay for the pro­ject.

In an un­re­lated pro­ject, East Tor­res­dale’s Pleas­ant Hill Park will get a facelift.

Bar­bara Mc­Cabe, parks co­ordin­at­or for the De­part­ment of Parks and Re­cre­ation, re­por­ted to res­id­ents that the man-made ponds in Pleas­ant Hill known loc­ally as the “fish hatcher­ies” would be emp­tied, cleaned and re­built in the com­ing months.

Tons of silt that have amassed in­side the ponds over dec­ades of neg­lect will be re­moved and taken from the park or re-used on site, if needed, Mc­Cabe said. An aer­a­tion sys­tem will be in­stalled in the ponds, as will plants that will act as a fil­ter to block new silt from lin­ing the pond floors.

The work will also in­clude new benches, walk­ways and fen­cing around the ponds, which are in­ten­ded for use by ju­ven­iles for fish­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Mc­Cabe, the pond pro­ject has been ap­proved by the ad­min­is­tra­tion and will soon be placed for bid. After that pro­cess, work should be­gin with­in 10 to 12 weeks.

The pro­ject is one phase of a lar­ger, long-term im­prove­ment strategy for Pleas­ant Hill Park. Pre­vi­ously, the park’s boat ramp and park­ing areas were re­con­figured and re­paved with new walk­ways, benches, light­ing and drain­age sys­tems. A child play­ground also has been in­stalled in the park.

No fund­ing has been com­mit­ted to fu­ture work in the park, bey­ond the pond pro­ject, Mc­Cabe said.

• The next East Tor­res­dale Civic As­so­ci­ation meet­ing will be on Monday, June 13, at 7 p.m., at Liberty Evan­gel­ic­al Free Church, Linden Av­en­ue and Mil­nor Street. 

Re­port­er Wil­li­am Kenny can be reached at 215-354-3031 or bkenny@bsmphilly.com

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You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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