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City Hall/Municipal Building - New Castle PA

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The old City Hall building (at center), at the corner of East Washington Street and Pittsburg Street (now East Street), is decorated for the 4th of July celebration in 1910. The original City Hall building at this site was destroyed by fire while it was under construction in 1876. This structure, designed by architect Edwin M. Butz, was subsequently built and served as the municipal building for over seventy years. Full Size


This photo is eerily similar to the one above but is dated as July 4, 1915. As far as I can determine efforts to replace this antiquated City Hall building were under consideration as far back as 1914. The movement for a new building began in earnest in the early 1930’s, but it took years to work through the political wrangling. Definitive planning got underway when a plot of land was purchased for $30,000 in mid-1946 at the corner of Jefferson and East Grant Streets. The property was the former residence of Samuel W. Dana (1828-1921) and then his son Richard F. Dana (1871-1946), longtime and distinquished attorneys in the city. Full Size


Dismantling of the former Dana home and a barn on this Jefferson Street site began in September 1946 and plans were slowly formulated over the next two years. Construction of the new L-shaped Municipal Building (pictured above), designed by the firm of Eckles & Thayer, was finally underway by early 1949 and was completed about a year later. The various city offices began moving into this new building in January 1950 and a public open house was held on Wednesday, February 15, 1950. (c1950) Full Size


The first meeting of the city council held in this building took place back on Monday, February 27, 1950. (c1970) Full Size


A modern-day view of the Municipal Building along Jefferson Street at the intersection with East Grant Street. (Jul 2011)


Looking south down Jefferson Street towards the heart of the downtown area. The Union/Martin Gantz School, the first purpose-built school building in New Castle, once stood across the street (just off photo to the right) from this property. (Jul 2011)


The old City Hall building on East Washington Street was demolished in early 1970. (Jan 1970)


This photo reveals the former sites of several landmark buildings in the vicinity of the East Washington Street Bridge in downtown New Castle. (c2009)

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Comment

  1. My Father took me to see John F. Kennedy at his presidential rally in New Castle. He addressed the crowd from behind the building in the parking lot. I remember being held up so I could see him.

    John James · 10/03/2012 11:46 AM · #

  2. I attended that John F Kennedy rally and got a handshake from JFK. It was a very exciting day for New Castle and me. David E Parsons

    David Parsons · 12/25/2013 07:06 PM · #

  3. The John F Kennedy rally was held at the Robert Myers Funeral Home parking lot next to city hall Bob Myers was a good friend and neighbor and we had front row view.

    Harry Banks · 01/18/2014 09:37 PM · #