Photographic Services

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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.


Wise Preservation Planning LLC provides photographic documentation services for municipalities, private firms, and individuals. The National Park Service recently adjusted the official policy for National Register nominations, establishing stringent guidelines for digital photography. Some municipalities still require black and white photographs, made using an older process that has mostly been abandoned nationwide. Photographs taken by Wise meet either of these guidelines, depending on the need of the project. Photographic documentation provides a "snapshot in time" of the appearance of a historic building and its surroundings. Such documentation is critical to understanding how a building's surroundings change over time.
In early 2011, Wise photographed the historic buildings in the Cupola Historic District in northwestern Chester County. The historic mill dam is slated to be breached to assist in water control of the Brandywine River. Because the dam is a major element of the historic district, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) required new photography of all historic resources and a short statement on changes to individual buildings in the district. The only major change in the district has been the demolition of the historic bridge over the Brandywine, which was recently rebuilt as a large stone-faced concrete bridge. The image here shows that the mill dam has partially collapsed already. The new photographs will be stored in the official PHMC files in Harrisburg for future researchers.
In May 2011, Wise documented the Ewing Barn in Upper Uwchlan Township. Throughout the past decade, the farm was subdivided for a Planned Residential Development. The earlier development plans included retention of the property's barn for use as a community center adjacent to the community pool. In early 2011, it was determined that the community needed a larger pool than had been planned, and the barn was demolished to create the needed space. Wise completed an updated history of the property and provided a detailed photodocumentation of the barn prior to its demolition.