For those architectural preservationists who admire the work of Horace Trumbauer and have watched for years the battle over Lynnewood Hall, our concern is saving this magnificent neoclassical landmark. The ownership of Lynnewood Hall by Carl McIntire’s ministry for many years and ultimately the First Korean Church of New York has been a mixed blessing with respect to the survival of the mansion.
The occupancy of Lynnewood Hall these past 30 to 40 years has prevented the mansion from being vacant and a tempting target of vandals bent on destroying even further the condition of the building. This was the fate of Trumbauer’s equally beautiful Whitemarsh Hall which lay vacant for years with no buyer to save it, restore it and preserve it. Ultimately, Whitemarsh Hall became so decrepit and beyond restoration, it was torn down and all that remains of that architectural legend are its six columns and portions of its former structure.
As the same time, the McIntire and FKCNY years have not been kind to Lynnewood Hall. The proper maintenance of the building and the grounds truthfully requires the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year at a minimum, and this has clearly not been done. Among the most shocking instances of neglect are the boarded up window openings or even the open window openings allowing the weather to enter portions of the mansion. Apparently, judging from the complete lack of news regarding the departure of the FKCNY from Lynnewood Hall, they are still in ownership of it and have not left.
You can be certain there are more than a few on the board of Cheltenham Township who want Lynnewood Hall saved, but this cannot be done as long as the First Korean Church of New York remains in ownership of the property. How can a church of only a few dozen members remain in control of such a vast and priceless architectural landmark?