Scottdale Historic District
The Scottdale Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Portions of the text below were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2008; The Gombach Group.
The Scottdale Historic District is located in the Borough of Scottdale at the southern border of Westmoreland County. Jacob's Creek forms a part of the county line in this area between Westmoreland and Fayette Counties as well as part of the corporate boundary of Scottdale Borough. Scottdale lies in the Allegheny Plateau Region of Pennsylvania, 48 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, approximately 12 miles south of Greensburg, and approximately 6 miles north of Connellsville. The orthogonal plan of the borough overlays gentle hills that rise from Jacob's Creek in a westwardly direction. The Scottdale Historic District contains 243 contributing resources and 33 noncontributing. Among the contributing buildings 75% are residential, 19% are commercial, and 9% are industrial. These resources reflect a variety of architectural styles typical of the period of significance between 1853 and 1950 such as Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Late Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Renaissance Revival. Resources also include a Greek Revival farm house constructed in 1853 and a ca. 1950 Lustron House, the latter included for its distinctive construction and material. Most outbuildings present in the Scottdale Historic District are small and are not included in the resource count. There are three outbuildings in the historic district included in the resource count for their relatively large size and architectural significance. An electrical substation and the South-West Pennsylvania Railroad right-of-way are included in the historic district as structures, the substation is noncontributing and the right-of-way is contributing. In addition there are eight churches and one school. The Scottdale Historic District retains very good integrity reflecting the significant industrial and commercial history of the borough and the lives of its citizens.
Three main arteries run through the borough; Broadway, Pittsburgh, and Chestnut Streets. Broadway parallels the railroad tracks, running north and south. The industrial resources lie to the east of these transportation arteries while the majority of the borough lies to the west. The Scottdale Historic District contains industrial, commercial, and residential resources from the late nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century. Chestnut Street acts as the central axis through the historic district with the residential resources found toward the northern end of the street, extending west, and the commercial and industrial resources at the south end, extending to the east. Chestnut Street runs parallel to Broadway Street, to the west, linked to Broadway by Pittsburgh Street. Pittsburgh Street contains the majority of the commercial buildings.
The industrial complex in the Scottdale Historic District lies between the railroad tracks, a contributing structure in the historic district, and Jacob's Creek. This area includes two manufacturing companies each consisting of several buildings. In addition to the manufacturing buildings there are some buildings containing commercial enterprises. The industrial area is roughly divided in half by Uptegraff Drive which extends generally east from the intersection of Broadway and Pittsburgh Streets. North of Uptegraff Drive stands the Duraloy Technologies complex, originally the National Foundry and Pipe Works, and south of Uptegraff Drive stands the R.E. Uptegraff Manufacturing Company, originally the William H. Everson and Company and Scottdale Iron and Steel Company. The Duraloy complex consists primarily of long narrow iron and brick buildings oriented in a north-south direction. Most of these buildings date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with some later additions. An office building (ca. 1900), wash and locker house (ca. 1915), and guard house (ca. 1930) stand along Bridge Street. The buff brick, two story office building has a large two story semi-circular bay area, metal cornice, quoins, and a flat roof. It is connected to the former wash and locker house by a modern one story hyphen. The wash and locker house, now the Chemical-Metallurgical Laboratory, is a long one story brick building with parapeted end walls and a clerestory along the roof's ridge. The end walls contain corbelled brick decorations and a large circular window at the north end. The guard house is a simple one story gable roof brick building.
