West Chester, Pa (October 6, 2022) – The Chester County History Center (CCHC) will be able to better protect its collections, archives, and historical artifacts from potential water damage thanks to the work of state Senator Carolyn Comitta.

Comitta recently secured $50,000 in state funding to replace the sump pumps located in both CCHC’s main building and its historical Horticultural Hall building. The buildings, which are both more than a century old, are situated over underground springs and face constant challenges in managing water flow.

Comitta said supporting upgrades to CCHC’s physical infrastructure benefits the entire community as the buildings themselves have historic value and serve as community assets and gathering places, in addition to housing our local and regional historic treasures.

“The Chester County History Center and Horticultural Hall are not only a hub for historical and cultural preservation in our county, but they’re also important historic landmarks in their own right. It’s important that we continue to strive to protect and preserve the buildings themselves and their contents for future generations to enjoy, learn from, and add to,” said Comitta, who also serves on the Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee.

Founded by local citizens in 1893, the CCHC is currently home to extensive collections, including more than 500,000 manuscripts, 20,000 volumes, 300 years of public records, 80,000 images, and 80,000 artifacts.

CCHC comprises two historic and architecturally significant buildings – Horticultural Hall, built in 1848 and the site of the first Women’s Right to Vote conference in Pennsylvania, and the former YMCA building built in 1908.

“The work of Senator Comitta and her team have successfully preserved 300 years of our county and nation’s history. From our almost 200-year-old building to our handwritten letters by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, this grant secures our shared history. We could not be more grateful for this clear dedication to our community,” said Conor Hepp, CCHC President.

The new, fully functional sump pumps not only better protect the integrity of the buildings and CCHC’s collections they also help prevent potential museum closures and disruptions to its busy exhibit schedule and educational programs due to the threat of flooding.