Archive for October, 2009

Dorchester Academy Museum of African-American History in Midway GA Needs Your Help!

October 30, 2009

The Dorchester Academy Museum needs your help today!

Dorchester Academy Moore Hall Midway GARecently while traveling in Georgia, we had the chance to visit the Dorchester Academy Museum of African-American History in Midway GA.  They need to raise funds to stabilize and restore their historic campus.

Following the Civil War, there was a great need for education throughout the south.  Moore Hall Interior Dorchester Academy Midway GAIn 1868, the school that would become the Dorchester Academy was started as a primary school and Congregational Church by the AMA. An abolitionist, Eliza Ann Ward, was sent from Massachusetts to open the school in “Goldings Grove” and taught until 1872.  Floyd Snelson was then hired to foster the school.  In 1879, the school was enlarged to provide secondary education to freedman in Liberty County and was then named the Dorchester Academy.  The Academy was both a day school and a boarding school.  In 1934 the entire graduating class was admitted to college, and the school was classified as one of the best schools in the state.  The school grew and prospered until 1940 when Liberty County built a consolidated public school for black youth.

Dr Martin Luther King Room inDorchester Academy GAThe Academy closed and many of the old buildings were torn down in 1945.  The AMA then donated $10 for every $1 toward the remodeling of the brick boys dormitory – the Elizabeth Moore Hall.  The facilities were turned over to the new Dorchester Cooperative Center (DCC).  The Center included the Credit Union (founded in 1938), the Farmers Union, the Liberty County Political Council, and Dorchester Improvement Association.  The programs developed at Dorchester were a model for later community development in the 1960’s.  In 1968, the Liberty County Schools were integrated.Original Boy's Dormitory Room Dorchester Academy Midway GA

“In 1961 the Southern Christian Leadership Council in cooperation with the American Missionary Association (AMA) established “Leadership Training Programs and Citizenship Schools” at Dorchester to train grass roots leaders from throughout the south”.  Andrew Young headed the project in the formative years and Dr Martin Luther King was deeply involved and often visited.  Leaders from throughout the country taught and trained here and King’s biographer contends he planned his 1963 Birmingham campaign while staying here.

Many of the original buildings have been removed over the years, but the original brick boy’s dormitory built in 1934 (and named in honor of Miss Elizabeth Moore, the first African-American woman principal) is being restored in the center of the campus and has been listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.Dorchester Academy Museum of African-American History Midway GA This building has been the center of much of the key activity over the years including the time that the Southern Leadership council used the facilities.   The original rooms and furniture used by Dr King are still preserved in the building.

Today, the building is badly in need of restoration and needs your help.  On April 28, 2009, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the Dorchester Academy to its 2009 list of the 11 Most Endangered Places in America. “The Academy …. has been an institute for education, community development,and positive political and social change since its founding day” –  Pres Jimmy Carter. Our Thank You to Don O’Neal for taking the time to show us throughout the property and explain its history.

All donations and help are greatly needed and appreciated – contact:

Don O’Neal
Dorchester Academy Museum of African-American History
PO Box 51, Midway, GA  31320

“In addition to its highly significant role as a school for generations of African-American students, Dorchester played a seminal role in the great social movements of our nation’s history.” – Richard Moe – National Trust for Historic Preservation

(Note: all above history is a compilation taken from the website, on site displays, National Trust site, and discussions – please let me know if you find any errors/missing information)

Keno Lane West Grove PA Foreclosure

October 25, 2009

Welcome to 6 Keno Lane – Danielle Mateu’s newest upcoming foreclosure in West Grove PA.

Recently, there have been fewer foreclosures in Delaware County PA as the activity appears to have become more concentrated in Philadelphia and down in Delaware.  To continue our foreclosure series, this is one of the latest of Danille Mateu’s foreclosures that is coming up in Chester County PA.

6 Keno Ln  West Grove PALocated in Penn Township, Keno Lane is a small cul-de-sac off Corby Rd just west of its intersection with Jennersville Rd.  This location affords the owner easy access to much of the region.  Just north on Route 796 (Jennersville Rd), Route 1 provides quick access toward Oxford to the west and West Grove/Kennett and Delaware County to the east.  Just to the west, Corby Rd intersects with Route 896 which leads to Lancaster to the northwest and Newark/ Wilmington DE to the southeast.

