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In the late 1880’s brothers Joseph and David Pearson, formerly in the clothing business together, made plans to erect a handsome four- story office building on Pittsburg Street (later East Washington Street) at the foot of the bridge across the Neshannock Creek. Architect Sydney W. Foulke completed the plans in March 1888 and construction began sometime within the next year or so. The structure (shown above) was opened by the spring of 1891. At the time it was the tallest such building in downtown New Castle and the castle-like edifice became home to various businesses to include the Croton Limestone & Brick Company and architect Foulke. (c1903) Full Size
Among the most popular businesses to occupy the building over the years included Charles C. Robinson’s real estate company, Samuel Pearson’s fine tobacco shop, Butz Flowers, Charles T. Metzler’s camera and stationary store, and the U. S. Post Office. On November 10, 1916, wealthy businessman George W. Johnson, head of the Johnson Limestone Company, bought the building for a then-whopping $75,000. He remodeled the structure, renamed it as the Johnson Building, and subsequently occupied most of the top three floors for his company offices. (c1908) Full Size
The Pearson Block shown here a few years after it was built in 1893. (c1900)
The iconic Pearson Block, the one-time home of the U.S. Post Office in New Castle. (c1910)
In the early 1970’s the landmark building, then home to various professional offices to include attorneys and doctors, was sadly slated for demolition as part of a downtown renewal project. It was torn down in April 1973 and today the site is nothing more than a small grassy area across the Neshannock Creek from the old New Castle Dry Goods Building. (c1903) Full Size
This photo reveals the former location of the Johnson Building. (c2010)