United Capital Private Wealth Counseling recently restored an old farmhouse in Horsham to use as its Philadelphia area office.
This old farmhouse is located at 736 Lower State Road, at the northwest corner of Lower State Road and Welsh Roads and right off of Route 309, at the southwest corner of Horsham Township. United Capital restored the farmhouse and added a large modern addition off the back. The combined building is now being used as office space.
The farmhouse was built c1840 and the owner prior to United Capital was Doris Chesterson, Ms Chesterson's aunt did this painting of house in 1951
Susan Gilbert reports that her mother, Sue Bibus (nee Sophie Halata 1923) lived nearby on Melody Lane (which is now is part of English Village Apartments) from sometime in the 1920's until 1952 (except for 1943-44) and knew the farmhouse as the home of Dr Atlee. Mrs Bibus's father - Michael Halata - worked as a gardener for Dr Atlee and on some of the other estates in the area. She tutored one of the Doctor's grandchildren, a little girl about the same age named Christafiana, and was paid in fresh fruit - bananas being her favorite. She and Christafiana would often play dress-up with her aunt's beautiful furs and gowns.
Sue remembers Dr Atlee having to remove a cork that her younger brother had somehow lodged in his nose.
The Atlees were very kind and generous and had a pipe-smoking cook who would give her treats to bring home to her large - and not very well-off - family.
The farmhouse is located along Welsh Road which follows lines laid out on Holmes' map of 1687 and PA 309 also known as Bethlehem Pike and previously known as King's Road. The King's Road, according to Wikipedia, was originally an Indian trail known as the Minsi Trail. This was used by settlers as early as December 1740 and by 1763 was being used for regular deliveries. In September 1777, the Colonial Army used the King's Road to evacuate all military stores from Philadelphia to Bethlehem along this road, using 700 wagons. The wagon carrying the Liberty Bell broke down in Bethlehem. The road was renamed the Bethlehem Turnpike by 1804. So by 1840, this area where the farmhouse was built was probably a fairly busy crossroads. The road was labeled US Route 309 in 1926 and then was changed to PA Route 309 in the 1970s.
United Capital converted the farmhouse to office space in 2011. Builder Adams-Bickel Associates married the restored 1840s structure with a larger, modern structure that was added in the rear.
The project also attempted to be as green as possible and earned LEED Silver certification on 8/13/2013. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a program that provides third-party verification of green buildings.
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