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.

Oxford Historic District

In 2007, Wise successfully prepared the National Register nomination for the Oxford Historic District, located in the Borough of Oxford in southwestern Chester County, Pa. The district includes 519 contributing resources and 228 noncontributing resources, making it the largest historic district completed by Wise as well as one of the largest historic districts in Chester County. The period of significance is 1833-1939. Oxford is located at the intersection of the colonial road connecting Philadelphia and Baltimore, an old Indian road (today's Route 10), and the Philadelphia and Baltimore Central Railroad. It is one of the largest concentrations of Victorian architecture in Chester County.
The Historic District is mainly comprised of brick buildings constructed between 1860 and 1910. The commercial resources are centered on the intersection of Market and Third Streets. They include the Oxford Hotel (left), Oxford Hall (above), and 2-story and 3-story commercial buildings along Third and Market Streets. Most commercial buildings reflect the Italianate or Italian Renaissance styles. The district includes 382 contributing residences; prevalent styles are Queen Anne, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Colonial Revival, Federal, Shingle, Folk Victorian, and Bungalow. Oxford retains a large number of houses of worship, mostly chapel and Akron Combination plan buildings with Gothic Revival style detailing.
When Oxford was incorporated as the second borough in Chester County (1833), it was a small crossroads village. It grew when the owner of the stage coach line from Philadelphia to Baltimore purchased the pre-existing Oxford Hotel and made it the overnight stop on the 2-day trip between the two cities. The Dickey family, locally prominent as leading Presbyterian ministers, was instrumental in bringing the Philadelphia and Baltimore Central Railroad to Oxford in 1860. By that time, the commercial center was being rebuilt. During 1860-1890, local builder Milton Walker was particularly prominent. Oxford became a leading center for candy making, lumber sales, banking, and farm supplies. The dramatic increase in wealth in the Borough is reflected in the many high-style residences. The decline of the railroad reduced the Borough's economic growth, though residences continued to be built throughout the 20th century.