Much has been written about the history of the Moore Irwin property, as it is currently known. And, while the property has played a prominent role in the history of Upper Merion Township, predating its incorporation in 1713, longtime residents remember the Moore Irwin House as the center of cultural and recreational activities in the Township from 1968 to 1995. The Township’s Park & Recreation Department moved its offices from the historic buildings over to the Township Building in 1995 due to structural concerns in the building. Since that time, the various Boards of Supervisors have been looking at how best to utilize the Moore Irwin dwelling and property. This evaluation has been challenging, as many factors, including location, economics and the deterioration over time have impacted the property. Over time, interest and ideas have come forth related to how the Moore Irwin property might be repurposed, though thus far none have proved viable. Suggestions have included transforming the property to be an arts and entertainment venue, a bed and breakfast, an event venue with a catering kitchen, as well as a temporary food concession stand within the Moore Business Park. The Township’s Historical Commission has actively worked to determine ways to preserve, sustain, and improve the property. And most recently, the Township’s Shade Tree & Beautification Commission invested great effort to re-revitalize the Silas T. Burgess Arboretum, which is located on the grounds of the property. The rededicated arboretum, now registered as a level one arboretum, provides a renewed amenity to the region’s community.
Beginning in 1998, the Township has commissioned multiple reports, studies, and assessments of the property for the purpose of determining the condition, viability and potential reuse of the property’s structures and land. Moving forward, it is the intention of the current Board of Supervisors to determine the best possible plan that will achieve both economic and sustainable preservation and repurposing of the Moore Irwin house and property. In order to re-energize interest in the property by organizations, community groups, potential users and residents, the Board of Supervisors is making available all the following reports and assessments performed on the property. Questions related to any of the documents or the information therein may be directed to the Township Manager.