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Engendering Hope: New Connects Old to Future Possibilities

July 21, 2023

The front of the Hearth at Drexel Senior Living Community

The Hearth at Drexel illustrates how the modernization of an older community can embrace the charm and beauty of the old while transforming it for the best in person-centered care and comfort.

It all began in 1888 when John D. Lankenau established a home for aged men and women. He named it the Mary
J. Drexel Home in honor of his late wife.

Through the years, The Hearth has been transformed several times, thanks in part to generous donors who, like Mr. Lankenau, envisioned a place where older adults could enjoy active and fulfilling lives.

Today the thoughtfully designed architecture of The Hearth anchors the 19th Century mansion, its home starting in the early 1950s, between two 21st Century additions to the east and west of it.

Joan Myers, COO of Liberty Lutheran, recalls when Liberty Lutheran first began discussing plans to update the community.

“We wanted to preserve this historic gem in the heart of the Main Line. We also recognized that the age of the building would inhibit us from adding many of the features necessary to provide a comfortable home and engaging environment for older adults who expect modern conveniences.”

a well-lit room with a stone fireplace at this Main Line senior retirement community. Restaurant-style tables have dining room armchairs at each
ornage text on a white wall reads Inspiring Today
comfortable chairs sit facing a TV over a stone fireplace

The mansion, with its magnificent entrance, parlor, theater and fitness center, provides a central gathering space for all residents. Marble floors, a majestic staircase, high ceilings, and a wood paneled library are some of the features that awaken nostalgic sentiments of an era long ago.

Each of the four households in the newer wings includes 20 residential apartments, a dining area, and a cozy living room for social engagement and creative programs. Apartments are equipped with modern amenities, spacious, open floor plans, sunny windows, and spectacular views of the grounds.

While the old stands as a reminder of the past, the new connects the past to future possibilities and engenders hope. Despite their limitations, residents have the confidence and freedom to do what brings them joy.