2019 was a BIG year for the National Register program in Pennsylvania.  Since our last update, 16 listings have been added or updated.

One listing that has been a long time coming is The Grotto, Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine – Pennsylvania’s second Traditional Cultural Property (TCP).  The property was first nominated by the PA SHPO to the National Register in 2011, but due to an owner objection, it had a “Keeper DOE,” or determination of eligibility by the Keeper of the National Register.  It wasn’t until 2019 that the owner decided to rescind their objection – paving the way for our second listed TCP after the Cornplanter Grant.

Looking north at the Grotto from East Garibaldi Avenue in Nesquehoning.

The Grotto is the focal point of a church complex owned by Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Diocese of Allentown, PA.  The Shrine itself is located in the residential neighborhood of New Colombus in Nesquehoning, Carbon County.  It was built between 1941 and 1945 by local resident Placido Guido LaRizzio, at a time when, according to the nomination, Italian immigrants and their descendants were struggling to define a place within the American culture.

The Grotto is locally significant under Criterion A for Ethnic Heritage as an example of the efforts made by this Italian American community to acknowledge and retain their heritage while contributing to the larger culture.  Numerous stones, shells, pieces of coral, and other objects that were embedded during the Grotto’s construction were supplied by local servicemen and women from their service locations around the world.

Some additional highlights from the list:

Lawrenceville Historic District

The Lawrenceville Historic District in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County includes over 3,000 contributing properties in 916 acres. 

An example of some of Lawrenceville’s residential buildings.

Listed under Criteria A and C, the district includes 8(!) areas of significance: architecture, commerce, industry, education, engineering, art, landscape architecture, and social history. 

The historic district includes:

  • 22 blocks of Butler Street, the neighborhood’s primary commercial corridor;
  • the site of the Civil War-era Allegheny Arsenal complex, part of which is now a public park;
  • industrial and institutional resources that provided employment and medical and educational services to the community in the 19th and 20th centuries;
  • churches;
  • two cemeteries, including Allegheny Cemetery, previously listed individually on the National Register;
  • and many blocks of residential resources representing a range of architectural styles as expressed in, predominantly, working class housing from the early 19th to the mid-20th centuries.

Ebensburg Historic District

The Ebensburg Historic District in Ebensburg, Cambria County includes over 400 contributing properties.

A few of the Ebensburg Historic District’s commercial buildings.

Ebensburg’s historic district is listed per Criteria A and C, under the areas of significance of commerce and architecture.  The district’s history and changing character illustrates the evolution of a small mountain town founded by immigrants, later developed as mountain resort service train travelers and later early automobile era visitors, all while serving as the seat of Cambria County government. 

Highland Park

Highland Park is the second City park in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County to be listed as part of their Pittsburgh Parks Initiative, following Frick Park which was listed earlier in 2019.

If you’re interested, here is the complete list:

Lawrenceville Historic District,
Roughly bounded by 33rd St, Allegheny R, 55th St., Allegheny Cemetery, Penn Ave., 40th St., Liberty Ave., and Sassafras St., Pittsburgh City
LISTED, 7/8/2019

HJ Heinz Company,
Roughly bounded by Chestnut St., River Ave., S. Canal St., Progress St. and Heinz modern Manufacturing Facilities, Pittsburgh

Highland Park,
Roughly bounded by Butler St., Washington Blvd., Stanton Ave., Farmhouse Dr., Bunker Hill St. & Heth’s Run, Pittsburgh
LISTED, 11/25/2019

First United Presbyterian Church of Braddock,
724 Parker Ave., Braddock
LISTED, 12/30/2019

Cuppett’s Covered Bridge,
1 mi. N of New Paris, Napier Township, New Paris vicinity
(Bedford County Covered Bridges TR)

Jacob Stover Farmstead,
921 River Rd., Upper Black Eddy
LISTED, 12/16/2019

The Stover Farmstead is listed in the National Register under Criterion C for Architecture.

Ebensburg Historic District,
Bounded Roughly by Highland Ave., West St., Sugar St., and Triumph St., Ebensburg
LISTED, 9/10/2019

The Grotto, Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine,
15 E. Garibaldi Ave., Nesquehoning
LISTED, 9/20/2019

Third Presbyterian Church,
420 E. 9th St., Chester
LISTED, 11/26/2019

Stoehr and Fister Building,
200 Adams Ave., Scranton
LISTED, 11/25/2019

Lancaster City Historic District,
Roughly bounded by Liberty St., Broad St., Greenwood Ave., Race Ave., Lancaster

Wilkes-Barre Silk Company Mill,
92 S. Empire St., Wilkes-Barre
LISTED, 11/25/2019

Humane Fire Engine Company No. 1,
301 Walnut St., Royersford
LISTED, 11/25/2019

Sykes Brothers Yarn Mill,
178-180 W. Huntingdon St., Philadelphia
LISTED, 11/26/2019
(Textile Industry in the Kensington Neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania MPS)

Wharton Street Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church and Sunday School,
5337 Catharine St., Philadelphia
LISTED, 12/2/2019

Provident Mutual Insurance Company,
4601 Market St., Philadelphia
LISTED, 12/30/2019

Do you know a property that is deserving of being listed in the National Register of Historic Places?  Reach out to the PA SHPO NR staff to start the process!