Balancing beneficial development with protection of architectural and environmental resources

Chestnut Hill is special and unique to Philadelphia in its seamless meshing of natural and manmade beauty. Topographically the highest point in the city, Chestnut Hill is situated wholly within the beautiful Wissahickon watershed, whose nerves extend deep into the neighborhood via Cresheim Creek, Hartwell Run, East Brook, and other tributaries of Wissahickon Creek. With three centuries of development, one can read the layers of history and architecture and how they’ve incorporated the scenery around them. These two characteristics drive Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s two primary planning principles: land conservation and historic preservation.

• The Upper Northwest District Plan is now underway. The first public  meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, January 29 at 6:30pm at the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Please join us for the meeting and help shape the future of Chestnut Hill. Prepare by reading the Planning Department’s interesting technical memo and participate in this interactive exercise.

• The 2017 Residential Conservation, Preservation + Development Study, done with generous support from the William Penn Foundation’s Watershed Protection program and in collaboration with Chestnut Hill Community Association, identifies the highest priority areas for conservation to protect the Wissahickon watershed against development pressures and historic properties to save. The study was executed in advance of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s Upper Northwest District Plan, set to happen in Fall 2017. The study’s two biggest deliverables are 1) a set of development management tools to help guide future development and 2) a set of maps that illustrate Chestnut Hill’s natural and historic resources. View the study HERE.

• Our easement program, established in 1990, now manages more than 40 properties valued at over $10 million, protecting 130 acres of watershed and 13 historic façades. Learn more about the easements program HERE.

• Our Historic District Advisory Committee (HDAC), comprised of professionals in the preservation, architecture, planning and development fields, meets monthly to review community design, particularly as it relates to the Chestnut Hill National Register Historic District. Learn more about the HDAC HERE.



Mayor Kenney created a Historic Preservation Task Force to help the City reassess how Philadelphia preserves its historic resources. See below to keep up to date with preservation planning in Philadelphia and to participate in the process.

News and Reports:

Meeting Schedule:

  • Jan 18, 2018: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm, The Enterprise Center, 4548 Market Street
  • March 15, 2018: 8:30 – 10:30 am, 1515 Arch Street, Room 18-029
  • On the road: May 17, 2018: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Neighborhood
  • July 19, 2018: 8:30 – 10:30am, 1515 Arch Street, Room 18-029
  • Public Meeting: Date and location to be determined
  • On the road: Sept 20, 2018: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Neighborhood
  • Nov 15, 2018: 8:30 – 10:30 am, 1515 Arch Street, Room 18-029