The Lochwood Project

Inna Heasley


August 8, 2012
MOYO Yoga Acquires Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Location
to Build New Community through Preservation And Restoration

Skippack, PA – August 2012: Since its opening in 2004, MOYO Yoga’s membership and programming have been steadily growing. With its recent purchase of the Lochwood Estate, a nearby historical property that used to host Dick Clark’s American Bandstand show, MOYO has started a campaign of restorative construction to expand unique programming and training, to offer community classes, retreats, weddings and conferences, community gardening, a natural foods café – all serving wide demographics and creating new jobs in the area.

Currently housed in a small commercial building in Skippack, PA, with one studio, MOYO has been feeling the need to widen its walls. In the late 2010, studio’s founder and owner Maureen Priest purchased Lochwood, which includes a barn, a farmhouse, a creek and a small woods, and is strategically located on the edge of Skippack Village in Pennsylvania, a quaint vibrant town of artists, restaurants and community services.

Resting on four acres of land, the Lochwood Estate traces its history since early 1700’s when the first settlers started to arrive in Montgomery County. Ever since, there have been many Indian artifacts discovered along the stream running through the property, which, according to Priest, could be from the Lenni Lenape Indians of the Great Algonkin Family of Indians.

In the 1950-60′s, the barn was used as a set for the late TV legend Dick Clark’s American Bandstand show. From the 1960s into the 1980s, square dances took place in the barn every weekend with an emphasis on Scottish country dancing. Margie Allen of Collegeville, PA, a long-time yoga student at MOYO, recalls Dick Clark and the show production crew coming here in the summer of 1957.

“If you wanted to learn how to dance, you had to watch Bandstand and repeat the steps. Everyone wanted to see it live on TV, because in Bandstand you could invent your own steps and we would learn and take them to our own dances that night,” Allen said. “I came with my friends to see Bandstand live that summer. We were just blown away to see Dick Clark in the same building. Just like on TV, he announced the music he was playing, talked about the band and the songs, and how they fit in with the popular music of the day. It was like we were actually there in the TV studio, except that we were in a barn that was decorated in a way that retained the country atmosphere.”

In the more recent years, the Lochwood Estate was virtually a non-functional property in threat of commercial development. The previous owners described offers that included a company that intended to level the barn and build a pharmacy. In the end, the owners sold it to MOYO, for less money, because they believed in Priest’s preservation vision.

“Maintaining Lochwood in its natural condition adds a great deal of aesthetic value,” says Priest. “We feel proud to be preserving a piece of local history that will serve as a continuum to promote community and physical, mental and emotional well-being.” The Lochwood barn, which, according to the last owners, may be the largest barn in Montgomery County, also adds much to the overall historic environment and character of the historical town of Skippack.

To help with the barn reconstruction, MOYO has been forming business partnerships with local like-minded entrepreneurs and skilled volunteers.

David Deal, who has over 10 years of general construction experience, is helping alongside his partner, interior designer artist Kyle Hallowell. They are consulting and planning unique types of installations, using sustainable and recycled materials aimed at preservation of character of the barn’s interior.

“I am driven by the idea of community that we all share at MOYO, idea that is bigger than just a yoga studio,” said Deal. “The more I step back and see a bigger picture – this place has an opportunity to invoke and inspire a lot of passion and good livelihood for people. You can do a yoga class and then spend more time roaming, relaxing, looking at the art, helping planting or picking vegetables in the garden, learn a new trade: draw, cook, garden, sew, compost, you name it. To me this is a truly an idea of community, where anyone feels welcome. I just believe in it.”

The Lochwood will also continue to benefit many area charity organizations with which MOYO has partnered over the years. More space for their fundraisers, traditionally hosted by MOYO, means the ability to raise more funds and widen the scale of cause-supporting events.

Manna on Main Street, a food pantry and soup kitchen based in Lansdale, PA, is one of such organizations. “MOYO students, families and staff have supported Manna countless times through creative events and food drives. We are so fortunate to have them as a growing partner in the community and will definitely consider use of this new space” said Kristyn DiDominick, Development Associate.

MOYO is facing a new challenge to raise $50K in funds and more in labor for the ongoing restoration. Relying on the support of volunteers, friends of the studio and family members, this project is in need of wider community and entrepreneurial support and new business partnerships. To get involved, please contact MOYO Yoga at or call (610) 220-0543.

Founded in 2004 by Maureen Priest, ERYT,MOYO Yoga presents a community for the modern yogi that is committed to outstanding yoga through superior programming, evolving teachers, grounding practices, and peaceful lustrous spaces. MOYO’s mission is to raise awareness of conscious living, support positive mental attitude, optimal body alignment, respect to bodily wisdom, personal empowerment and the ability to embrace change. Visit www.moyo-yoga.comfor more information.To learn more about The Lochwood Project visit