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The Mt. Airy Gateway project, which seeks to restore the 1901 Stotesbury Pergola at Lincoln Drive and Johnson Streets, is gearing up for a busy fall. The project which began in 2009 has completed the intial phase of clearing the invasive plants and trees from the site, and followed up in 2010 with a second phase of site clearing and an initial planting of native perennials on the west side of Lincoln Drive. All this work is being done in anticipation of restoring the wooden pergola structures on top of the remaining stone piers on either side of Lincoln Drive. The project is an initiative of the Germantown Historical Society in partnership with the WMAN Streetscapes committee.
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This past spring, with the help of a group of volunteers from Tufts University and St. Gabriel’s Hall supervised by Parks and Recreation Volunteer Coordinator Dave Bower, the Gateway Committee sponsored a workday in May. Invasive plants and trash were removed, the newly planted bed of meadow species was weeded, and compost and mulch were spread throughout. To add a dash of additional color, flowering annuals were added in front of the east wall. Parks and Recreation staff eradicated poison ivy in midsummer, making the area safer for susceptible volunteers. An informal group of Committee members tends the site.
A less visible, but critical development was Parks and Recreation Department’s approval of pergola rebuilding plans, which were developed by local architect Peter DiCarlo of Levy DiCarlo Partners, LLC. Landscape plans have also been approved so the project can now move ‘full steam ahead.’
Pergola installation is tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2012, but this timeline is dependent on the PENN-DOT schedule for improvements at the intersection. The improvements, which are part of a much larger program for Lincoln Drive, include relocation of the traffic light on the west side of Lincoln Drive. It must be moved from its current location because it is within the overhang of the new pergola.
Donations to the project are critical to its success. They can be sent to West Mount Airy Neighbors with a designation to the ‘Gateway Fund’.
Please contact Pat Moran at email@example.com or Doris Kessler (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.