The Watermark at Bellingham, Pennsylvania

The Watermark at Bellingham’s 15-acre campus in West Chester, Pa., encompasses a variety of historic structures including a farmhouse and barn that date back to the 18th century and a former Grist Mill that supplied the Revolutionary Army. Recently, the senior living community, which offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care, restored some of the buildings in the independent living neighborhood into active social spaces for residents.

Completed this past March, the dining room (formerly the old barn on the original farm) was converted into a new destination with restaurants and a bar. A new fitness center, spa, salon, and medical treatment office were also added, while public spaces such as the lobby, market, sales office, and corridors were renovated.

A Revolutionary renovation

As part of the 39,000-square-foot renovation, the project team, including architecture firm Chancey (Tampa, Florida) and interior design firm Dash Design (New York), peeled back the layers of previous renovations to expose the original architecture and details of the community’s historic barn and stone farmhouse.

The stone farmhouse was totally gutted to create an intimate community restaurant named Washington’s Tavern to reflect its ties to the Revolutionary War; it serves as the centerpiece of the Bellingham campus.

New materials including reclaimed wood floors, porcelain tiles with patterns that reflect the Bellingham area’s Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, and wood shiplap boards were incorporated into the community, as well. A color palette of warm neutrals mixed with richer tones, such as robin’s egg blue and deep greens, complement the stone and wood of the original building and are used as accents throughout.


Project details for The Watermark at Bellingham

Location: West Chester, Pa.

Completion date: March 2023

Owner: Longview Senior Housing

Total building area: 39,000 sq. ft. (renovation)

Total construction cost: Approx. $6 million

Cost/sq. ft.: $160 (average cost)

Architecture firm: Chancey

Interior design: Dash Design

General contractor: Patriot Construction Inc.

Engineering: Emerald Engineering Inc. (MEP); Corsi Associates (restaurant consultant)

Builder: Patriot Construction Inc.