Lower Makefield HARB denies request to demolish Quill house in Edgewood village
LOWER MAKEFIELD The dilapidated Quill house in the heart of Historic Edgewood village has won a new lease on life from the township.
On Sept. 14, Lower Makefield’s Historic Architectural Review Board voted unanimously to deny a request by developer Cam Triolo to demolish the Edgewood Road structure and replace it with a roughly 18 space gravel parking lot.
The demolition was part of a larger vision by Triolo to rehabilitate the house at the point, lease the first floor as an ice cream or Italian ice store and to use the Quill house site for parking.
Troilo told the HARB that two architects had looked at the Quill house and both agreed it wasn’t feasible to rebuild or restore the structure. The house has been closed and boarded up for close to a decade.
“The additional parking would help serve the village now and in the future,” said Triolo, explaining the eventual need for a parking. “This would provide parking for people to walk anywhere in the village. And hopefully, down the road when everything is built out and it’s successful, we’re going to need all the parking we can get. Just by utilizing some space for parking we would be contributing to the economic life blood of the whole area.”
HARB members, however, did not want to see another historic structure removed from the streetscape of the crossroads village, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Quill house was once home to Yardley’s beloved World War II veteran, Danny Quill, who died in 2011 at the age of 96. Quill fought in one of the war’s largest, bloodiest and bitterest battles – the fight over Monte Cassino in Italy.
In making its motion to deny the request, the HARB members asked the developer to explore alternative uses for the structure, including rehabilitation or possible relocation of the building.
“All options are open at this point other than demolishing the Quill house and putting up a parking lot,” said Chairman Stephen Heinz.
Among the ideas being considered is rerouting Edgewood Road through the village to intersect with Yardley-Langhorne Road to the east of the point, an idea suggested by architect Liuba Lashchyk at HARB’s August meeting.
Lashchyk said part of the abandoned road could be repurposed as parking for the village. “(The parking) would handle whatever we put at the triangle and would also help DiLorenzo’s. And people wouldn’t have to cross Edgewood Road.”
In the triangular area, Lashchyk suggests moving or recreating the Quill House and orienting it to the front of Yardley-Langhorne Road and adding additions to it to make it economically viable. And next to it, “you can create another building with inspiration from other homes that have been demolished.
“This would create a village streetscape along Yardley-Langhorne Road with homes facing the street and the Quill home being restored,” she said. “All that would create a uniformity in recreating the Edgewood village feeling. Behind it, there could be a little courtyard, a sitting area and pedestrian connections between DiLorenzo’s, the ice cream place and the Veterans Memorial.”
The two existing buildings are located at the intersection of Edgewood and Yardley-Langhorne roads, which come together to form a point just to the east of the new DoLorenzo’s Pizza.
“We have been kicking around Liuba’s idea,”…