Historic Strafford Train Station Gains Protection

Posted: April 21, 1988

The Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors passed three ordinances Monday night that run the gamut from preserving a historic train station to prohibiting lead pipes to carry drinking water. The legislation was passed unanimously by the supervisors after three public hearings that lasted a total of 20 minutes.

The SEPTA train station in Strafford was added to the township's list of buildings of historical significance. Ann Cook, a planning commission member and chairman of the historic commission, said the station was constructed in 1867 as the Wayne train station and was moved to Tredyffrin in 1876 as part of an exhibition marking the U.S. Centennial.

The station, an Elizabethan style cottage, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Cook said, and now will be given local recognition. More important, she said, now it cannot be torn down without a very long and complex procedure.

Supervisor Herbert G. Keene said he was interested in determining whether the historic recognition also placed an obligation on the property owner to maintain the building. Cook said that this obligation was implied rather than stated.

Paul Olson, board chairman, said that the township had its own special ''insurance" against the station being allowed to deteriorate.

"Jerome Clayton Undercoffler, the chairman of SEPTA, lives here in Tredyffrin and I'm sure we can get his attention in maintaining the station," Olson said.

The board voted unanimously to prohibit pipes containing more than 0.2 percent lead from coming in contact with the water supply. This means that copper pipes, or as a second choice plastic pipes, would be used.

Although lead pipes no longer are used as a conduit for the water supply, the ordinance brings local legislation in accordance with actual use, said Joseph Janasik, township manager.

In the third action, the supervisors voted to update the township building ordinance to comply with the federal Building Officials and Code Administrators regulations. The township updates its regulations each year.

Finally, supervisors agreed that Hunters Lane neighbors would meet with Tredyffrin Township officials to discuss ways of improving the safety of a five-way interchange at Chesterbrook and Valley Forge Road.

The planning commission earlier this month had received a petition from 100 residents in the area protesting traffic conditions at the the intersection. Janasik said there is no money this year for a new traffic signal, projected to cost between $50,000 and $100,000.

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