Dining room in Rock Rose.
With Rock Rose, new owners don’t have to wonder who lived there before them. Built in 1912 and designed by Zantzinger, Borie and Medary–an architecture firm who contributed to the design of the Philadelphia Museum of Art–the Rock Rose estate has only had two families reside in it since its construction.
First came Mr. and Mrs. Edward K. Rowland, the latter known for hosting “brilliant entertainments.” After Mr. Rowland’s passing, his wife leased the property to a Mr. and Mrs. Brook, the missus being the former Lucile Carter, a survivor of the 1912 Titanic disaster.
Lucile was heralded as a heroine for having helped row one of its lifeboats, and would later claim she went through the ordeal alone with her two children as then-husband William Ernest Carter had not aided them. Two years after the disaster, they divorced and Lucile went on to marry George Brooke. The new couple moved into Rock Rose in late 1916, only to have a fire break out sometime in December. Apparently multiple fire companies were called, but only one arrived in time because the others had difficulty in finding the entrance. More on what become of Lucile here. Read more »
The famous “Philadelphia Story” land — represented on behalf of two family trusts by Edgar Scott III — has been the subject of ongoing neighborhood debate until developer Scott and Radnor Township commissioners brokered a compromise: The township’s planning commission would okay Scott’s plans for between 62 and 75 houses as long as the township had an opportunity to buy a tract or three to serve as green space.
And that’s exactly what’s happened: According to the Main Line Times’ Linda Stein:
Radnor Township has announced an $11.6 million deal to buy 71.03 acres of Ardrossan Farm at Darby Paoli and Newtown roads. If approved by the Board of Commissioners, the township plans to purchase the 27.65-acre Wheeler field, the 16.3-acre quarry tract and the 27.04-acre Rye field. The township land will be used for trails, wetlands and woodland preservation and protection of the viewshed.
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It’s been a long battle, soldiers, but at long last Radnor Township has ruled on of part of the famous Ardrossan estate — late of The Philadelphia Story, late of Hope Montgomery Scott, late of civil conversation during many drawn-out meetings. Scott family heir Edward Scott III’s plans for development of the Ardrossan chunk in question — in the form of 62 homes at Ardrossan Farm — will, subsequent to this approval, move on to the next step: a hearing with a hearing officer, because there’s nothing like another hearing to get things done.
The Township Board has become progressively more flexible on the topic because of its plan to buy some of the Farm’s land and preserve it as green space. For more on the conditions the Township put on Scott, read this article at the Main Line Times.
And now, for other news…
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Photo of the heated action at the Radnor Township Ardrossan meeting by Gerry Senker.
Monday night at a Radnor Township conditional use hearing, Hope Montgomery Scott heir Edgar Scott III told hearing officer Bill Bolla that he hoped to find “like minded people” to buy some large tracks of land, along with a proposed 64 to 87 smaller home lots that comprise the remaining 311 acres of the iconic Ardrossan Farm.
The purpose of the hearing was for Bolla, on behalf of Radnor Township, to determine if Scott’s plan meets the criteria of the township ordinance that allows developers to build homes on lots that are smaller than what are usually allowed, based on standard zoning rules.
Scott’s company, which applied for the conditional use is called E.S. LP. He was represented at the hearing by John Snyder a partner at the Saul Ewing law firm.
After Bolla explained who he was and what the purpose of the hearing was, he invited interested parties who wanted to be recognized as having “standing,” to step forward.
Right then and there, things got contentious.
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