Greylock is going to sheriff’s sale – October 18, 2017


After years of abandonment, Chestnut Hill’s magnificent Greylock estate, located at 209 W. Chestnut Hill Avenue, will be up for sheriff’s sale. The Chestnut Hill Conservancy holds two easements on Greylock and is interested in working to balance the interests of potential buyers with continued preservation. If you are interested in being a part of the future of Chestnut Hill’s historic Greylock estate, please contact (photo: Bradley Maule)

Easements, or donated development rights, are among the most effective and important tools for protecting precious architectural and natural resources. The conservation easement on Greylock preserves open green space, protects the property from land development, and helps to control surface water run-off within the Wissahickon Watershed. The façade easement on Greylock protects the exterior of the main building and the carriage house, both listed as “Significant” buildings within the Chestnut Hill National Register Historic District. CLICK HERE to read the easement details and requirement.

The Chestnut Hill Conservancy and the Friends of the Wissahickon jointly sponsor the Easement Program for Chestnut Hill, surrounding communities, and the Philadelphia section of the Wissahickon watershed. Learn more about the Easement Program


The date of the Sheriff’s Sale is October 18, 2017.

Greylock is scheduled for Philadelphia Sheriff’s Sale next Wednesday, October 18, 2017.  This is a TAX DELINQUENT Sheriff’s Sale, which is different from the MORTGAGE Sheriff’s Sales that have been scheduled and postponed in the past.
$182,135.45 in taxes is owed, and the starting bid is $1,500.  According to City Solicitor Courtney Richardson, with a successful Tax Sheriff’s Sale all mortgages and liens are extinguished, although the 2 easements held by the Chestnut Hill Conservancy remain intact and in effect.
The Sheriff’s Sale could be postponed or delayed by certain actions by the owner or mortgage holder as late as October 17, and this delay might not be noted online.  However, as of today, the Sheriff’s Sale is scheduled to take place on:
9amWednesday, October 18, 2017
If you have any questions about the Sheriff’s Sale, please contact City Solicitor Courtney Richardson at
If you have any questions about the conservation and preservation easements on the property, please contact Angelina Jones at

→  Download and print this Greylock FAQ sheet.

→  In this Op Ed in the Chestnut Hill Local, September 8, 2016, Board member Randy Williams explains in simple language the facts about Greylock and easements.

→  In his Letter to the Editor of the Local, Board member Richard Snowden clarifies the causes of the current Greylock situation.

→  Read Philadelphia magazine‘s coverage, August 25, 2016.


Henry Laughlin, a pioneer in the steel industry, helped make Pittsburgh a national center of steel production. When he retired to Philadelphia, he hired Pittsburgh architect William J. Carpenter to design Greylock, built in 1909, at 209 West Chestnut Hill Avenue, pictured here c. 1920. The main entrance drive, located on Crefeld Street, led up to the front of the house, pictured here. A gate lodge, now a residence at 8838 Crefeld Street, was built at the main entrance drive. The stone for the exterior walls was quarried on the 10-acre estate. The 25-room house was equipped with an elevator. From 1919 to 1922 he deeded land on both sides of Germantown Avenue to Chestnut Hill Hospital. (From Liz Jarvis, Chestnut Hill Revisted, 2004)