Preservation Success in All Shapes and Sizes

In May 2021 the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) asked Pennsylvanians to send in their preservation success stories to celebrate National Historic Preservation Month. Now, PA SHPO is welcoming success stories all year long — not just in May. A preservation success story can be an activity, event, person, organization or place that shines a spotlight on efforts across the...
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Cambria City

Nestled between a bend in the Conemaugh River and a steep bluff, Cambria City is a distinctive, dense neighborhood that tells the story of hundreds of immigrants who came to work in Pennsylvania’s steel mills and coal mines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Following the founding of the Cambria Iron Works in 1852, investors purchased land across the river from the mill, subdivided it,...
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Parkside Chapel

Located near Henryville, in Paradise Township, Monroe County, Parkside Chapel stands as an architectural reminder of the growth of the Pocono Mountains region as a popular destination for affluent outdoorsmen and vacationers in the late 19th century. Following the American Civil War, logging was the leading industry in the region; however, as the forests were quickly being depleted, it became...
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Reforming Faith by Design: Frank Furness’ Architecture and Spiritual Pluralism Among Philadelphia’s Jews and Unitarians

Philadelphia never saw anything like it. The strange structure took shape between 1868 and 1871 on the southeast corner of North Broad and Mount Vernon streets, in the middle of a developing residential neighborhood for a newly rising upper middle class. With it came a rather alien addition to the city’s skyline: a boldly striped onion dome capping an octagonal Moorish-style minaret that flared...
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Editor’s Letter

The features in this edition focus on Pennsylvanians who strived for a more equitable, pluralistic America. The articles cover a period from the mid-19th century into the early 20th, a time when movements for civil rights were emerging and new barriers were being broken in several social and cultural realms. The story of Octavius V. Catto reflects a key moment in the history of the struggle for...
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Waynesboro Historic District

  Three miles from the Pennsylvania–Maryland border is the Keystone State’s most recent listing in the National Register of Historic Places: the Waynesboro Historic District, located along Main Street and Clayton Avenue in the borough of Waynesboro, Franklin County. The district’s period of historic significance dates from 1780 through 1965, beginning with the construction of a log building...
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Pittsburgh’s Wood-Paved Roslyn Place

It’s not often that architectural historians look down — we usually leave that to the archaeologists — but on Roslyn Place, one of Pennsylvania’s newest National Register–listed historic districts, we turned our heads to the ground to consider something that is rare in America: a wood-paved street. Roughly 26,000 oak blocks make up the 250-foot-long cul-de-sac surrounded by 18 houses in...
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Frank Furness by George E. Thomas

Frank Furness Architecture in the Age of the Great Machines by George E. Thomas University of Pennsylvania Press, 312 pp, cloth $59.95 The rehabilitation of Frank Furness, whose idiosyncratic Victorian buildings scandalized generations of Philadelphians, began in earnest with Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966). Venturi praised Furness for the exact same reason...
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“Keeping with the Dignity of the Commonwealth”: 50 Years of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence

The stately Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence overlooking the Susquehanna River at 2035 North Front Street in the Uptown neighborhood of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, reaches its half-century mark in 2018, a milestone that is being observed with a variety of events and programs throughout the year. The Georgian Revival mansion was completed in 1968, during the term of Gov. Raymond P. Shafer, its...
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Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City by Joseph E. B. Elliott, Nathaniel Popkin and Peter Woodall

Philadelphia Finding the Hidden City by Joseph E. B. Elliott, Nathaniel Popkin and Peter Woodall Temple University Press, 192 pp., cloth $40 For me, Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City is a whatever-happened-to sequel to the Philadelphia I first discovered in the 1980s. Recently deindustrialized and far from redeveloped, Philly in that decade was indeed a 12 Monkeys city, referencing the 1995...
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