Other buildings in the Duraloy Technologies complex include a brick machine shop, immediately east of the office building, connected to the foundry buildings. The foundry buildings (plants A and B), constructed of metal, have been added onto over the years yet can still be discerned by their clerestory windows along the roof ridges. Plant A immediately east of the machine shop was constructed circa 1880 of sheet iron on studding. The brick machine shop was erected circa 1897 as was plant B, located just east of plant A. Long iron sheds were added between plants A and B during the turn of the century along with three brick storage buildings along the south edge of the complex. These three buildings incorporate brick decorative motifs in their gable end walls. The most southern of these brick storage buildings was at one time longer but now all three are square. A brick pattern storage building was located north of plant A but is no longer extant. A brick pattern shop was added to the complex circa 1905. This building stands just northeast of the former Bath and Locker House and is still used as a Pattern Shop. The above described resources are all contributing to the Scottdale Historic District. Metal sheds stand at the north and south edge of the property. Two metal storage sheds stand at the south end approximately where Charlotte Furnace, later called Corrigan McKinney and Company and Scottdale Furnace, stood. Four metal sheds used for pattern storage stand at the northern edge of the property. These sheds, both north and south sets, were constructed after the period of significance and are noncontributing.
The Uptegraff Manufacturing Company stands south of Uptegraff Drive and east of Industrial Street. This complex consists of two long gable roof buildings, one brick and the other steel. The former office building stands at the northern end of the long brick building attached by a short hyphen but once stood independently. These buildings all contribute to the Scottdale Historic District. The former office is the oldest building on the site dating to ca.1880. It reflects some Queen Anne style characteristics such as a pyramidal roof with cross gables and a tower that now lacks a roof as well as two tall chimneys. The segmentally arched window on the west side retains the stained glass and decorative partitions. The long brick building, originally called the "Shear House" (Sanborn Map, 1903) replaced a smaller machine shop around 1900. Between 1903 and 1908, the site underwent considerable changes. Two large buildings situated to the east of the office and Shear House were replaced by a long "Annealing Building" and two shorter buildings housing "Rolling Mills" (Sanborn Map, 1908), both of steel construction. By 1944, the rolling mills were removed. A one story flat roofed concrete block office addition extends east from the former Annealing Building. A small brick one story storage building stands at the south end of the brick Shear House dating to ca.1900. Other buildings surrounded this core but are no longer extant. Some of these stood where Industrial Street now runs.
Between the industrial buildings and the railroad right-of-way are scattered some commercial buildings and the Sons of Italy building. Two of these buildings were associated with the United States Steel's American Sheet and Tin Plate Company and U.S. Cast Iron Pipe and Foundry Company. The building at Two Dollar Drive housed the infirmary for both companies, currently Nationwide Insurance. This brick one-story gabled building retains a tile mosaic cross in one gable end and the extra wide entrance. The building at One Dollar Drive was a wash house for the Sheet and Tin Plate Company, then storage for American Casket Company, and currently is the Oppman Auto Parts Store. This long brick building exhibits some decorative brick work in the parapeted gable end walls and a projecting entrance. The vernacular frame building in the triangular space formed by Bridge Street, Uptegraff Drive, and a spur of the railroad has contained a barbershop for nearly 100 years. A brick and concrete block building (ca. 1965) with a flat roof, across Uptegraff Drive from the barber shop, contains the Sons of Italy. All of these except the Sons of Italy building are contributing to the Scottdale Historic District.
The commercial center of the Scottdale Historic District lies primarily along Pittsburgh Street between Broadway and Chestnut Streets with some businesses extending south along Broadway Street and north along Chestnut Street. The block between Broadway and Spring Streets on the north side of Pittsburgh Street was razed ca.1970 and lies outside the historic district. The south side of Pittsburgh Street in the historic district contains mostly brick buildings of two and three stories as well as a small number of one and four story buildings. The majority of the commercial buildings were constructed between 1890 and 1920. These buildings reflect a variety of architectural styles, especially Renaissance Revival, Colonial Revival, and Romanesque Revival. The most notable building is the Scottdale Savings and Trust at 163 Pittsburgh Street, built in 1907. Its rusticated stone first floor contains a central arched entrance flanked by two copper muntined windows with vousoirs. The second and third floor windows are incorporated in three vertical groups. This building retains excellent integrity.
