Over the last two years, we have often written about 205 Llanfair Road, the 1912 Horace Wells Sellers house on the large wooded lot along Llanfair and St. George’s Roads. A year ago, it seemed likely that the house would be demolished, fifty trees would be chopped down, and two large new houses would be built on the site. Now the picture looks very different.
A group of determined and public-spirited neighbors joined in an effort to preserve the wooded acre at the corner of St. Georges and Llanfair Roads, negotiating a 10 year lease of the woods with owner/developer Ben Gross. During the 10 year lease, the woods will remain and no building may take place. A non-profit entity has been formed to serve as lessee. The founding participants of “Friends of Singing Woods Preserve” are Bob Borghese, Richard Douglass, Val Hiscock, Raymond Lesser, Bonnie Perry, Hugh Reynolds, Joe Sensenbrenner, Jenette Wheeler, and Alex Wood. Other neighbors have also contributed to the project. Everyone is welcome to participate in preserving the woods.
The area with the Sellers house has been subdivided off as a separate lot, and the historic house is being thoroughly renovated by a family who plans to live there. We could not be more pleased with the turn of events.
The 10-year lease of Singing Woods Preserve gives our neighborhood the opportunity to work toward a permanent conservation solution for this important streetscape of suburban forest. Historically named “Singing Wood” as shown on the historic map below, the 205 Llanfair property is bordered by a tributary stream to Mill Creek and provides an extraordinary viewshed for North Ardmore. It serves as a home to wildlife and a visual oasis for passers-by. We leave the noise and chaos of Montgomery Avenue and Suburban Square behind and breathe a sigh of relief when we reach these tranquil woods.
During the ten-year lease, we will work to remove invasive plants and add native plants, shrubs and trees in an effort to restore the health of this beautiful woodland. The Friends of Singing Woods Preserve will be in touch soon with more information about the plans and how you can join in. In the meantime, we invite your input and support.