The First 300

Samuel Black’s Upland

The Upland estate as it appeared in a c. 1896 photo.

The Bryn Mawr Community Building was once the estate of Samuel Anderson Black (1820-1890), a major owner of farmland in this and surrounding counties. A prosperous lawyer, he was long associated with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Black himself designed the gracious stone home he called Upland, near the corner of Bryn Mawr and Lancaster Avenues. Much admired, it was hailed as one of the first “modern” residences in town.

A generous man, he gave both a new house and land to many of his relatives, a descendant reported. After his death, his estate (on four acres with two outbuildings and a springhouse) passed to his widow, Elizabeth C. Black. She and her family lived at Upland through the turn of the century.

The house was enlarged and drastically restyled c. 1908. It remained in the Black family through the mid-1920s. The property then passed to the township and by 1926 it was the Bryn Mawr Memorial Association War and Community House.

Today it sits beside Ludington Library and houses two vital nonprofit groups: ElderNet senior assistance services and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. The Montgomery County Office of Aging and Adult Services is housed in Upland’s old springhouse in the rear.

The facilities are available to the community for diverse uses: civic gatherings, AA meetings, chess and bridge matches, conferences, and nonprofit group get togethers.

The Black’s springhouse, in the rear, today houses the Lower Merion office of the Montgomery County Office of Aging and Adult Services.
The building now is a Township facility used by ElderNet and R.S.V.P. The public rooms are available for various community needs.