Chestnut Hill retains many of the characteristics of residential architecture found throughout Lancaster City. About half of the dwellings are two-story brick rowhouses with three-bay facades and gable roofs.
In 1824, the city extended no further west within Chestnut Hill than Charlotte Street and no further north than James Street. Lots are shown throughout the area on Scott's map of that year, but few houses are indicated west of Water Street. The remainder of the area was open land owned by the Hamilton family. See What's Here (and What's New)!
By the time Moody and Bridgens compiled their 1850 map of the city, little additional growth had occurred in this area, other than a dense collection of dwellings along Orange and King Streets. Some scattered houses are shown along Charlotte, Mulberry, James and Lemon Streets. In addition, Marietta Avenue is shown for the first time, with Walnut, Chestnut and Lemon Streets extended westward to it, and several scattered houses and a brick yard indicated surrounding them. The 1850 map shows little additional growth in the area. There was little more development in the area by 1858, as indicated by Kennedy's city map, or by the time of the1864 Atlas or Roe and Colby's 1874 map. The full pattern of the area streets was laid out, if not yet built, by 1887. The Board of Trade's map of that year indicates that all of the blocks from Mary Street east were densely infilled with residences. A school was constructed along Walnut Street and the Stevens Cotton Mill is shown on Pine Street, south of East Chestnut Street. With the exception of the area north of Frederick Street and west of North Mary Street, and the blocks bounded by West Lemon, Pine and Walnut Streets, Chestnut Hill almost completely filled in by1899.