Pennsylvania Historic Preservation

Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office



January 19, 2022
by Jenna Solomon
1 Comment

Julius Rosenwald and the African American YMCAs of Pennsylvania

American philanthropist Julius Rosenwald is best known for his work in the rural South in the early 20th century building schools for African American children.  Before his 1917 fund changed the face of education and race in the country, he helped African American communities from coast-to-coast build YMCAs. Of the two dozen facilities Rosenwald funded in fourteen states, three were in Pennsylvania.

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January 12, 2022
by Bill Callahan
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Preservation Planning in Beaver Borough

Beaver is a lovely community located on the Ohio River bluffs nearly directly across the river from the Shell petrochemical plant. Beaver boasts a large National Register of Historic Places historic district (PA-SHARE Resource #1994RE00048) that consists of large, stately homes, vernacular residences, a thriving central business district bursting with historic character and a series of open spaces and parks that date to the community’s late 18th century plan. Beaver is home to the National Historic Landmark Matthew S. Quay House (PA-SHARE Resource #1975RE00155) and the site of Ft. McIntosh, a late 18th century American frontier fort, which is individually listed in the National Register (PA-SHARE Resource #1975RE00024).

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January 5, 2022
by smassey
1 Comment

Rehabilitating Pittsburgh’s “First” Skyscraper with Historic Tax Credits

The Arrott Building, located at 401 Wood Street in Pittsburgh, PA, was designed by prominent Pittsburgh architect, Frederick J. Osterling in 1902 and is one of Pittsburgh’s first skyscrapers.

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December 29, 2021
by Shelby Weaver Splain
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PA-SHARE Year in Review

Lots of us spend many hours in December making lists! Shopping lists, wish lists, grocery lists, top ten lists, to do lists – the list goes on! Given all those lists, I’m very surprised that December isn’t also recognized as National List Month. The internet tells me that it is National Egg Nog Month, National Pear Month, Universal Human Rights Month, and – who knew! – it is also Bingo’s Birthday Month.

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December 22, 2021
by Andrea L. MacDonald
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Baseline Survey: An Essential Ingredient in Our Preservation Pantry

There are some time-honored recipes in the historic preservation cookbook. The most successful, and dare I say scrumptious, preservation medleys include an essential ingredient – survey. Survey in the historic preservation profession is like the flour in your favorite holiday desserts.

Without survey, many preservation projects are challenged to rise to a superior outcome, just like a cake. My mind just might be overflowing with visions of sugar plums and cookies this holiday season, so I’ll do my best to refrain from too many more baking similes while I share initial Year 1 outcomes from the PA SHPO’s Baseline Survey effort. I think you’ll be as excited about the results as we are!

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December 15, 2021
by Barbara Frederick
2 Comments

Bridge for Sale Spotlight: Burnt Mill Road Bridge

A drive along Burnt Mill Road in Lurgan Township in Franklin County winds around scenic county farmland crossing the Conodoguinet Creek where a monument to Pennsylvania’s industrial past, the Burnt Mill Road Bridge, has stood for the past 136 years.

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House with very large corner turret and slate roof.

December 8, 2021
by Pamela Reilly
4 Comments

Hail to the Queen!

The Queen Anne style is one of the most distinctive and popular architectural styles of the Victorian era, with examples of the style found throughout Pennsylvania and the country. With their round turrets, elaborate porches, and abundant decorative trim, they are often considered beloved local landmarks. The Queen Anne style ruled at the turn of the 20th century from 1880 to 1910. As the royally inspired name suggests, Queen Anne buildings exude a sense of importance and richly embellished elegance.

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December 1, 2021
by Karen Arnold
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Just in time for the Holidays, A “new” set of Shutters for the Gemeinhaus

This winter, visitors to Bethlehem – the City in Northampton County, Pennsylvania – may see some new changes in the Historic Moravian Bethlehem National Historic Landmark District.  Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites just completed the restoration of 88 shutters on the 1741 Gemeinhaus, the oldest building in Bethlehem. 

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November 24, 2021
by Jenna Solomon
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I went to a Marker Dedication and a Car Show Broke Out

I think it is safe to say that the dedication of the new Pennsylvania Historical Marker for Holbert Racing had the most impressive (and expensive) parking lot that has ever existed at a historical marker dedication.

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