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Marshall Square Park Trees—have you ever wondered what their names are?

The Friends of Marshall Square Park (FMSP), with funding from the Humphry Marshall Foundation, has completed a long-term project conceived years ago and identified as a priority project.

Because of the Park's early origins as an arboretum, FMSP wanted to provide the public with information on the important, original trees still standing. Few of us would know them—much less their names—without help.

Although a long-term priority, the project languished behind other, critically needed improvements until FMSP member Oliver Snow expressed interest in helping identify our trees. A committee, chaired by Past President Anne Walters, researched recommended materials for the labels and proper installation with help from Longwood Gardens and the Morris and Jenkins Arboretums. Steven Wright, a Hamilton Fellow at Jenkins, assisted in identifying obscure tree varieties. Anne coordinated with the sign maker to develop quality aluminum labels to mark each tree with its common and Latin names.

After more than a year of preparation and work, the labels were ordered. On February 21, 2012, they were installed using a system of stainless steel screws and springs that allow the trees to grow and expand unharmed.

Still to come is a tree-location map for this Website and the Park's bulletin board. When the vision is complete, Marshall Square Park could be a destination of both historic and horticultural interest, and the names and origins of our historic trees will no longer be a mystery.

FMSP is planning a dedication ceremony for the Tree Identification and Labeling project in June 2012.


Swiss Cottage 2010

Our first priority: The historic restoration of the Swiss Cottage, built in 1878, to be used in this century as a Concession Stand and Shed.

In 2005, the project was approved and partially budgeted by Borough Council; and we applied for a state grant from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development.

After a year-long wait without any good news, our state government provided some backing:
State Rep. Barbara McIlvaine Smith
State Senator Andrew E. Dinniman

As we rang in 2008, still awaiting funding, we needed to take action to protect the building from deteriorating beyond repair; even shrinkwrapping was considered.

At right, the slideshow of photos taken by Jim Salvas show the Swiss Cottage interior, ravaged by fire almost 100 years ago.

Over the next two years, Jeffrey C. Beitel AIA Architecture proposed and donated architectural services to develop renovation plans. Using the plans, Jeff began saving the building using money the FMSP had raised and donations of labor, materials, and supplies from generous benefactors.

Accomplishments over the two years, 2008—2010 (also see before/after photos below):

  1. Excavated soil away from wooden foundation beam, which had been buried below grade
  2. Created a proper drain swale for water drainage around structure
  3. Treated the soil for termite infestation
  4. Repaired broken window panes, repaired and painted window sashes, installed new, recessed security grills
    • The window sash repair was donated by David Schoettle of West Chester
  5. Repaired/replaced wood foundation beams with pressure-treated lumber and synthetic lumber trim boards
    • A portion of the carpentry on the Foundation Beam repair was donated by Mark W. Hoopes, Inc. Custom Building and Design
    • The Azek trim was donated by Marvic Supply Company, Inc., 5081 West Chester Pike, Edgemont, PA 19028
  6. Repaired/replaced diagonal exterior framing members
    • Carpentry to repair the diagonal wood framing members was supplied by R. J. Rosenberry Carpentry of Honey Brook
  7. Treated exposed wooden sheathing with clear sealer
  8. Began removing paint drips from split log siding, treating logs with clear sealer
  9. Installed cross member trim boards on entry doors, replaced door hinges and added new door pull hardware
  10. Installed a new fascia board trim and metal drip edge along roof edges, repaired valley flashing as required
  11. Began repainting all diagonal exterior framing members, foundation beam trim, and roof trims
    • Several gallons of paint were donated by Haley Paint Company, 1303 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382
    • All painting work to date has been donated by Jeff Beitel with help from Dick Sabo.

Once this work is complete, we hope to remove the interior wood fiber board paneling, wire for future outlets and lights, and install beaded board wood paneling to the walls. The large project will be to replace all the charred roof framing members, install tongue and groove beaded board roof sheathing and wood shingles. That phase alone will cost approximately $20,000 to $25,000.

News Articles

(VIDEO) Marshall Square Park structure undergoing repairs • Daily Local News • August 26, 2010
Borough's oldest park building needs work • Daily Local News • August 25, 2008

Renovation Drawings:    Floor Plan     Rear Elevation     Side Elevations
                                 2008                              2010


Swiss Cottage 2012


• Provide brick apron around perimeter   (partially completed 06/2006)
• Replace cedar shake roof
• Improve paths to it
• Add six path lights


  • Improve Gravel Access Drive from Franklin & Biddle Streets
  • Restore and improve brick driveway apron at the corner of Franklin and Biddle streets
  • [Completed 1/2007] Replace existing trash cans; add several.
  • Add community bulletin board using historically appropriate materials
  • Install period, cast iron lamp-posts (approximately six)
  • Repair brick walk around the entire Park perimeter; add new brick walk to complete the perimeter
  • Improve steps and railing off Matlack Street
  • Install new historically-appropriate Sign
  • Civil War Monument