Other distinctive commercial buildings along Pittsburgh Street include: #203, DeMuth Flowers, with its parapet gable, turrets and blind arches above the second floor arched windows (1887); Cossel's Food Mart (#210), constructed in 1914, with its enclosed multi-paned glass and wood gallery; and 143 Pittsburgh Street constructed ca.1880 for Loucks Hardware Company, a simple brick building retaining very good integrity both on the exterior and interior. Many of the store fronts along Pittsburgh Street have been altered yet the upper floors exhibit little change. There are a few noncontributing buildings within the commercial section of the historic district. These buildings tend to be constructed after the 1950s and are only one story in height. They do not detract significantly from the overall integrity of the district.
On South Broadway, the most notable commercial buildings are the Frick Coke Company office buildings, significant for their association with the largest coke company in the country. The first of these two buildings was constructed in brick (1887) using some Queen Anne details but are primarily vernacular in form. Details include a central tower with a pyramidal roof, rough stone lintels, large dormers, and corbelled brick eaves. The 1906 Frick office building next door at the corner of Broadway and Walnut Streets contain Colonial Revival details. This brick three story building has a central entrance with a fanlight, crown lintels on the first two floors and arched windows on the third floor. The buildings at 101 Pittsburgh Street and 4-10 South Broadway are ca.1880 buildings with Italianate features. The building at 12 South Broadway was constructed ca.1935 and housed the Broadway Drug Store. Other buildings along South Broadway in the historic district are commercial, fraternal, and residential buildings, some of brick and others of wood.
There are eight churches within the Scottdale Historic District, mostly located along North Chestnut Street, constructed at the turn of the century, between 1890 and 1916, and primarily in the Late Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival styles. Two of these are built of stone and one of wood frame on a raised stone foundation. The remaining churches are of brick construction. The Calvin United Presbyterian Church (1898), located on the southeast corner of Mulberry and North Chestnut Streets, was designed in the Romanesque Revival style by J. C. Fulton, a Uniontown architect who also designed the Somerset County Courthouse and the E. H. Reid House at 115 North Chestnut Street. The stone First Baptist Church (1906) at 304 North Chestnut was designed by Allison & Allison, Pittsburgh architects, and the work of Patsy Riga of Mount Pleasant, a stonemason from Italy. Riga also was the stonemason for the E. H. Reid House in Scottdale and the Clay Lynch house in Greensburg. At 704 Arthur Avenue stands a building originally erected by the Evangelical Church and later used by the Jewish community (above the door is inscribed "Beth Shalom"). This building is no longer used by a religious institution.
The former high school (ca.1920) is a blond brick Colonial Revival style building with a heavy modillioned cornice located on South Chestnut Street at the southern edge of the historic district on a hill overlooking the town. The building sits on a raised stone foundation with exposed basement double hung sash windows. The five central bays of the building are recessed slightly. This massive building, with its playing field terraced below and the old Loucks farmstead at 115 Walnut Street and Frick offices below the field, provides a strong edge for the Scottdale Historic District.
The residential area included in the historic district consists of a mixture of high style and vernacular architecture. The streets are generally tree lined with the houses set back a few feet from the sidewalks. This neighborhood, primarily consisting of Loucks and Arthur Avenues and Mulberry Street, contains the houses of some of the prominent local citizens who constructed large homes in the Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles. These houses are interspersed with more modest single family dwellings and several semi-detached houses. Local merchants and mid level management in the local industries and commercial enterprises occupied the more modest homes.
Among the houses in this neighborhood are several that are noteworthy. The A.K. Stauffer House at 701 Loucks Avenue, designed by S. J. Zearly, a local architect (ca. 1880), is an excellent example of the Queen Anne style with two corner towers, spindlework, and a variety of shingle forms as well as a large carriage house in the same style. The Stauffer family were early settlers and prominent citizens of Scottdale. This house later became the home of Walter Glascow, Secretary of Mines under Governor Pinchot. Another Stauffer house, W. F. Stauffer, stands at 602 Loucks Avenue. This house is an excellent example of the Colonial Revival style with fluted two story columned entrance porch, side porch, rusticated stone lintels and sills, and round corner bay windows. William H. Clingerman, General Superintendent for the H. C. Frick Company, lived at 409 Arthur Avenue, a large Colonial Revival style house. This brick building has wall chimneys, heavy modillioned cornice, stone lintels, and large dormers. The front porch has a projecting pedimented entrance. The grey stone E. H. Reid House (1905-10) at 115 North Chestnut Street was designed by J. C. Fulton in the Classical Revival style. All the above mentioned properties are contributing buildings in the historic district.
