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New Hope’s Revitalization Committee Ponders Cutting Down Logan Inn Christmas Tree, Moving Cannon

Logan Inn (forefround), West Ferry Street (middle ground), and the Christmas tree and cannon beyond.

Logan Inn (foreground), West Ferry Street (middle ground), and Christmas tree and cannon beyond.

The Revitalization Committee of New Hope Borough Council, headed by Joe Franlin, has been discussing cutting down New Hope’s iconic Christmas pine and moving the famous cannon at its base to make way for an expansion of the Logan Inn’s outdoor dining area across West Ferry Street into “Cannon Square.”

Coincidentally, Franlin is being considered Tuesday night by Borough Council for a seat on that group (7:30 p.m. in the Community Room at 125 New St.). Franlin, along with Council President Scandone, are also key players in New Hope’s bid to double parking meter rates, and both did not comment on the parking and Cannon Square issues.

But documents obtained by the Free Press detail a June 29 meeting to discuss Cannon Square that included Logan Inn Owner Frank Cretella, Gilmore Engineering, Architect Ralph Fey, Scandone, Franlin, Pam Coleman, and Lambertville “Rivertowns” Executive Director Dave Morgan.

"Cannon Square" looking south.

“Cannon Square” looking south.

“This project was first proposed in 1997,” reads the document dated July 28. “The latest [sic] ­ the piece of Ferry Street adjacent to Logan Inn and the island that the cannon sits on both belong to Logan Inn. Ralph provided a rendition the [sic] proposed changes.

“PennDOT’s biggest concern is the right turn from Main St., which may necessitate getting rid of 3 parking spaces and/or changing the turning radius. Next step ­ develop a new rendition and submit to PennDot…Joe [Franlin] will look into 1)Public space question 2) historical significance of new plan 3) find out if tree stays 4) look into whether the utility pole is a problem.”


Joseph Franlin, head of the controversial Revitalization Committee, and candidate for appointment to New Hope Borough Council.

Sources with knowledge of Franlin’s presentation say Revitalization Committee members seemed taken aback by the the idea of killing the tall pine tree that traditionally serves as the centerpiece of New Hope’s popular Christmas holiday celebration, and also ditching the popular black cannon and balls at its base. Sources say the idea of relocating the cannon to the grounds of the nearby Parry Mansion has been floated.

One person who says he wants to save the tree is Logan Inn Owner Frank Cretella. He doesn’t agree with talk from the borough about cutting the tree down and planting a smaller, more appropriately-shaped version in its place.

Cretella says he’s going to spend $20,000 and move the conifer the few feet needed to accommodate the altered traffic flow caused by converting the north two lanes of West Ferry Street as it meets Main Street into dining space.

“Rough plans were sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), they commented back, and we came up with a viable solution that alters the shape of island slightly for traffic,” Cretella explained.

“When I first came to the point of purchasing the Logan Inn, I knew I wanted to expand it,” Cretella continued. “We met with Dee Dee Bowman, and she mentioned the plan of Cannon Square being changed, and the roadway being closed, and seating in the roadway.” Bowman chairs the Historic Architectural Review Board, and the Parking Subcommittee of the Revitalization Committee recently in the spotlight over their role in the proposed doubling of New Hope parking meter rates.

Jeanne and Frank Cretella.

Jeanne and Frank Cretella.

Cretella also thinks the famous black cannon in the square is part of New Hope history, so he’s going to clean it up and keep it within a few feet of where it is now.

“I’ve always loved New Hope,” he said.

Cretella and Jersey City Developer Landmark Hospitality are moving forward with a dramatic overhaul of the landmark Logan Inn that it purchased in 2015.

The Logan Inn is located on one acre of downtown New Hope turf, has 73 parking spaces, can seat 400 at its main restaurant, and boasts 16 rooms.




About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • remove history, cut down the town Xmas tree, reroute traffic, so the inn can have some more tables outside. Brilliant! the Inn is so overcrowded everyday! Never a table to be had!

  • I wanted to let you know that Mechanic Street is just a giant basket of deplorables. You have a filthy hippie selling mugs, a host of dirty Greeks next door, awful young hipsters across the street with their prixe fixe menu, two tattoo businesses staged and managed by bikers, a conservative selling who knows what, a bunch of no account folk musicians and singers every Thursday night and of course Ween merchandise HQ which continues to celebrate that awful time in NH history. There may even be some confused sexual identities cutting hair and selling art. The list goes on and on. Not to mention backwards Hicks and rednecks from below the Mason Dixon line.

