Swiss Cottage

Swiss Cottage 1902
Swiss Cottage 1902

Our first priority: The historic restoration of the 1878 Swiss Cottage for use in this century as a Concession Stand and Shed.

Swiss Cottage, October 19, 2010
Swiss Cottage, October 19, 2010

In 2005, Borough Council approved and partially budgeted our project. We applied for a state grant from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development.

After a year-long wait without any good news, our state government provided some backing:
State Rep. Barbara McIlvaine Smith
State Senator Andrew E. Dinniman

As we rang in 2008, still awaiting funding, we needed to take action to protect the building from deteriorating beyond repair; we even considered shrinkwrapping.

Below, the slideshow of photos taken by Jim Salvas show the Swiss Cottage interior, ravaged by fire almost 100 years ago. Recent work to refurbish the interior uncovered the remains of pre-1917 trading cards, playbill covers, and print ads.

Over the next two years, Jeffrey C. Beitel AIA Architecture proposed and donated architectural services to develop renovation plans. Using the plans, Jeff began saving the building using money the FMSP had raised and donations of labor, materials, and supplies from generous benefactors.

Accomplishments over the two years, 2008—2010 (also see before/after photos below):

  1. Excavated soil away from wooden foundation beam, buried below grade
  2. Created a proper drain swale for water drainage around structure
  3. Treated the soil for termite infestation
  4. Repaired broken window panes, repaired and painted window sashes, installed new, recessed security grills
    • David Schoettle of West Chester donated the window sash repair
  5. Repaired/replaced wood foundation beams with pressure-treated lumber and synthetic lumber trim boards
  6. Repaired/replaced diagonal exterior framing members
  7. Treated exposed wooden sheathing with clear sealer
  8. Began removing paint drips from split log siding, treating logs with clear sealer
  9. Installed cross member trim boards on entry doors, replaced door hinges and added new door pull hardware
  10. Installed a new fascia board trim and metal drip edge along roof edges, repaired valley flashing as required
  11. Began repainting all diagonal exterior framing members, foundation beam trim, and roof trims
    • Haley Paint Company, 1303 West Chester Pike, 19382, donated several gallons of paint
    • Jeff Beitel with help from Dick Sabo donated all painting work to date.

Once this work is complete, we hope to remove the interior wood fiber board paneling, wire for future outlets and lights, and install beaded board wood paneling to the walls. The large project will be to replace all the charred roof framing members, install tongue and groove beaded board roof sheathing and wood shingles. That phase alone will cost about $20,000 to $25,000.

News Articles

Marshall Square Park structure undergoing repairs • Daily Local News • August 26, 2010

Borough’s oldest park building needs work • Daily Local News • August 25, 2008

Renovation Drawings:  Floor Plan   Rear Elevation   Side Elevations

3 Responses

  1. Jim Scherrer

    Thanks so much for the information. I am eager to help where possible. I did note in this document that the Swiss Cottage at the Exposition was inspirational. Is there a direct connection of this building to the Exposition in terms of size, color and design? Here is a link to a reference:


    1. Jeff Beitel

      Jim, this Swiss Cottage in MSP is all that remains of a larger complex of structures which once included a separate “resting building” for the Victorian ladies and gentlemen who strolled in the park. This building was once the Park Superintendent’s office. The buildings were designed in a rustic alpine style popularized by the Swiss Pavilion at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876.


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