At the young age of only 32, Sadie Francis has played a key role in saving—and greening—a very important building in our shared historic landscape. The proprietor of the newly opened Cynwyd Station Café and Tea Room, the café gives new use to the once abandoned, almost forgotten Cywnyd Station, an original 1890 station of the Pennsylvania Railroad, one of the last still standing. The building had a decade-long run on the Lower Merion Conservancy’s Preservation WatchList, and was happily (for us) adopted by the Lower Merion Historical Society as a project; the society doggedly restored and renewed the building—itself a story recounted in this column many, many times over the years.
But getting the building inhabitable again was only half the story. Its new use was the other half—and for the last few years, the restored building quietly awaited its next chapter, preservationists like me holding our breath. Until mid-March, when the café—hallelujah!—opened. (Read Article)