Restoration
The Restoration of the Richard Wall House was based on the comprehensive report compiled by architects Cope and Lippincott in 1981, which combined extensive research along with a detailed examination of the structure.  A copy of the report is available in the Wall House library.  Interestingly, Lippincott was a member of the Lippincott family who founded the Lippincott Publishing company and were descendants of the original Wall House families.  In fact, much of the historical information which has been gathered about the Wall House has been gleaned from the writings of Horace Mather Lippincott, a direct descendant.

The Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners hired the architect firm of Robert Skaler to convert the house to a museum in 1989.  As recommended by the Cope and Lippincott report (see chronology), a complete heating and air conditioning system was installed, while preserving the historical importance of the building.  Next, a working beehive oven was installed to replicate the original 1760 structure that had been removed during a 20th century modernization. However, its operation activated the fire alarm system, and the resulting smoke and the fumes threatened the museum's textile collection, so the oven is no longer used.
 
Beehive Oven
Beehine Outside


A second architect, Leon Clemmer, was hired for the next stage of restoration. Continuing the work of Mr. Skaler, an archive room with space for a tool exhibit was installed in the lower level.  The ground floor was made handicapped accessible. The third floor featured exhibit space and an office. Finally, the driveway level of the springhouse was preserved, while the carriage house was converted into an orientation center with a meeting room and exhibit space. Clemmer also developed a master plan for future expansion of the Wall House grounds.  All work was completed under the supervision of the Township Historical Commission, and the drawings and specifications are stored in the archives of the Philadelphia Athenaeum and the University of Pennsylvania.

A Colonial-style herb garden, planted and maintained by the Old York Road Garden Club, is located outside of the kitchen. It illustrates the home-growth culinary herbs and medicinal plants so necessary to homemakers of the age. It may be viewed at anytime.

 
Herb Garden
Herb Garden
The street level of the springhouse was once used as a wash house, chicken coop and storage space. It now depicts all three uses.
Spring House wash 2 Spring House coop
Spring House wash
Eventually, the lower level of the springhouse may also be restored and opened to visitors.
 
Spring House
Spring House

 
 
 
 
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