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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John Updike’s Pennsylvania Interviews by James Plath

John Updike’s Pennsylvania Interviews edited by James Plath Lehigh University Press, 294 pp., cloth $85 Born in Reading, Berks County, and raised in nearby Shillington and Plowville, author John Updike, like the main character Harry Angstrom in his Rabbit series of novels, often tried to escape Pennsylvania in his literary work, but he always seemed to come back home. This book, with its...
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Craft Brewing: Another Revolution in Pennsylvania

The history of brewing beer in Pennsylvania has seen heights of success and pits of disaster. The commonwealth grew from colonial home-brewing roots to become a recognized industrial center, home to some of the most notable brewers in America before the disaster of Prohibition. After bouncing back with Repeal, Pennsylvania clung to its established favorites longer than any other state, savoring...
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Baking Pennsylvania Dutch Style

Regional American cuisine is fast becoming the hottest trend on the food scene today, and while we still hear a great deal about Cajun or the Southwest, one of the richest areas for culinary diversity is Pennsylvania. The Keystone Center for the Study of Regional Foods and Food Tourism, a nonprofit that has taken the lead in exploring the foods of our state, has identified five distinct culinary...
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Shop Pomeroy’s First by Michael J. Lisicky

Shop Pomeroy’s First by Michael J. Lisicky History Press, 160 pp, paper, $19.99 Entrepreneur George Pomeroy (1853-1925) and two partners opened their first department store in Reading, Berks County, in 1876, beginning a retailing enterprise that lasted more than 100 years. Pomeroy’s stores were not flashy, not exclusive, but always offered medium-priced goods for the average family. Until 1990...
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Introducing Harry Whittier Frees, World-Famous Animal Photographer

Long before William Wegman (born 1943) began photographing dogs – primarily his own Weimaraners, beginning with his first, Man Ray, whom he acquired in 1970 – wearing clothing and costumes, Pennsylvania native Harry Whittier Frees (1879–1953) became famous for his unusual photographs of young cats, dogs, rabbits and chickens wearing all sorts of garments and engaged in a variety of activities....
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Free-Thinking, 19th-Century Style

Francis Ellingwood Abbot (1836–1903) was nothing if not determined. In 1872, as editor of The Index, the nation’s leading free-thought magazine, he began to muster the full force of his small army of subscribers against what was being called “the God-in-the-Constitution amendment.” A philosopher and theologian, he sought to reconstruct theology in accordance with scientific methodology. From the...
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Lebanon County: Small in Size – Rich in Heritage

Lebanon County is located in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the center of the beautiful Lebanon Valley, which is formed by the Blue Ridge of the Kittatinny range of mountains to the north and the South Mountains, or Furnace Hills, to the south. Covering an area of 363 square miles, the county is inhabited by ap­proximately 100,000 people. Between the shale...
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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...
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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...
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