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Positively Philadelphia: Fairmount Park’s ”Little Jewels”

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(A newly restored guard box in Fairmount Park.  All photos provided)

(A newly restored guard box in Fairmount Park. All photos provided)

lipton_lauren DL Lauren Lipton
Lauren Lipton, a fixture in Philadelphia journalism, is “at the...
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By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There is something new in Fairmount Park, and it’s from something old.

“We just finished a great little project, which was the restoration of a guard box from 1876,” says Lucy Strackhouse, executive director of the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust.

“It’s been a great project,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “We’ve restored it to its original Victorian color scheme, and we just moved it back to its location in Saylor Grove.  Looks great.  You can see it right on Wissahickon Avenue.”

(A Fairmount Park guard box, circa 1870-71.)

(A Fairmount Park guard box, circa 1870-71.)

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Once, there were hundreds of guard boxes, but not now.

(Lucy Strackhouse.  Photo provided)

(Lucy Strackhouse. Photo provided)

“In the 1950s the Fairmount Park Commission decided that we weren’t going to have the Fairmount Park Guard anymore, so a lot of these boxes were either destroyed or sold, or given away,” Strackhouse (right) explains.

Now, those that are left are being restored.

“We  have about twelve of them left at this point, and we guard them very carefully.  They’re wonderful little jewels.”

Hear Lauren Lipton’s extended interview with Lucy Strackhouse in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 4:33)…

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And if learning how to preserve old structures appeals to you, here’s your chance.

(Volunteers help to restore a guard box.)

(Volunteers help to restore a guard box.)

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“We’re always looking for volunteers, so if anyone’s interested in helping, we have lots of great hands-on projects.  Please give us a call at 267-297-0125.  We’ll be happy to talk to you about that.  We work on fantastic buildings throughout Fairmount Park every day, and we love to have help.”

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And, for this week, that’s “Positively Philadelphia!”

For more information about their programs, contact:

Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust
Thomas Mansion
6245 Wissahickon Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144
(267) 297-0125
or e-mail info@fairmountparktrust.org.

“Positively Philadelphia” main page

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