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.
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
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