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2001-09-07
Springfield, PA. CVS vs. The Black Horse Inn

CVS, the company which describes itself as "America's #1 pharmacy", has 4,134 stores sprawled across 32 states and the District of Columbia. On the other hand, there is only one Black Horse Inn on Bethlehem Pike in Pennsylvania. The Inn, which is 257 years old, was around in George Washington's time. But now CVS wants to build a 12,150 s.f. pharmacy where the Black Horse stands. A developer called Hampton Real Estate owns the Inn, and approached the town of Springfield last spring with the idea of tearing down the unique structure, and replacing it with CVS four thousand one hundred and something. The local historical society has gathered 3,500 signatures on a petition to keep the Black Horse from being put down. Ironically, the developer wants to call the CVS and related retail buildings on the property "Black Horse Village". That prompted a member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to tell the Philadelphia Inquirer: "The developer ultimately destroys the entire environment and then calls it Black Horse Village." The Inn was owned by one family since 1880, but the family line has died out, and the Inn has remained vacant for 10 years. The Black Horse is one of only four inns along the Pike that were built in the middle of the 18th. century. CVS plans to asphalt the area with a parking lot fit for 160 cars. Some say the survival of the Black Horse is a Dark Horse, and the Inn has little chance of ending up in the winner's circle.

What you can do: Which do we need more? CVS # 4,135, or the Black Horse? CVS and Rite Aid and other convenience stores seem to have a penchant for knocking down historic properties to build their flat-roofed box acrylic stores. If CVS wanted to be a good corporate citizen, they would donate the funds necessary to restore the Black Horse and give it to an Inn keeper for a nominal lease. Who knows, another George Washington might be coming down the Pike. For more information on the Black Horse, go to www.ushistory/org/blackhorse. To contact the Springfield Historical Society and learn how you can prevent the Black Horse from becoming glue, call 215-233-4600. There is still hope that township officials will say "neigh" to the CVS project, and the developer will pull up lame.










 
 
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