Expanded CCHS terrace set for special events

Even though Mother Nature failed to cooperate, many other forces did, bringing a project to redo the front terrace of the Chester County Historical Society (CCHS) to fruition on a rain-soaked Friday morning, Oct. 2.

The Chester County Historical Society's front terrace makeover boasts more space for indoor-outdoor events.

The Chester County Historical Society's front terrace makeover boasts more space for indoor-outdoor events.

George Zumbano, the CCHS board chairman, read a lengthy list of people who helped make the transformation possible. “Thank you all for weathering this storm,” Zumbano said to a crowd of supporters, which included about half a dozen politicians.

Zumbano’s voice cracked when he got to the end of the list: “our late president, Rob Lukens.” Zumbano said the society is still struggling to recover from Lukens’ death from cancer in August. Lukens’ vision of the society as a community gathering place sparked the improvements to the porch, as well as renovations to the society’s permanent exhibition space, Zumbano said.

In addition to needed structural improvements, the porch was widened to make it a more attractive venue for weddings and business events. Zumbano said landscaping, including boxwood and yews, would be added within the next couple of weeks.

Zumbano said CCHS is making progress on “A Place in History,” a $2.2 million permanent exhibition-space renovation that will enable visitors to traverse 300 years of county history in 6,000 square feet. He said the society owes a debt to an anonymous donor, a longtime supporter who agreed to match contributions in 2015 up to $1 million.

“I’m not allowed to tell you her name, but we’ll thank her, anyway,” he said.

After the ribbon-cutting, U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., noted that the new terrace represented another example of Lukens’ positive legacy.

Zumbano said the area has already been used for several events and now has room for tents, which makes it an even more desirable indoor-outdoor venue. Anyone interested in holding a corporate meeting, holiday party, reception, concert, or wedding there should contact Lauren Hoyer, venue sales and marketing manager at lhoyer@chestercohistorical.org or 610-692-4800, ext. 230.

To learn more about CCHS, call 610-692-4800, email info@chestercohistorical.org, or visit www.chestercohistorical.org.


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