Supervisors hope condemnation will save historic inn

posted Sun, Jun 19, 2011

Opinion
Daily Local News

We don't know if anyone is planning it, but we think that the current owners of the historic Red Rose Inn in Jennersville might want to bring a single red rose to the Board of Supervisors of Penn on June 24, as a sign of their faith that the supervisors will do their best to see that the inn is saved and the owners compensated.

The supervisors last week voted to condemn the property at the intersection of Baltimore Pike and Route 796 in order to take it by eminent domain. To actually take ownership of the property, the supervisors will have to vote again to have their solicitor file the proper paperwork, and the owners will have to be compensated for the fair value of the site.

The inn is built on property that was given to William Penn by the king of England, and the tradition was that a single red rose was paid as rent on the property when the inn opened in the 18th century. Seems like a fair enough trade for the owners to get what they want and have the township begin efforts to save the building.

Should the township continue with the process and take possession of the property, the resolution details that the inn could potentially be renovated for offices, tourist information or some unspecified municipal use.

The inn has been standing empty for months, with rumors swirling of sheriff's sales, auctions and demolition.

"This is an historic structure that is important to the township. The bottom line is we don't want to lose that structure," Supervisor Curtis Mason said. "We also have an intersection that is at times impassable."

Supervisor William Finnen pointed out the importance of the Red Rose Inn as a piece of history and how it fits in with the township's comprehensive plan.

"Now we can really go about creating that historic district," he said. "As a supervisor, myself I would like to see the Red Rose Inn as its cornerstone. The path we're taking now, we can develop it into a public use."

The board repeatedly stressed that this resolution does not complete any taking of the property.

"This is a resolution that is not going to condemn anything unless we follow it through," Mason said.

"The key to remember is it is a resolution to move forward. We did not take anything," Supervisor Victor Mantegna said.

We can only hope that the best minds will proceed and that the efforts to save the building will be successful.
 

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