Davidson announces nearly $100K in grants for historic merit

UPPER DARBY, Sept. 11 – State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-Delaware, today announced a pair of Keystone Historic Preservation grants totaling nearly $100,000, approved by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, for vital projects with historic significance, namely the Lansdowne Theater and Upper Darby’s Sellers Hall.

“State money will be used to help fund the renovation and reopening of the long-closed Lansdowne Theater,” Davidson said. “Opened in 1927, the theater has been a part of our community for almost 100 years, and it’s exciting to see we are nearing its reopening and approaching the date when it has the potential to help revitalize Lansdowne’s central business district.

“The nonprofit organization Friends of Sellers Hall also received a grant to learn more about this 17th century farmhouse and its occupants in the first permanent home built in Upper Darby. This project is not only important to our community, but since it is one of the older buildings in the United States, the work being done here is important for the entire region and state.”   

The grants approved for the local projects are as follows:

  • The Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation will receive a grant of $73,832. The grant will be used as part of its total restoration, which includes restoring the marquee and most of the façade and replacing the roof – including the terracotta Spanish roofing tiles to recreate the theater’s original appearance. 
  • Friends of Sellers Hall will receive a grant of $24,752. The grant will be used as part of the continued efforts to develop Sellers Hall for public access by undertaking an archaeological investigation to learn more about the Sellers family in early industry, science and engineering.

Elected in 2010, Davidson is celebrating a decade of service with proven results. Davidson is the first African American woman to be elected leader of the 35-member Pennsylvania House of Representatives Democratic Southeast Delegation – the largest Democratic delegation in the House. Her election as delegation chair marked the latest in firsts for Davidson, who was also the first Democrat, first African American and first woman to represent the 164th Legislative District, as well as the first Democratic Delaware County woman elected to the state House. She chairs the Democratic Women’s Caucus and is co-chair of the bipartisan Ladies of the House Caucus.