Old Mill Tea House built in 1724 was called Pennypack Mill, and was used as a grist mill till 1918, named after the chief of the Lenni Lenape Indians, Pemmepeck. It had become a machine shop for milling parts, before eventually being converted to a tea room and then a restaurant in the 1900s. As a restaurant for many years, this 300-year old historic grist mill located along the Penny Pack Creek had been flooded many times. In 2015, new owners undertook a year-long renovation and reopened the mill as an Italian restaurant in 2016. This also closed, and has since reopened as Pennypack Mill an "elegantly rustic event space" used for celebrations and special events.
During the most recent renovation, Horizon Construction requested a landscape design to accentuate the building with its waterwheel. We provided a low maintenance, low budget design with plantings that reflect the waterway in contrast to its urban context. A recirculating water feature was added to the steel waterwheel, where a small space was carved out of the asphalt at the entry for plantings. Softening the building edges, and screening mechanical units we designed with window boxes, shrubs, perennials, grasses, and potted plants tight to the street. A River Birch was placed at the corner of the building close to the stream bank, close to the edge of the riparian corridor, which is strictly maintained by the Army Core of Engineers. The owner plans to reopen the deck along the water way in the future along with the outdoor patio for dining.
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Copyright Catharine Ann Farnen, LLC • 2019