In addition to these large houses there are three distinctive modest homes worthy of mention. Two small cottages located at 714 and 711 Mulberry Street exhibit Italianate, Queen Anne, and Second Empire details including mansard roofs, bracketed eaves, towers, and arched windows. The mansard roofs contain the second floors giving the houses a one story look. At 804 Arthur Avenue stands a ca. 1950 Lustron House, a prefabricated enamelled metal one story building. As a rare example of a distinctive type of building construction, this house is included in the historic district as a contributing building. The Lustron Corporation was in existence for only a short time, manufacturing only a limited number of these houses. The residential neighborhood retains excellent integrity with few instances of modern construction or major alterations to historic buildings. Common examples of alterations are siding and replacement windows which seldom significantly disturb the overall historic character of the buildings.
The Scottdale Historic District conveys the history of the development of a major manufacturing town from the mid nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. The Borough of Scottdale retains a significant number of historic industrial, commercial, and residential buildings, the best concentration of which is incorporated in the historic district. A small percentage of the building stock within the historic district are noncontributing. Noncontributing buildings are those that have lost their historic character through extensive alterations, break the rhythm of the streetscape, or buildings constructed after the period of significance. Generally noncontributing buildings are scattered and do not negatively impact the historic character of the district.
The Scottdale Historic District is significant in the areas of industry, commerce, and architecture. The period of significance, 1853 to 1950, covers the growth of Scottdale from the arrival of the railroad and extends to the construction of a rare enamel metal Lustron house. The district contains a collection of industrial buildings illustrating the industrial growth spurred by the arrival of the railroad in 1873. The commercial buildings in the historic district represent the economic prosperity that occurred as a result of this industrial growth. The district contains a residential area associated with the industrial and business leaders of the community. The many examples of high style architecture illustrate the success and power of these prominent citizens. Vernacular architecture is also significant to the historic district, reflecting typical forms of construction and workmanship during the period of significance. An 1853 farmhouse is present in the historic district, contributing to the district's architectural significance and reflecting the early development of the community. The resources contained in the Scottdale Historic District reflect the origins and growth of the Borough and its importance as an industrial and commercial center in Westmoreland County.
Scottdale's history can be divided into two periods; agricultural, the time before the coming of the railroad when it was known as Fountain Mills, and industrial, the period after the arrival of the railroad. During the first half of the nineteenth century farming and related businesses, such as milling and distilling, were the primary occupation. Fountain Mills was an early center for the local agricultural community. The earliest owner of the site was John W. Stauffer. Located on part of the land now occupied by the Duraloy Industries and R. E. Uptegraff Company in Scottdale east of Broadway Street along Jacob's Creek, it contained a grist mill, distillery, carding and saw mills, and a cooper shop. The first settlers to East Huntingdon Township in southern Westmoreland County were English and Scotch-Irish, arriving in the late 1700s. Also at this time and the early nineteenth century, German Mennonites began to settle in this region and develop businesses such as grist mills and distilleries. Families such as the Overholts, Stauffers, Loucks, and Keisters were very successful and prosperous farmers and businessmen, some with interests in the Fountain Mills complex. Many operated small scale coal mines in the early to mid nineteenth century and later coke operations. Members of these families remained leading citizens throughout the development of Scottdale, becoming involved in the industries and businesses that grew after the railroad arrived.
