Continuing the Legacy
The Centre, an independent, tax-exempt organization, was given to the community one hundred years ago by Gertrude Houston Woodward, to be available to all Chestnut Hill non-profit organizations. Gertrude was a central figure in the founding of what would become the Chestnut Hill Community Centre.
In 1917 Gertrude Woodward (Mrs. George Woodward) and Lydia Clark (Mrs. E Walter Clark) organized a local branch of the National League for Women's Service.
According to historian Shriley Hanson, "They rented the 100-year-old building at 8419 Germantown Avenue, calling it the Service House, and launched a breadth of services, especially a heartfelt and practical response to World War I"
Through the years, the building has accommodated the Red Cross, Visting Nurses Association, Girl Scouts, League of Women Voters, American Legion, Historical Society and low-rent space including "Need in Deed" and "Options for Women." Currently it houses a non-profit consignment shop, Alcoholics Anonymous, a food coop office, counselors for adults and children, a "Home Within" volunteer, The Seybert Foundation, as well as meeting space for various community organizations.