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This Old House selects West Chester for recognition

Best Old House NeighborhoodsFebruary 27, 2012

New York, NY -- The Borough of West Chester was selected as one of the Best Old-House Neighborhoods for 2012 by This Old House. It is the only community in Pennsylvania to be given the honor this year.

"After researching hundreds of cities, towns and neighborhoods throughout the United States and Canada, we’ve decided West Chester deserves special recognition for its astonishing selection of great homes, and the community spirit that supports them," said Karen Graco of This Old House. "We’re hoping this designation will help ensure West Chester's continued success by getting the word out to hundreds of thousands of old-house-enthusiasts nationwide."

West Chester is featured in several catagories including Walkability, Easy Commute, American Heritage, and Small Towns. A complete list of the winning neighborhoods is found in a special package on  View the West Chester page at

This Old House scoured the United States and Canada to find unique, tight-knit neighborhoods for their fifth annual search for the Best Old-House Neighborhoods. The West Chester BID brought the qualities of the Borough to the attention of the magazine's editors last year, says Malcolm Johnstone, its Executive Director. "West Chester might not have been on their radar," he said. "But it deserved to be." 

There are about 4,200 structures within the Borough's historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While certain benefits apply for such a listing, only the downtown historic district is regulated.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer (10/16/11), home prices rose 5% in West Chester Borough between 2005 and 2011 despite overall home prices declining 18.7% in the Philadelphia suburbs during the same period. Even surrounding townships such as East Bradford, West Goshen, and Westtown saw a decline. West Chester ranked 44th out of about 214+ communities in home value retention/expansion. By comparison, many areas saw a decline of up to 64%. features 61 great spots, 51 in the United States (one for each state plus Puerto Rico) and 10 in Canada, that fit the criteria of old-house neighborhoods – architectural diversity, craftsmanship of the homes, and the preservation momentum in the area. With the help of, neighborhood groups, real estate agents, and preservation societies, This Old House compiled their list of the best places to fall in love with one-of-a-kind period houses.

The Dower House, circa 1712The home that's featured in the photo on the site is the Dower House, located on Goshen Avenue (West Chester's oldest road) at High Street. It was built circa 1712 by John and Mary Wall and is considered the oldest inhabited structure in the Borough. In 1923, author Joseph Hergesheimer had the house restored and expanded by noted architect Brognard Okie. In the original two-room structure, wide-planked floors, deep windowsills and a walk-in stone fireplace are still intact.

About This Old House
This Old House Ventures Inc. is America’s premier home enthusiast brand, netting 50 million multi-media impressions each month through its award-winning television, print, and web properties. The leading consumer publication for home how-to and inspiration, the award-winning This Old House magazine currently has a circulation of 950,000 and reaches an audience of almost six million.  This Old House is available on tablets and is published by the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group, a division of Time Inc., the largest magazine media company in the U.S.

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Contact Malcolm Johnstone


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Call 610.738.3350 or fax 484.843.2250