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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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...
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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....
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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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Mount Gretna’s Spirit Lives On

Mount Gretna in Lebanon County is an enduring gem of a historic village that offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience an unembellished, Victorian-era lifestyle that shuffles on in similar fashion today. Cloistered within a 16-mile slice of forested rocky hills surrounded by a patchwork expanse of farmland between Lancaster and Hershey, Mount Gretna came to life in 1892 as a village (now...
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From Memory to Memorial by J. William Thompson

From Memory to Memorial: Shanksville, America, and Flight 93 by J. William Thompson Penn State University Press, 200 pp., paper $19.95 The crash site and memorialization of Flight 93 near Shanksville, Somerset County, hasn’t received as much attention as the other sites touched by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This short, thoughtful and exceptionally well-written book brings...
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Anna Wagner Keichline: Architect, Inventor, Suffragist and World War I Special Agent

The Pennsylvania Historical Marker for Anna Wagner Keichline (1889–1943) is prominent among a growing number of markers related to women’s history in the state. Keichline is known as one of the first women to practice architecture professionally in the United States, but she had multifaceted interests and achieved distinction in several fields. Born and raised in Bellefonte, she exhibited...
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Seeing the Light at Glen Foerd on the Delaware

Visitors to Glen Foerd on the Delaware marvel at the decorative plasterwork that surrounds the domed, stained-glass laylight crowning the mansion’s central staircase. On tours they see, from their vantage point on the third-floor landing, beams of light pouring in through the 15-foot interior skylight, bringing into sharp relief the buttery yellow plaster with inlays. But until last...
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The Formidable Chews of Cliveden Preserve a National Landmark

Fifty years ago on October 15, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the federal government’s first official and all-encompassing policy designed to preserve and protect the nation’s irreplaceable historic, cultural, architectural and archaeological sites. The act spurred citizens throughout the country to actively embrace historic...
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Westminster College

  Founded in 1852, Westminster College in New Wilmington, Lawrence County, is one of the oldest coed colleges in the country. Its original academic quadrangle is made up of buildings dating from 1893 to 1952. Other well-preserved historic buildings remain on campus as well, most notably the 1884 Thompson House, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the nearby 1885 Hillside...
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