The final phase of an ongoing effort to restore a historic gateway on the border of Mt. Airy is set to commence thanks to modest funding from the city.
A $15,000 matching grant from the Philadelphia Activities fund will enable wood pergolas to be built and installed atop of newly refurbished Wissahickon schist piers.
Construction is anticipated to be completed by mid-autumn.
The Mt. Airy Gateway Project was spearheaded five years ago by J. Patrick Moran, of the Germantown Historic Society, and West Mt. Airy Neighbors. Working together with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, GHS and WMAN have amassed a force of volunteers and donor funding to reclaim a forgotten landmark.
Moran credits Eighth District City Councilwoman, Cindy Bass, for helping make it possible to finish the project this year.
"We are deeply indebted to her for matching the funds raised earlier," he said.
Built in 1901, the Stotesbury Gates were a gift to the city from financier Edward T. Stotesbury. Ornately carved arbors topped twin stone pillars flanking both sides of Lincoln Drive at the intersection of Johnson St., forming a gateway to the neighborhood.
Years of neglect and the widening of Lincoln Drive left only a single pier remaining on each side of the street and a total loss of the pergolas.
The first phase of the project involved masonry repointing which was completed in December.
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