Douglas - Hutchinson House Historic Resource Impact Study

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Wise Preservation Planning LLC
      1480 Hilltop Road
      Chester Springs PA 19425
      Phone (484) 202-8187

Wise Preservation Planning LLC is a full-service historic preservation planning firm. We research, document, analyze and ultimately help protect historic resources and our cultural landscape. Our firm serves a variety of clients, including municipalities, engineers, architects, historical societies, and owners of historic resources.

The firm was founded in 1997 by Robert J. Wise Jr., who has 20 years of experience in the historic preservation field. He is assisted by Seth Hinshaw, Senior Planner, who has been with the firm since 2001. Both planners have M.S. degrees in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and exceed the 36 CFR 61 Professional Qualification Standards established by the National Park Service for architectural historians.


Wise Preservation Planning LLC completed a Historic Resource Impact Study for the Douglas - Hutchinson House in 2011. The house was in declining condition, with deterioration throughout the interior. The owner applied for a demolition permit, with the intention of rebuilding on the same location. Due to the historic nature he offered to donate the house with an acre of land to anyone who would purchase it and move it to the donated property. In the long run, no new owner came forth.
The Douglas-Hutchinson House was a three-part building. The core (southwest corner) was originally log, dating to the mid-1700s. The home of Mary Douglas, the log building sat on a property that whose ownership was disputed. In 1818, a local attorney named David Hutchinson became the owner. Eight years later, he constructed a stone side hall addition onto the east end of the core. In the 1880s, George and Philena Coates constructed a small brick rear addition that gave the house an overall rectangular shape and completed the historic appearance of the house.
The Douglas-Hutchinson House retained many period details. With the completion of the 3-part main block, the house had a slightly modified center hall Georgian floorplan, with two rooms flanking the center stair hall. Two front doors opened onto the original front porch - one with an 18th century Suffolk latch. The north door, which faced the street, featured decorative punch and gouge work on the Greek Revival door surround, long strap hinges, and the decorative transom shown to the right. Interior doors were mostly 6-paneled Federal style units, many with mid-19th century lock boxes. Other interior fittings included a chair railing, decorative fireplaces, transoms over the doors, and several built-in closets. A walk-in kitchen hearth in the core with a bake oven was one of the remnants of the core (near the southwest corner).