Chester County Historic Preservation Network Celebrates 30th Anniversary

May is Preservation Month, a great time to recognize the Chester County Historic Preservation Network (CCHPN), which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

The Network’s mission is to “connect local governments, organizations, and individuals in their efforts to protect, preserve, and promote the historic resources and cultural landscapes of Chester County through communication and education.”

The Network was co-founded by the late Jane L.S. Davidson, who was the county’s first heritage preservation coordinator starting in 1982. Davidson worked closely with a group of volunteers known as “Jane’s Army” who helped her with historic preservation efforts throughout the county.

“Jane and a small group of citizens developed preservation and stewardship standards that the county still follows today,” said Karen Marshall, who is the county’s current heritage preservation coordinator. Of the 73 municipalities in the county, 65 specifically provide for the protection and interpretation of historic resources. This is largely due to the work of the Network.

Preservation covers a wide variety of issues and; as a result, is covered extensively within two goal areas of the county’s comprehensive plan, Landscapes3: Preserve and Appreciate. Preserve focuses on advancing the protection and stewardship of open space, farmland, and natural and cultural features to realize economic, ecological, and quality of life benefits.

The Appreciate goal focuses on preserving the historic resources and landscapes that define our cultural heritage and inspire the future through connections to our shared past. The work advanced by CCHPN and its many partners fall within the Appreciate goal, and will help make those connections between our rich history and a future that carries forward our cultural heritage.

The cornerstone event for the CCHPN is its Volunteer Recognition Dinner and Awards Celebration, which will take place on the evening of June 19th at the Chester County Historical Society, 225 N. High St., West Chester.

The Network also conducts and participates in a series of educational events and workshops about historic preservation issues throughout the year, including the county’s Town Tours and Village Walks program. For the past 25 years, the Town Tour events have been sponsored by the Chester County Commissioners through the Chester County Planning Commission and its partners, including Westtown Township, the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau, the CCHPN, the Chester County Historical Society, and other local participating municipalities. The free summer strolls kick off June 13th at the historic Holy Trinity Church, 212 S. High St., West Chester. View more information about the tours or contact Chester County Heritage Preservation Coordinator Karen Marshall at for a brochure.

Learn more about the Chester County Historic Preservation Network.