The 34-acre Lynnewood Estate in Elkins Park is in the process of being purchased from its present owners, the First Korean Church of New York. Better news is the intentions of its new owners, a foundation staffed by Edward Thome and Angie Van Scyoc. Carla Robinson carried their story in the Chestnut Hill Local.
The 1899 property was once a lavish residence that, over decades, traded hands several times before falling into significant disrepair.
The new owners, the Lynnewood Hall Preservation Foundation (for which Thome and Van Scyoc work) was created in 2019 to save the property from demolition and development. Over time, the nonprofit’s contributors have come to include well-funded philanthropists, a generous, well-to-do Pottstown couple (Scott and Susan Bentley), for example.
Thome’s interest in the site is deep-seated; he fell in love with it as a child, entranced by an online photo.
“We want to return this property to being a living, breathing part of Cheltenham Township as soon as we possibly can,” Van Scyoc said.
Restoration is expected to begin in the formal French gardens, reviving them as an attraction on par with Longwood Gardens.
Work on the buildings, a current priority, is expected to be a bit more intricate.
“Our biggest challenge right now is keeping the water out,” said Thome said.
More on Thome, Van Scyoc, and Lynnewood Estate is at the Chestnut Hill Local.
Beautiful drone footage of Lynnewood Estate (starting at 1:08), preceded by a look at the Elkins Estate, nearby.