September 13, 2023
Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill will be transformed over nine evenings this October into an interactive, illuminating public art display highlighting the neighborhood's history and architecture.
Chestnut Hill Conservancy's annual Night of Lights runs from Friday, Oct. 6 through Saturday, Oct. 14. Historical images will be projected through storefront windows along Germantown Avenue between Willow Grove Avenue and Bethlehem Pike. Buildings will be illuminated with colored lights and films showing the neighborhood's history and culture.
While the exhibition will run from 7-9 p.m. on most nights, things kick off on Oct. 6 with a 6:45 p.m. "Flip the Switch" ceremony held in the outdoor open space next to Foliage Plant Boutique. That night, live music from MilkBoy cofounder Tommy Joyner's Pep Rally and entertainment from Maplewood Music Studio will be presented.
This year's themes include antique postcards from Wissahickon, George Washington's 1777 march through the area and the legacy of Germantown Avenue as the neighborhood's main street. An "Ask the Archivists" table will provide maps, schedules and additional historical information.
Other slideshows will touch on the architects who designed Chestnut Hill, five multigenerational neighborhood businesses, the origins of Germantown Avenue's parking lots and the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted, a landscape architect. Another slideshow will focus on guidance for sustainable preservation.
Visitors can use provided headsets for more in-depth insights into the neighborhood's history. On Tuesday, Oct. 10, the organization will sell a limited number of tickets for guided walking tours.
Chestnut Grill, Cider Belly, Foliage Plant Boutique, Garden Stale Tile, Matines Café and Moondance Farm Studios will extend their hours during Night of Lights so that visitors have spaces to sit, eat and shop.
Oct. 6-14, 2023
7-9 p.m., opens 6:45 on opening night | Free
Germantown Avenue between Willow Grove Avenue and Bethlehem Pike
Philadelphia, PA 19118