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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Charles Carroll Public School

By the late 1960s the Philadelphia public school system was faced with a crisis. The urban population, after years of growth and expansion to the city’s outskirts and beyond, was now in decline. At the same time racial tensions became prevalent as the urban population became more integrated. Many Philadelphia public schools, especially those found in integrating or depressed neighborhoods, had...
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The Frankford Avenue Bridge over Pennypack Creek

In 1830 a Philadelphia journal dedicated to literature and the arts included a lithograph by William Breton (c.1773–1855) featuring the Pennypack Creek Bridge, also known today as the Frankford Avenue Bridge. Breton was based in Philadelphia and focused his work on local landmarks and bucolic settings. The bridge satisfied both inclinations. As described in the journal, it was already recognized...
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Shippensburg’s Locust Grove Cemetery

The town of Shippensburg, in the heart of the Cumberland Valley, was first settled in the 1730s. Some of the Europeans who moved into the area brought African American slaves with them. The exact number of slaves is unknown; it was not until after Pennsylvania’s 1780 Act for the Gradual Emancipation of Slavery that the numbers of slaves and slaveholders were recorded. Nevertheless, Shippensburg,...
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Loleta Recreation Area

Upon his inauguration on March 4, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set about combating the economic crisis of the Great Depression with his New Deal program of economic reforms and public work projects. One of the most popular programs established that year was “Roosevelt’s Tree Army,” the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was part of the Emergency Conservation Work (ECW) Act....
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The Delaware Station of the Philadelphia Electric Company

The monumental Delaware Station of the Philadelphia Electric Company is situated on the edge of the Delaware River in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. Completed in 1923, it was for decades a major provider of electricity to the city’s industries and homes, but today plans are underway to rehabilitate it for new uses. The Philadelphia Electric Company (PECO) was founded in 1899 and...
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Hotel Lykens

For many years, anthracite coal mining was the main source of livelihood for the residents of Lykens, a borough in northern Dauphin County. By the early 1920s, the industry was in decline, causing the community’s population and economy to waver. Meanwhile across the country, as automobile ownership was increasing, community leaders noticed that hotels and other services associated with travel...
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Mt. Lebanon Historic District

Although Henry Ford had introduced the Model T in 1908, making the automobile affordable for the average American, it was not until the 1920s that automobile ownership really began to rise. In 1910 there were 500,000 cars in use. By 1920 the number rose to 9.5 million. By 1930 it sprang to 27 million. With so many cars, people who worked in cities were no longer tied to railroads or streetcar...
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Washington Memorial Chapel

In December 1777, in the midst of the American Revolution, Gen. George Washington directed the Continental Army to set up a winter encampment in an area known as Valley Forge, less than 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia, the U.S. capital that had been captured by British troops in the Philadelphia Campaign. Approximately 12,000 troops endured the winter at Valley Forge, training and drilling...
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Lackawanna Mills and Scranton Button Historic District

At the crossing of Cedar Avenue over Stafford Meadow Brook in southern Scranton, Lackawanna County, lies a roughly 5-acre city block of industrial buildings that contains a history just as dense and layered as the location itself. In 1887 Scranton industrialist William Connell (1827-1909) founded two separate businesses at the site: Lackawanna Mills, a major manufacturer of wool and cotton...
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