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19 YEAR OLD DETERMINED TO SAVE HISTORY AND FIGHT BIG COMPANIES. CAN HE WIN?????

In environmental on September 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm

 

 

Save History Save The Environment 

Michael Schneider is a Delaware county, PA. resident on a mission to save his community, From ”Toll Brothers “America’s Luxury Home Builder”. At the young age of 19, this young man has more determination and passion than most 40-year-old men. I became acquainted with Michael two weeks ago when a friend sent me a link. http://savesleighton.com/ Michael Schneider started this page in an effort to save local farmland and historical site Sleighton School. Some of the buildings on the property date back to the early 1800s. Sleighton has about 300 acres, including huge beautiful  trees. Some Of the trees are possibly 200 years old.

 

Toll Brothers plans on buying the property From Elwyn. They will then demolish the buildings which are eligible for historic Status and build a 55 plus community. Most of the residents simply don’t want this to happen! Michael is not just some “Kid” with a blog.He has done his homework. Michael has gone to every township meeting so far.His knowledge of the property is extensive.This young man has poured his heart and soul into saving these beautiful buildings and land. At an age where most kids are out partying Michael is fighting to stop the destruction of these historical buildings. He took the time to speak with me on a Saturday night to share what he knows and explain why this is so important.

 sleighton JS

I learned so much From Michael during our chat. More importantly I was inspired and moved to action. Not only did I want to help Michael, I wanted to save a place I called home as a child. You see, my Father worked there and we lived on grounds. At first I was just sad about the loss of the property as it holds many good memories for me. Then I talked to Michael and became convinced that this was something that I had to speak on. It was not because of the memories I had. It was because of the environment, the community where I grew up and for the History of our nation. No company, no matter how big should be allowed to destroy all of that. It’s not about sentiment, but what is right.

 Sleighton’s campus buildings were built  by famous architectural firm Cope and Stewardson. The firm also made formative additions to Princeton University, Bryn Mawr College and The University Of Pennsylvania. Cope and Stewardson was one of the most influential architectural firms in the late 19th century.

 sleighton 3

I’m sure you are wondering why you should care about any of this.Well, I am going to tell you. Various  builders including Toll Brothers has taken too much of our beautiful open space and turned it into cookie cutter houses.It happens all over the country. This could be you community.

In areas like Glen Mills and Edgmont there is a large amount of wildlife. If we Demolish their homes where will they go? The more we build the more we lose. We will  lose land, animals, trees, plants and create more traffic and pollution.

 sleighton 3

These buildings are historic. As I spoke with Michael the more he made sense. Michael lives in reality.Michael believes there are buildings that simply can’t be saved.However, there are buildings that can be saved and repurposed.The township as limited as their power may be, don’t see how this will hurt the community.They seem to be making it as easy as humanly possible for Toll Brothers and Elwyn. There have been rumors that, there are several Members of the council  with contacts in the construction and various building businesses that stand to make millions off the 12 Million dollar sale. I should point out that this is again a rumor and no one has been publically accused.

Elwyn owner of  Sleighton INC claimed according to their lawyer at the last council meeting that ‘they can not reduce the number of homes or acreage due to the debt Elwyn incurred after the purchase of Sleighton’.When asked at the meeting to show their debt amount the lawyer declined to do so WHY? Do they have something to hide? Sorry, I call bullshit!

 

  • According to a former employees, Elwyn  dismantled Sleighton piece by piece.There had never been a real attempt to keep the school running.Only cosmetic updates were done and cheaply at that. It is also alleged that there were land documents in a volt on grounds. They dated back to the Quakers who donated the land. One employee of 23 years said they saw the documents and read them. The employee claims the documents said, that the land and school could only be used for agriculture purposes  and as a school for troubled kids.
  • This employee also claimed that Elwyn executives were told about the documents and what they contained. Days later the documents were removed along with ledgers from the 1800s and early 1900s. No one has seen them since. If these documents do exist (I believe they do) Where are they?They would be historically valuable. Could these documents  prevent the sale of this property? I for one would like to know! I think it is something worth looking into. It wouldn’t be the first time a large company wasn’t honest.  Sadly without proof we may never know.

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This is not about Possible corruption an alleged shady business practices. It’s  about saving a community and a part of our history.No one is saying it should be left untouched, but it can be saved and repurposed and should be.

 Michael left me with some final thoughts at the end of our conversation that I wanted to share with you.When I asked him what he wanted people to know  this is what he told me:

sleighton2

“learn the history behind this property, old trees, and wide open space will be lost forever and will cause many community problems”.”The more I learned about the property more I loved it”.

If you care about history if you care about the land and agriculture, Write letters make videos and Make noise. PLEASE!!!!!! NO company no matter how large should be allowed to demolish history!  Spread the word and share the links to help.

To learn More about this wonderful  historic Property and the negative impact building there could have to the environment see Michaels page. http://savesleighton.com/ There are also some great pictures of the property and buildings.

Help this very passionate young man do the impossible.

Check out this amazing video of the campus now.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sleighton+

Tabitha Foster

 

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