Haddon Heights Design Guidelines

Borough of Haddon Heights Historic Preservation Commission

We have been a fan of the band of historic preservation activists in Haddon Heights for close to 30 years now. I met them when I worked as the Assistant Director of the National Trust regional office, then located in the historic house, Cliveden the Germantown section of Philadelphia.  In the mid-1980s, Haddon Heights preservationists were working with their new historic preservation ordinance and trying to designate more historic districts.

Haddon Heights is a small, dry town; in the Camden County suburbs which boasts four pre–Revolutionary War houses, all local landmarks.  In the last quarter of the 19th Century, local developers began offering lots; and built large Colonial Revival, American Four Square,  Tudor revival twins, and Bungalows for middle class buyers.  The downtown along Station Avenue has never had a Main Street program, and honestly it never needed one. Property owners and tenants take care of their historic buildings, and vacancies don’t seem to last long. It is home to a couple of destination businesses, eateries, convenience stores, the beloved library, post office, and Borough Hall.

Over the years, I often saw these long-time preservationists at conferences and workshops, heard about their progress, and cheered them on. Several years ago, I worked for the Borough on a heritage tourism assessment of the Glover Fulling Mill Park, an undisturbed archeological site of an 18th-century fulling mill, on a site adjacent to Kings Run Creek.  Now I am preparing their first ever design guidelines with the Historic Preservation Commission. It is delightful to take a deep dive and look at all their historic districts and progress they have made over almost a generation. It is my hope that the Design Guidelines will encourage more homeowners to want the historic property protection that only local designation brings, to assure that this handsome suburb retains its essential historic character for the decades to come.