    Lock yourself in your house and be afraid, very afraid because the people of New Jersey are coming and they are worse than anyone that’s already here.

    You’re welcome. I thought it would be useful to point out some of the locals that are just as terrible if not worse than those awful people of New Jersey. What with their fancy roads and high taxes.

    A little diversity goes a long way, I thought New Hope was a little more inclusive. I was wrong.

  • Good news, everyone from NJ is evil and awful. Surely the fine upstanding people of New Hope can discuss this issue without the sad display of prejudice seen in the comments. Amazing. Also jorts are the best, reuse before you recycle.

  • Ditto on comments that this is horrible idea. Logan has enough tables. The only thing to change would be the cannon balls – they are clearly too big for the caliber of the cannon and they just look laughable.

  • I hate this idea… The Logan Inn is expansive enough, and I would be sad to see the cannon and tree displaced from their current spots in our little town.

    If you’re from Staten Island and have never even lived in New Hope, don’t you dare try to change our town. You don’t get it and never will. Also, anyone from Staten Island has been totally damaged by living in one of the ugliest places on Earth… there is no charm or beauty in that shithole… how could we let someone from there have any say in our sweet little town? We do not need more commercialization. We need to preserve/restore buildings and properties but not expand or make more commercial…

    • Amen! Only good thing to come from Statan Island is The Wu Tang Clan. I never talk to my relatives there. They’re snobby backwards racists. No bueno. Also, wasn’t there talk of Statan Island wanting to no longer be a part of the five boros back in the day? Hmmmm .. On a real note, I completely agree – I judge people individually – but having been around this man I can honestly say: He’s no good. Then again, we’re leaving New Hope and no amount of anything could make us stay. Good luck 🙂

  • I am so fed up with all of these people from Northern NJ who through the years “loved New Hope”. They have contributed to the destruction of the town. The guy who started Village 2 was from Morristown and he “loved New Hope”. The Odette’s development will be another white elephant. The town already has too many eating/drinking establishments and it does not need an enlarged Logan Inn. Oh well, the quality folks will stick to visiting Lambertville.

    • AGREED! We “Loved” New Hope as well and were suckered in thinking it would be a good place to settle. Honestly, I’m not on any social media and I never “comment” on things – This whole thing was really the last straw. I hope the people who really love this town and want to stay realize that they HAVE to get off their computers and actually do something. Sadly though, I think it’s too late. In the short time we’ve lived here I’ve watched this town go down the pishadoo (Toilet)! Peace!

  • I can’t imagine why The Logan Inn needs to reclaim its property and expand. The tree is kind of too big, a smaller one could replace it and the cannon is a symbol of violence, so I’d like to see it put some where less visible. The loss of parking spaces is funny considering the issue of parking meters at the moment and lack of parking spaces…I think Landmark Hospitality is very mediocre and way too generic and corporate for NH’s image. TLI should build up their parking lot, although they would probably price the parking crazy high.

    • I agree with what you say except for cannon as symbol of violence. To be totally accurate, they should have a Revolutionary War type cannon with the right pyramid of balls. Dahlgren cannons were from Civil War that did not touch this place. But a truly accurate cannon would reflect the actual lobbing of shells that happened between here and the Brits on other side of river. We should honor our past veterans in the right way.

  • Go for it Frank!!! This town needs someone like Landmark, I hope Tree & Cannon are saved, but Frank is someone New Hope needs!! Good luck with everything.

    • Ha!! You’re absolutely right! He’ll fit right in with the absentee landlords who rent their properties to unlicenced sober living houses (There’s one right on Mechanic street) or junkies who have aggressive dogs that they can’t control .. Yesssss Frank will be a GREAT addition, please bring in more unconscious people smoking and wearing jorts. Awesome.


  • This is a horrible idea. All of the people responsible for this nonsense should be fired. They clearly do not have the preservation of the town in mind.
    Absolutely horrific.

  • Nauseating that the one tremaining piece of the town’s history is on the block. Has anyone given thought to traffic or are folks lobbying Harrisburg to elevate Route 32? I hate that removal of either tree or cannon was ever proposed. Hard to see how more concrete would revitalize Main St.

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