The Loucks family arrived from Bucks County in southern Westmoreland County with the Overholt family in 1800. Peter Loucks and his wife, Anna Overholt, bought 160 acres in 1801, covering much of the area that is now Scottdale. In 1825, this farmland was inherited by the youngest son, Martin. The land was deeded to his two sons, Peter S. and Jacob S. Loucks in 1868. A dirt lane, now Pittsburgh Street, was the dividing line; Peter S. received property north of Pittsburgh Street and Jacob S. the property lying south. Anticipating prosperity with the coming of the railroads, Peter and Jacob Loucks laid out and sold 24 lots on their land in 1872. Both brothers' farmsteads exist today within the borough boundaries. Peter Loucks' house on North Chestnut has undergone considerable change and lies outside of the historic district boundaries. Jacob Loucks' home, built in 1853, lies at the southern edge within the historic district at 115 Walnut Street and retains the vernacular form and characteristics typical of the mid nineteenth century. The property retains the spring house and wash house.
Coal mining and iron manufacturing occurred in the region only on a small scale during the early to mid nineteenth century due to the lack of an economical means of transportation. Coal was discovered and used in the Connellsville Coal Region during the early settlement period of the late 18th and early 19th century, sometimes used in milling and distilling processes. Scottdale lies in the middle of this coal region. Iron ore was mined from the Chestnut Ridge area a few miles east of Scottdale. This iron was used in the early furnaces, such as Mt. Vernon and Plumsock owned by Isaac Meason who also owned land around Scottdale. In 1817, Meason used rick coke in the Plumsock furnace for the first time. It was in the 1840s that the coking process began to develop. James Cochran from Dawson, in partnership with Solomon Keister, one of the early Mennonite settlers of Scottdale, made the first shipment of coke from the Connellsville area. Their partnership lasted until 1883. By the 1860s, railroads were expanding and coke was becoming a major industry. In 1871, the B&O Railroad completed a line to Mount Pleasant, and in 1873, the Pennsylvania Railroad opened their branch, the South West Pennsylvania Railroad, into Fountain Mills. This provided an outlet for the rich coal deposits of the Connellsville Coal Seam which surrounds Scottdale. More lots than the original 24 sold by the Loucks were in demand by 1873, necessitating laying out the town. The town was laid out by Julius Shipley from Uniontown (75 Years of Progress). The arrival of the railroads sparked the development of the community of Scottdale and by February of 1874, the borough of Scottdale was incorporated and named in honor of the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Thomas A. Scott.
Scottdale now had all the right ingredients for industries to develop and flourish; proximity to the raw resources and transportation. Scottdale became home to several coal and coke companies. By the end of the nineteenth century, it was said that there were 3,000 coke ovens within sight of Scottdale and 18,000 in the region ("Historical Souvenir," 1899). The most notable coke company in Scottdale was the H. C. Frick Coke Company. Frick was born just north of Scottdale at West Overton, his maternal grandparent's home. In 1871, Prick purchased an interest in his cousin's, Albert O.Tintsman, coke operation. During the Panic of 1873, Frick borrowed money and started buying out coal and coke operations that were in financial difficulties. In 1874, the company was named H. C. Frick and Company and continued to grow. A partnership was formed with Thomas and Andrew Carnegie creating the H. C. Frick Coke Company in 1882 to supply Carnegie Steel with most of its coke. This company became the largest coke company in the country, owning over one-third of all coke ovens. In 1899, H. C. Frick severed business relations with the Carnegies, leaving the Frick Coke Company a subsidiary of Carnegie Steel. The H. C. Frick Coke Company was absorbed as a part of the merger that formed United States Steel in 1903. The H. C. Frick Coke Company continued to grow through the early twentieth century and subsequently declined with the decline of the coal industry in general.
Frick built the first office building in Scottdale for his company in 1878 on Broadway Street near Walnut Street. Prior to that, the offices were located on the second floor of the Peter Campbell Building, now the Eagles Lodge at 22 South Broadway Street at Market Street. In 1906, the Frick Company constructed another building at the corner of Broadway and Walnut Streets, next to the first, for engineering and drafting offices. The H.C. Frick Coke Company remained in Scottdale until the early 1940s when they relocated to Uniontown. The Seaman Wholesale Tobacco and Confection Company now owns the Frick office buildings.
