Centre Avenue YMCA

Pittsburgh’s African American Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) originated in 1893 as a men’s Bible class at Old Bethel AME Church, which then formed a social and recreational club for young men and boys. This group was not officially recognized as a YMCA affiliate group until 1906, at which point they rented meeting space at 1847 Centre Avenue in the Hill District and became the third...
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Downtown Lancaster

As this circa 1922 postcard of North Queen Street suggests, by the turn of the 20th century, downtown Lancaster had become a busy commercial hub and mecca for shoppers. While Penn Square at the intersection of King and Queen streets marks the historic heart of the city, North Queen Street was lined with amenities for shoppers and visitors alike. Hotels, theaters, department stores, banks,...
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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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PA-SHARE Strengthens Preservation in the 21st Century

  It has been more than 50 years since the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) was created. Over the past half century, PA SHPO has helped thousands of Pennsylvanians, municipalities and partners through state and federal historic preservation programs like the National Register of Historic Places, Historic Tax Credits, Pennsylvania Historical Markers, Keystone Grants,...
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Community Initiative Awards Honor Historic Preservation Successes

The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) has announced its Community Initiative Awards for 2020. These awards recognize individuals, organizations, municipalities, agencies and others for their hard work and dedication in achieving preservation successes throughout the commonwealth. The awards are a program of PA SHPO’s innovative statewide historic preservation plan,...
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From the Executive Director

Over the past year, PHMC has been working on its new strategic plan. We have been thinking about what we are and what we need to be — for the Pennsylvanians we serve and as champions of history. Our mission is to discover, protect and share Pennsylvania’s past. We hope to inspire others to value and use our shared history in ways that are meaningful to them. In short, we see a future where...
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Editor’s Letter

In 2016 the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) presented its first Community Initiative Awards to recognize organizations, agencies, municipalities and individuals throughout the commonwealth for their historic preservation successes. The program has become a key component of PA SHPO’s statewide historic preservation plan, #PreservationHappensHere, encouraging...
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House on a Hill: Connecting with the Past in Western Pennsylvania

“It is our family and local histories that are our most precious parts of culture, in my estimation. They put ‘meat on the bones’ of the artifacts we find. Of course, all family history is myth until we have the documentation that backs it up.” — Lynne Humphries-Russ   The narrow access road was hidden, and I almost missed the turnoff. I was anxious to see the...
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Melester Barn

The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) lists about 20 properties per year in the National Register of Historic Places. PA SHPO staff responds to nominations submitted by the public to recognize a particular building, site or district for its historic value and as a course to make it eligible for grants or tax credits to support the property’s restoration or rehabilitation....
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Finding Truth in the Frame: Leah Frances’ Discovery of Pennsylvania’s Historic Places

The National Park Service describes historic preservation as “a conversation with our past about our future.” Historic places are vital to this conversation, revealing the stories about the events, people and developments of a community’s past and representing its identity. In 1935 Verne E. Chatelain, a pioneer of public history and the first National Park Service historian, wrote the paper...
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