This is a nice example of newer Chester County ranch home construction from about 29 years ago.  Keno Lane itself is a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath one story ranch with a full unfinished basement.  The property is located right at the corner of Corby and Keno and the house is situated on the top of a rise over the intersection.  The video will provide a better look at the home itself:

The pricing for this house has not yet been set but overall in zip code 19390, there are currently 116 properties on the market with an average list price of $359,000 and 24 are under contract with an average list price of $258,000.  As has been seen throughout the area, both the activity and pricing have pulled back recently in this zip.  Activity reached a peak in 2006 with 185 closed transaction while the pricing reached a peak in 2007 with an average sales price of $312,00.  Both sales and prices have been drifting down for the last couple years resulting in 87 sales so far year to date in 2009 with an average sales price of $263,000.

keno HillThis appears to be a great opportunity to obtain a home in the area for a good price without being a major fixer.  As with all foreclosures any buyer should be prepared to put in money and time into the property before being able to move in.  A potential buyer will only be able to perform limited inspections and must be prepared to buy in as-is condition with solid financing.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to see the property as soon as it is available, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.

Ellis Preserve Approved by Newtown Township

October 21, 2009

Ellis Preserve Newtown Square PAAfter five years of review and planning, Newtown Township has approved the revised plans for the development of the Ellis Preserve at Newtown Square.

After years of work, meetings, and evolving plans, the Ellis Preserve Town center is now closer than ever to fruition.  The township will still submit some additional conditions to BPG that must be addressed, and another builder is contesting the approval,  but the project looks like it should be proceeding.

Ellis Preserve Town Center Newtown Square PAThe Ellis Preserve at Newtown Square will include a mixture of office, retail and residential uses.  The Ellis Preserve Town Center should be a great addition to the township and provide a more traditional town center to the area.  In addition to the commercial center concentrated by the intersection of Routes 252 and West Chester Pike, there will also be additional office space along West Chester Pike and various residential options concentrated to the north as you head toward Goshen Road.

BPG Properties Newtown Square Ellis Preserve PAFor more complete information, be sure to check out the complete Daily Times Article on the meeting itself and the embedded links to take you directly to the developers site.

As always, should you need any additional information, feel free to contact me anytime.

Easttown Township Chester County PA Proposed Earned Income Tax – Meeting October 19th 8PM

October 16, 2009

Be sure to take the opportunity to let your opinion be known on the proposed Earned Income Tax in Easttown Township on October 19th.

As we move through this economic downturn, not only individuals and families are taking action to cope, but most local governments are also being forced to review their finances.  Easttown Township Chester County PAMany smaller communities are cutting expenses and reorganizing their operations to reduce their expenditures as much as possible while minimizing any additional burden on the local constituents.  Many are also raising fees and enforcing statues to raise additional revenue as possible.  All these actions are easily reversible.

Others are taking a different tack and changing some of their fundamental tax and revenue plans.  This is where the local constituents need to be more involved since these can have large long term impacts on both the individual and the local community.  Easttown is one of the local communities that is currently looking to raise revenues by proposing an Earned Income Tax.

“Please be advised that on Monday, October 19, 2009 at 8:00 P.M. prevailing time, at Beaumont Elementary School, 575 Beaumont Road, Devon, Pennsylvania, the Easttown Township Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing to consider and immediately thereafter during its regular meeting enact the following Ordinance” This ordinance concerns the earned Income Tax.

Please be sure to take the time and opportunity to attend the meeting (or call in advance) to be sure that you have the chance to make your voice heard either for or against these proposals.

Wayne PA – Now One of the Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia

October 12, 2009

Congratulations to Wayne PA – Delaware County’s newest member of the Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia.

Wayne Theater Wayne PAOn October 1, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) added nine more towns to its Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia Marketing initiative. Wayne is now one of twenty towns in the initiative that “is designed to promote the Classic Towns as great places to live, work, and play.”  The Classic Towns initiative tries to highlight each town individually while promoting the entire region.  Toward that end, they are working to “identify niche markets, invest in and build on quality of place, create new partnerships, and thinking regionally while acting locally” as they support the region’s older suburbs.

Wayne Ave Businesses Wayne PA Radnor TownshipWayne joins Media and Lansdowne as the third Classic Town in Delaware County PA.  With settlement beginning in the late 1600s, Wayne PA was one of the earliest communities in the area.  Growth increased in the mid 1800s as developers and investors began non-agricultural development along the then new railroad between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.  Over time, the area developed from farmland, to country getaway, and finally to one of the best suburbs in the greater Philadelphia area.  Today, Wayne is recognized as a prime residential community now located in Radnor Township Wayne PA Homeswith great schools, excellent housing, low crime, a central business district, and residents dedicated to its future.

As Wayne Council President, Thomas Masterson Jr, mentioned in their press release: “The Classic Towns initiative helps draw attention to what a great place Wayne is to live and raise a family”.  With all its amenities, history, and great location along the Main Line, it should remain a prime location for years in the future.

As always, if you have any questions or need any additional information, please feel free to contact me anytime.