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Wise Preservation Planning LLC
1480 Hilltop Road
Chester Springs PA 19425
Phone (484) 202-8187
Preservation Planning LLC is a full-service historic preservation
planning firm. We research, document, analyze and ultimately help protect
historic resources and our cultural landscape. Our firm serves a variety of clients,
including municipalities, engineers, architects, historical societies, and owners of
The firm was founded in 1997 by Robert J. Wise Jr., who has 20 years
of experience in the historic preservation field. He is assisted by Seth Hinshaw,
Senior Planner, who has been with the firm since 2001. Both planners have M.S.
degrees in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and
exceed the 36 CFR 61 Professional Qualification Standards established by the
National Park Service for architectural historians.
Wise Preservation Planning LLC is pleased to announce our successful preparation of the
Michael Heller Homestead National Register nomination. Located near Hellertown
in Lower Saucon Township, Northampton County, the property was listed on the National
Register on June 28, 2010.
The Homestead is comprised of two houses, a root cellar, the stone ruins of a large barn,
and smaller ruins of other buildings. The main house is comprised of two sections:
the rear section, built by Michael Heller c. 1750, and the main section, built c.
1820. The house was renovated c. 1935 by Stanley Yeager, an important local builder
who constructed many of the houses in Hellertown. Yeager incorporated several Colonial
Revival style features in his work at the Heller Homestead that were typical of the
1920s and 1930s.
Detail of a typical Colonial Revival style
stair design that is nearly identical to that
installed by Yeager in the Heller Farmhouse.
A major component of the project was the significance essay. Wise was required to
document the Colonial Revival alterations of the house, show the significance of the
changes, and compile a brief context of Colonial Revival alterations to farmhouses
in the Lehigh Valley. As part of the research for the significance essay, Wise
consulted with John Heyl, aged 102 at the time of the interview, an architect who
practiced in the area in the early to late 20th century.
This was 21st nomination drafted by Wise to be listed on the National Register, making
Wise one of the premier National Register consultants in Pennsylvania. Wise has
worked on dozens of other National Register districts and sites throughout the
eastern United States, in the areas of planning, restoration, easement inspection,
site analysis and interpretation.
Widow's House, facing northwest.
Wise thanks Lower Saucon Township for the opportunity to complete this National Register
project. The Heller Homestead is a special place in Lower Saucon! It is managed by
the Saucon Valley Conservancy who actively promotes its preservation and opens the
property for tours, education, lectures, and art shows.
Wise has prepared essays to explain the criteria for
determining historic significance and
the process in Pennsylvania for listing a
historic property on the National Register.