Emergency Campaign to Repair Roof
Northwestern Stables, Inc. has announced an emergency fundraising effort to replace the roof and interior ceiling tiles of the Lesson Barn, located at 120 W. Northwestern Avenue in Philadelphia.
Reaching out to riders, families, neighbors and the broader community, Northwestern aims to raise $150,000 by the end of the year to Raise the Roof for Rocky, Major, Forrest Gump, and a dozen other horses that live in the barn. Among the horses are thoroughbreds being rehabilitated, retrained, and rehomed through Northwestern’s successful Racehorse Restart program.
“The thirty-year old roof has been ravaged by winter and summer storms. Its continuing deterioration poses an imminent threat,” said Jean Bochnowski, Executive Director of the nonprofit responsible for managing the City-owned property.
“Replacing the roof had been a priority, however, COVID depleted resources and deferred the project. At the same time, storms continued to blow off shingles and infiltrating water caused interior ceiling tiles to collapse,” she added.
The Board of Directors has designated $40,000 toward the roof project. Though a significant investment it is not enough to address the massive 85-yard-long structure. An additional $110,000 is needed to greenlight the project.
The mission of the Northwestern is to educate, empower, and engage riders and the community through horsemanship. Its program includes lessons for more than 120 children and adults weekly, a popular summer camp, and a competitive Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) team, which allows junior and high school riders to compete without owning a horse. Northwestern also proudly serves as the home barn and coaching staff for the University of Pennsylvania Equestrian Team.
The Stable’s unique location near the entrance to Forbidden Drive in Fairmount Park means thousands see its horses up close and close to home every week. Horse-themed public events, such as Haunted Horses and Hippity Hoppity Horses are popular family affairs that have made Northwestern a fun destination for visitors of all ages.
Although the property is owned by the City of Philadelphia, Northwestern Stables, Inc. receives no City funding for operations or capital improvements and is solely responsible for maintenance and repairs.