The above sketch, created by local historian Doris Flory, shows the first five buildings on the north side of West Main Street in Annville, as the buildings would have looked around the year 1900. Friends of Old Annville got its start in 1979 when a small group of local citizens unsuccessfully tried to prevent the demolition of the buildings labeled A and B in the sketch.
Those two buildings are now gone, but Friends of Old Annville arose out of that endeavor, working to make the case to the Annville community that its historic buildings are important to Annville's sense of place, its community story, its charm, and the economic viability of its town center.
Photo of an old postcard (ca. late 1800s) showing on the right-hand side of the street the same group of buildings depicted in the Flory drawing above.
It is important to note that we encourage not just renovation and restoration of historic buildings, but particularly adaptive reuse of our historic buildings. Adaptive reuse allows the interiors to be changed as needed to make the buildings livable homes and/or modern shops and businesses, while retaining their historic facades. Central to our emphasis on historic preservation is our vision of careful preservation serving as a driver of economic development in downtown Annville.
Annville is an excellent example of linear historical development: the development of the town can be clearly seen in the architecture of its buildings along Main Street as we move from the older western part of town (late 1700's) to the increasingly newer buildings along East Main Street (early 1900's). That linear aspect of our historic streetscape was important in Annville's recognition by the National Register of Historic Places as an entire historic district.
Thus, Friends of Old Annville seeks to preserve and protect the unique historic streetscape of Annville by working to prevent demolition, to encourage restoration, and to guide new construction in areas where historic buildings have been lost.
Further information about Friends of Old Annville is provided in the links below.