Henry Howard Houston and Dr. George Woodward built many Arts & Crafts homes in Chestnut Hill and W. Mt. Airy. In 1921, Dr. George Woodward and his wife, Gertrude Woodward incorporated George Woodward, Inc. and went on to build over 400 more houses, including single homes, more twins, and a new experiment in home building – the quadruple house (four units under one roof).
Wissahickon schist stone was used to build the house designs. Many replicated the Cotswold style home in England. Dr. George Woodward was also a pioneer in the field of adaptive reuse of older buildings for modern purposes and many of his buildings were featured in the architectural journals of the day.
In the same tradition new homes designed to again be innovative and forward-looking were built in 2009. A modern interpretation of the Chestnut Hill vernacular, our new houses are located on the “Hill”, an easy walk to the many outstanding community resources of the neighborhood, including the Wissahickon Park.
The houses were registered and certified as Platinum rated LEED-Home (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) a nationally accepted certification program serving as a benchmark for the design and construction of green buildings by promoting sustainable site development, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials selection and quality of the indoor environment. The new buildings are the first LEED-Home Platinum rated twin houses to be built in Pennsylvania and have been designated the Urban In-Fill Home of the Year in the 2010 Dream Home Awards published in Design Magazine.
In addition to being early developers of fine architecture and urban design, the Houstons and Woodwards were quite devoted to the support of their community. The family’s donations to the city included the Water Tower Recreation Center, Pastorius Park, a large part of the Wissahickon Valley, the Schuylkill Valley Nature Center, and Houston Hall on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.