Friday, March 6, 2015

Glen Foerd

Say what? You've probably never heard of this place. It's an old estate on the banks of the Delaware way up in the Northeast, a hop and a skip from Bucks County. And let me tell you, it's a beauty.

Glen Foerd

Say what? You've probably never heard of this place. It's an old estate on the banks of the Delaware way up in the Northeast, a hop and a skip from Bucks County. And let me tell you, it's a beauty.

At the moment it has limited visiting hours and not much programming, but that is about to change. This morning I spent a very fun couple of hours with Colleen Boyle Sharp, a board member and chair of the program committee, and Meg Sharp Walton, the (relatively) new executive director. They're out to make some this a higher profile kind of place.

I've been to Glen Foerd for walks in summer and spring, but never before inside the house. Can't beat the view! This morning I ran into two women - one a dead-givewaway-birder with her binoculars looking for bald eagles and ospreys, the other the owner of three little dogs named - I kid you not - Izzy, Gizzy and Wizzy. They were out for a walk.

I'll be writing about this lovely mid-19th century estate and its 18 interesting acres, the last riverfront home open to the public in the city of Philadelphia. Yes, Andalusia is right down the road, but it's in Bucks County.

Glen Foerd is a combination of Glengarry, for the ancestral Scottish home of the original Macalaster owners, and Foerd, for the Foerderer family, which lived here until the early 1970's. In 1988, it - fortunately ... more on this later - passed to the Glen Foerd Conservation Corporation and the Fairmount Park Commission.

For all its public provenance, this place is not easy to find. The signs are small. Traffic has to go around the block, rather than straight in. Glen Foerd may be a public house but it is not on the public radar. It will be interesting to see the changes unfold.

I'll be back up there tomorrow - this time, to talk PLANTS.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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