Other coal companies also had offices in Scottdale. The Byrne Building at 113 and 115 Pittsburgh Street housed the Byrne Coal Company offices on the upper floors. The First National Bank at 157 Pittsburgh Street, now Integra Bank, housed the Keister Coal Company. This operation included the East Fayette Coal Company near Ohiopyle, Woodland Coal Company, Captevia, West Virginia, and Lincoln Coal and Coke Company in Keisterville. The Keister family was among the early Mennonite settlers in the area. In the 1840s, as noted above, Solomon Keister became one of the earliest coal and coke operators in the region. The Keister family continued the industry into the 1960s.
Because Scottdale was centrally located in the Connellsville Coal Region and near iron deposits, iron and steel industries found it convenient to locate there. The land east of the intersection of Broadway and Pittsburgh Street and west of Jacob's Creek, in the historic district, was the home of several foundries and mills. The South West Pennsylvania Railroad's tracks paralleled Broadway Street, past the mills. The railroad station was located at the corner of Pittsburgh and Broadway Streets, now occupied by a Sheetz convenience store. In 1872, W. A. Keifer, owner of Fountain Mill and distillery, Peter S. Loucks, and Jacob S. Loucks sold some of their land in Fountain Mill, along the west side of Jacob's Creek, to Everson, Macrum and Company who constructed the Charlotte Furnace and Rolling Mill. Iron for this mill came from the Mt. Vernon ore mine and was brought to the mill on a narrow gauge railroad. The coal was mined on the hill across Jacob's Creek from the mill, coked in ovens directly below the mine, and transferred by an inclined trestle. A group of citizens from Scottdale purchased the rolling mill in 1887 after Everson, Macrum and Company experienced financial difficulties. The new company was named Scottdale Iron and Steel. American Sheet and Tin Plate Division of United States Steel bought Scottdale Iron and Steel in 1900. This plant operated until some time during the Depression. In 1938, the R. E. Uptegraff Company, manufacturers of transformers, bought and expanded the plant. This company maintains their operations in Scottdale today.
Everson, Macrum and Company sold Charlotte Furnace to Nimick and Company of Cleveland after only a few years in operation. Charlotte Furnace became a part of the National Foundry and Pipe Works, Ltd. in 1894. This company was founded in 1885 by some of Scottdale's leading citizens including Peter Campbell, Peter Loucks, and A. C. Overholt. The plant was leased to Corrigan, McKinney and Company for five years. In 1899 the plant was sold to the United States Cast Iron Pipe and Foundry Company. The company was said to be the largest of its kind in the country (Scottdale 100 Years, p. 21). Like the American Sheet and Tin Plate Division, the Depression caused the pipe plant to close. The Duraloy Company bought the plant in 1937 after fire destroyed their West Virginia plant. Duraloy Company are manufacturers of heat and corrosion resistant alloy castings and tooling for seamless tubing. Duraloy Technologies, as they are called today, continues to operate this plant as a subsidiary of Park Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio. Other iron and steel industries found homes in and around Scottdale, although these were not located within the historic district.
In the late 19th century, Scottdale became the largest manufacturing town in Westmoreland County. By 1884 the population had grown to 2,500. In 1897, the population was around 5,000 and by 1908 it was approximately 8,000 (Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps). These figures do not include the surrounding communities of Everson and Keifertown, which lie just across Jacob's Creek in Fayette County. Today, Scottdale has a population of approximately 5,100. As the center of industrial activity in the region and home of the workers for these industries, Scottdale also became the commercial center, providing goods and services to the region's population. Pittsburgh and Broadway Streets became the focus of commercial activities. The buildings along the south side of Pittsburgh Street reflect the prosperity of the businesses during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The buildings on the north side of Pittsburgh Street from Broadway to Spring Street were demolished in the 1970s. Unlike many towns in southwestern Pennsylvania, Scottdale has very few empty store fronts in its commercial area. Pittsburgh Street remains commercially active in spite of the mall developments approximately two miles north of the borough at the Route 119 interchange.
