National Register of Historic Places

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Wise Preservation Planning LLC
      1480 Hilltop Road
      Chester Springs PA 19425
      Phone (484) 202-8187

Wise 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 historic resources.

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.

Lutz-Franklin Schoolhouse

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.