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In 1793, Stephen Moylan, an aide-de-camp to General George Washington, bought the site where St. Agnes Church now stands. The original church was called Christ Church, and the beautiful neo-Gothic structure that stands today was constructed in 1926. “St. Agnes is a big part of life in West Chester Borough,” Jean says, “and it’s so awe-inspiring both inside and out!” St. Agnes holds particularly special memories for Jean, since she was married there in 1974 and her son was christened there. The parochial school next door was designed by William Strickland and built in 1833.
Jean has sold many beautiful homes near the West Chester Public Library, which was built in 1888 on land donated by Hannah Darlington. “Its Queen Anne-style architecture and original Tiffany stained-glass windows are beyond beautiful,” Jean says. “It’s a treasure and, like St. Agnes Church, is a fixture in town.” The extensive, thoughtful renovation and expansion, completed in 2005, enables the library to continue to serve the community with varied and engaging programs for all ages. Jean also enjoys the library’s annual Holiday Home Tour and has hosted her home on it as well.
West Chester Golf and Country Club, established in 1897, has a rich history, Jean says, and is the only country club located in a borough. The member-owned club boasts a beautiful nine-hole golf course, swimming pool, and other facilities.
New Haven Pizza, at 18 North Church Street, is a family-owned business that has been serving satisfied customers since 1970. Jean has been enjoying their Italian stromboli with sweet peppers for 45 years. “I always get the same thing,” she laughs. “They also have the most delicious pizza in town.”
Jean has been a loyal customer at Ooh La La Hair & Nail Salon, also on North Church Street, for 15 years. “It’s my Saturday morning fun me time,” she says. “Everyone is so talented, and they ‘paint’ strawberries on my toes all summer long. The owner, Theresa Brewer, makes my time there so enjoyable.”
Jean has experienced many changes downtown. She remembers going into Woolworth’s soda fountain to have a hamburger and a milkshake at the lunch counter. “When Iron Hill Brewery opened in 1998 in the old Woolworth’s building, the downtown area was not what it is today!” she says. “I believe this restaurant kicked-started the renaissance in the Borough that makes West Chester a destination.”
There’s much to celebrate in all four quadrants of West Chester Borough—its rich history, its vibrant present, and its promising future.