At the turn of the century, Scottdale was experiencing significant prosperity. Four banking institutions conducted business along Pittsburgh Street. The first established the Scottdale Bank, founded in 1882 by J. R. Stauffer, President, Peter S. Loucks, Vice President, and John M. Stauffer, Cashier. In addition to this bank, three other banks served the needs of the community, the First National Bank, the Broadway National Bank, and the Scottdale Savings and Trust. Only one of these banks remains in business today, the Scottdale Savings and Trust. Several brothers of the Keister family were original stockholders in the bank along with A.W. and Richard K. Mellon. The original home of the Scottdale Savings and Trust was at 163 Pittsburgh Street. This building, a contributing building in the historic district, still stands in excellent integrity. It currently contains a shop owned by the Scottdale Women's Garden Club. The Scottdale Savings and Trust constructed a new building in the mall, outside the historic district, on the north side of Pittsburgh Street. The First National Bank, also a contributing building in the historic district, stands next door to the Scottdale Savings and Trust, at 157 Pittsburgh Street and is now owned by Integra Bank. The Scottdale Bank and the Broadway National Bank buildings are no longer extant.
There were several large hotels in Scottdale located close to the railroad tracks. Among them were the Central Hotel located on Pittsburgh Street, the Kromer House, Brunswick, and Hotel Warheit located on Bridge Street, the Hill House located on Pittsburgh Street across from the Central Hotel, and the Geyer House located on Broadway Street, all within a block of each other. The Central Hotel, a contributing building in the historic district at 125 Pittsburgh Street, is the only hotel remaining in Scottdale.
Scottdale had two theaters, the Arcade and the Strand. The Arcade Theater (ca. 1908) no longer stands, having been demolished for the redevelopment project that created the small parklet and mall on the north side of Pittsburgh Street from Broadway Street to Spring Street. The Strand at 111 Pittsburgh Street, currently called Showtime, is a contributing building in the historic district. It was originally the Geyer Opera House (ca. 1900) and now is used for local productions. The entrance is a narrow, deeply inset doorway on Pittsburgh Street that leads to the auditorium located on the back alley paralleling Pittsburgh Street to the south. Prior to the Geyer Opera House, Scottdale had the Central Opera House, no longer extant, also located on the alley behind the stores along Pittsburgh Street.
Scottdale's commercial prosperity is evident in the number of department stores the town supported such as Reids Department Store, Woolworth's 5 & 10 Store, Miller's Department Store, Isaac Brown's Department Sons Department Store, J.S. Parker & Son's Department Store, and McCrory's 5 & 10 Store. The first McCrory's store, a chain of 5 & 10 stores in the region, was founded in Scottdale in 1889, but its original building does not survive. The Brennen Building, a contributing building at 117-123 Pittsburgh Street, housed the Woolworth's 5 & 10 Store where Tartal's Restaurant is today. Miller's Department Store building is now Nesser's Store. Miller's conducted business at this location for nearly 80 years and little alteration to the building has occurred.
Other businesses include the Loucks Hardware Store at 143 Pittsburgh Street, which closed within the last 25 years having operated for over 100 years. Now "Collections by Marty," the building, contributing to the historic district, retains excellent integrity. Members of the Loucks family were involved in many enterprises in the community such as banking, as mentioned above, milling, and the steel industry, also mentioned earlier in this narrative. Small specialty shops fill the storefronts along Pittsburgh Street today, replacing like businesses through the years such as small grocery stores, cleaners, shoe shops, clothing stores, and barber shops.
The architectural significance in the Scottdale Historic District lies in the presence of typical construction, workmanship, and styles during the significant period of 1873 to ca.1950. The prosperity experienced in Scottdale from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth century is reflected in its many high style commercial, institutional, and residential buildings found in the historic district. The vernacular architecture found in the historic district is also significant illustrating the typical construction practices and workmanship of the prosperous years of Scottdale.
