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...
read more

Community Initiative Award Recipients Featured in PA SHPO Videos

A core mission of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) is to educate the public regarding state and federal preservation programs. The production of testimonial videos is one way in which PA SHPO shares preservation’s positive outcomes and its importance for Pennsylvania’s many diverse communities. In 2018 PA SHPO honored three organizations with Community Initiative...
read more

Mather Mill: A Model for Developing Resiliency for Historic Properties

The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO), a bureau of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) that administers federal and state programs for protecting historic properties in the commonwealth, hosted a demonstration workshop on October 3, 2018, to explore resiliency options for Mather Mill, a National Register–listed gristmill constructed circa 1820 in...
read more

2017 Trails

Another year has passed on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. Exhibits, special events, thousands of visiting schoolchildren, more than a few beer and wine festivals, and several battle reenactments are now recorded in the books. As a way of wrapping up the year, we look back at a few milestones along the way. But before we turn our attention to the World War I centennial and an overview of...
read more

Meet Andrea W. Lowery, PHMC’s New Executive Director

In August 2017 the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) appointed Andrea W. Lowery as the new executive director of the agency. A preservationist with more than two decades of experience, Lowery succeeds James M. Vaughan, who retired in July 2017. Lowery has worked for PHMC since 2011, most recently serving as chief of the agency’s Division of Architecture and Preservation...
read more

Worthy of Preservation? Considering the Future of Architecture in Historic Preservation

The roots of historic preservation run deep in this country, especially in Pennsylvania. Taking hold in the 19th century as a response to unchecked modern development, the field has grown into a multidisciplinary profession, but what galvanizes concerned citizens to oppose the demolition of historic properties for new construction remains much the same today as two centuries ago. After the U.S....
read more

From the Executive Director

Imagine a Pennsylvania without historic buildings and districts. The year 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, federal legislation that has dramatically and positively impacted almost every community in the state. Today we take preservation for granted, but that wasn’t always the case. In post-World War II America it was easy to equate progress with concepts...
read more

Punxsutawney Post Office

Although Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, is best known as the home of a renowned weather-forecasting groundhog, it is also a community of notable historic buildings, including the grand Classical Revival U.S. post office shown in this circa 1916 postcard. The Punxsutawney Post Office, with its imposing Ionic limestone columns, was the hub of the community’s mail services from its completion in...
read more

The Meaning of Old Bethel

One problem with the construction, or reconstruction, of black history is the scarcity of original manuscripts, particularly those from the black church which traditionally has been a center of black activity. Because few records remain, misconceptions about the lives and attitudes of blacks have often led to a distortion of their history. The reason that few records exist, however, is not...
read more

The Restoration of Old Bethel: An Example for the Future

Introduction To a world in a state of con­stant change, today’s goals and cherished values may well be­come tomorrow’s prohibitions. The original idea of restoration – getting people to return to an undervalued old part of town – was understood only in positive terms, until gradually, it be­came apparent that some people at least were moving out or being moved out as a...
read more