Projects and Services
National Register Nominations
Historic Resource Surveys
Historic Structure Reports
Historic Resource Impact Studies
Municipal Planning Services
Transportation / Section 106
Training & Presentations
Other Products and Services
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 successfully prepared the Lutz-Franklin
Schoolhouse National Register nomination. It was listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 2009. The 20th National Register nomination drafted
by Wise, the Schoolhouse is significant as a one-room school demonstrating the
trends in both one-room school design and education in Pennsylvania at the time of
construction. The period of significance begins in 1880, when the building was built,
and ends in 1901, when the front porch was rebuilt and the current appearance was
established. Key components of the project were identifying the areas to which the
building fit into the context of progressive education trends in Pennsylvania and
its intact architecture.
The Lutz-Franklin Schoolhouse was built in 1880 to replace an earlier building.
The property was originally deeded by Benedict Lutz before the American
Revolution for a Lutheran school; the original deed, located in the Township
building, has the original date erased and replaced with 1783 (with different
handwriting). When a public school board was elected in 1826, it decided to
construct a new schoolhouse; this second building is thought to have been a
polygonal schoolhouse. The second building was demolished in 1880 for the
current schoolhouse; the stone from the earlier building was used in the lower
courses of stonework of the current building. The school closed in 1958 and
became a museum with its interior desks and furnishings.
To a great extent, the Lutz-Franklin Schoolhouse is a monument to B.F. Raesly,
who was the superintendent of the Northampton County Schools. Raesly was deeply
interested in improving the public schools of his day. He began a series of
lectures for training teachers (called "teacher institutes"), increased pay for
the more qualified teachers, and increased expectations for reports by
teachers to the school board. In his own annual reports to the state
superintendent of education, Raesly outlined his ideas for the design of
the interior of schoolhouses, and the interior of the Lutz Franklin Schoolhouse
reflects his ideas (having tall windows, no platform at the front, and
organizing desks by tiers).
We thank Lower Saucon Township for the opportunity to prepare the nomination of this
building, an excellent example of a one-room schoolhouse. The building continues
to be used for educational purposes.