Such architectural styles as Queen Anne, Second Empire, and Colonial and other Revival styles were most popular during this period. Elaborate examples of these styles are found mostly on the houses of Scottdale's leading citizens, buildings housing successful businesses, and churches. The Calvin United Presbyterian Church at the corner of North Chestnut and Mulberry Streets, constructed in 1898, and the Methodist Church on Mulberry Street, erected in 1881, reflect the Romanesque Revival style. The First Baptist Church (1906) on North Chestnut Street and the Christ United Methodist Church (1916) on Market Street at Stoner Street are excellent examples of the Late Gothic Revival style. The Scottdale Savings and Trust reflects the prosperity of Scottdale in its substantial building designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style with a rusticated stone first floor and two storied arched window surrounds on the second and third floors. The building at 203 Pittsburgh Street that now houses the DeMuth Flowers is a fine example of a Romanesque Revival style commercial building with a gabled parapet and small turrets as well as round arched windows and blind arcades. This building originally contained a shoe store, lawyer's offices, and a photographer's studio.
The leading citizens of Scottdale conveyed their position and wealth in the design of their homes located primarily along Loucks, Arthur, and North Chestnut Streets within the Scottdale Historic District. Members of the Stauffer and Keister families, early settlers, bankers and industrialists, constructed several houses in Scottdale. J.R. Stauffer resided at 201 North Chestnut Street in a Second Empire house. W. F. Stauffer lived at 602 Loucks Street, a Colonial Revival building, and A.K. Stauffer built his Queen Anne style home at 701 Loucks Street. This house was later the home of Walter Glasgow, Secretary of Mines under Governor Pinchot. F. O. Keister lived at 514 Arthur Street in a simple Colonial Revival house. At 907 Loucks Street stands an elaborate Queen Anne style house belonging to the owner of one of the large department stores. Another local department store owner, E. H. Reid, constructed a large stone Classical Revival style house at 115 North Chestnut Street. Another Colonial Revival style example is located at 409 Arthur Street, constructed for W. H. Clingerman, the general superintendent for the H. C. Frick Coke Company. The Jacob S. Loucks house at 115 Walnut Street is an excellent example of a mid nineteenth century vernacular farmhouse with Greek Revival style features.
At 804 Arthur Avenue stands a Lustron house built in the ca.1950. Constructed of porcelain enameled steel sheets, ready to assemble and numbered, this house is a rare example of a particular building type, and is included in the historic district as a contributing building. The Lustron Corporation manufactured just under 2,500 of these prefabricated houses between 1946 and 1950 in response to the demand for housing after World War II. The company constructed a prototype in 1946 and developed an assembly-line plant in 1947. By 1950, financial problems forced the closure of the company.
Scottdale is unique when compared to most towns in Westmoreland County or the region. It is not a single company town like the numerous coal and coke patch towns such as Slickville. Unlike the coal patch towns, Scottdale has a significant commercial district, and a several industries. Unlike Greensburg, it is not a county seat. Yet Scottdale is similar to Greensburg for its dynamic banking and commercial activities. The number of industrial concerns in Scottdale is not found in any other town of similar size in Westmoreland County. Connellsville in Fayette County, although larger, was also an important banking and commercial center in the Connellsville Coal Region but did not have the iron and steel manufacturing facilities like Scottdale. The architecture in Scottdale compares favorably with Connellsville and Greensburg, though Scottdale is smaller. All contain the typical building practices and styles of the late nineteenth century to early twentieth century when the expansion of the railroads and the coal industry created a booming economy.
The Scottdale Historic District contains a cohesive collection of buildings that reflect the industrial, commercial, and architectural significance of the community. As the center of the Connellsville Coal and Coke Region, Scottdale was advantageously situated to attract industry once the railroads finally arrived. Scottdale retains many of its industrial related buildings, most of which are still in use. Because of the abundant industrial activity in the area, Scottdale also became a commercial center, supplying the needs of residents as well as the surrounding communities. This commercial prosperity is evident in the substantial buildings on Pittsburgh Street. The prosperity of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century is also reflected in the architecture of the residential neighborhood included in the historic district. This residential area included the homes of some of the most influential citizens in Scottdale. The Scottdale Historic District retains excellent integrity and is able to tell the important history of the community through its historic resources.