Historic Structures

Haines Shoe House, York Pennsylvania

Modeled after a work boot, the house was built by shoe salesman Mahlon Haines in 1948 as a form of advertisement. His shoe business claimed it made shoes from hoof to hoof because the company began the process with raising the cattle. The house, which is 25 feet tall and contains five stories, was once rented out to couples, and is now open for public tours. It is located on Shoe House Road, next to a shoe-shaped doghouse. Haines requested the design by handing a work boot to an architect and saying, Build me a house like this. The living room is located in the toe, the kitchen is located in the heel, two bedrooms are located in the ankle, and an ice cream shop is located in the instep. There is also a stained glass panel that shows Mahlon holding a pair of shoes with a message below it that reads, Haines the Shoe Wizard. Fire escapes were added in the 1960s. Haines never lived in the shoe house but in his later years after marrying his 2nd wife he built a home across the street. The shoe house was initially made available as a weekend vacation spot for 38 elderly couples a year; the first such couple were John F. and Liza Baum of Loganville. Shoe House vacation contests were also held for a few seasons among newlyweds affiliated with Haines' shoe stores; an early winner in 1950 had all expenses paid for a week, including the service of a maid and butler, and went home with a free pair of shoes. The house was offered for rent by the public in the mid-1950s.

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Sloppy Joes Bar, Key West Florida

Only limited historical sources exist documenting the original Victoria Restaurant, which was to become the home of Sloppy Joe's Bar in 1937. During construction in 1917, a photograph was taken of workmen preparing the foundation of the restaurant. Another photo, taken during the 1920s shows a view of the restaurant at the corner of Duval and Greene streets. Although the print is somewhat fuzzy, it is possible to see that Victoria Restaurant has been painted just above the entrance to the building. The restaurant is also listed at 201 Duval Street in Key West city directory for 1917-1919, and the restaurant appears on the 1926 edition of the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Key West. Juan Farto, a native of Spain, purchased the land on which to build the Victoria Restaurant in 1917. According to Juanita Veliz, Jose Castillo, Farto's brother-in-law, served as the architect for the building. According to Farto's business card, the Victoria Restaurant was the only first class restaurant in Key West, and featured American and Spanish cooking with seafood as a specialty. During its heyday during the 1920s, the Victoria Restaurant catered to the elite residents and winter visitors on the island. Palm Beach millionaire Malcolm Meacham, who established what was to become Key West International Airport, booked many private dinner parties at the restaurant. Wealthy Cubans en route to mainland Florida via the ferry from Havana and the Overseas Railway would telegraph Farto to prepare paella, a favorite Spanish dish containing rice and seafood. It was the U.S. Navy's club for years and on Saturday nights was used for dances.

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Kenmore House, Fredericksburg Virginia

Kenmore was built as a plantation house by Fielding Lewis and his wife, Betty Washington Lewis, soon after they acquired the property in 1752. The original 863-acre plantation extended to the west of the thriving Tidewater port of Fredericksburg, Virginia, on the Rappahannock River. Kenmore is best known for its elaborate plasterwork ceilings, reputed to be the finest of their kind in America. The geometric floral designs were derived in part from Batty Langley's City and Country Builder's and Workman's Treasury of Designs (London, 1756). The Stucco Man who plastered Kenmore's ceilings also designed ceilings at Mount Vernon, the home of Betty Lewis' brother, George Washington. The symmetrical Georgian design of Kenmore is characterized by two five-bay brick facades, a half-hipped roof, end chimneys, and a modillion cornice. The river entry is distinguished by a finely executed one-story portico supported by aquia sandstone columns of the Tuscan order. Thomas T. Waterman speculates that Kenmore was designed by architect John Ariss in The Mansions of Virginia, 1703-1776 (Chapel Hill, 1946). Although little documentary evidence has been found to substantiate his claim. Although Colonel Lewis' primary business was raising grain, tobacco and flax, he helped establish the Fredericksburg gunnery for the Continental Armies in 1775. Lewis descendants sold Kenmore in 1797. During the first half of the nineteenth century, Kenmore was owned by the Samuel Gordon family, who named the house after their ancestral home in Scotland, Kenmuir. The William K. Howard family lived in Kenmore from 1881 until 1914 and restored the plaster ceilings to their original condition. In 1922, Kenmore was acquired by the newly formed Kenmore Association. The mansion and gardens were restored, flanking dependencies were reconstructed on their original sites, and the house was furnished. Now a National Historic Landmark, Kenmore is open to the public as a house museum under the direction of the Association. Kenmore was built by Fielding Lewis for his bride, Betty Washington (sister of George), after Lewis acquired the land in 1752. Its simple exterior is a perfect foil for the exquisitely lavish and rich plasterwork found on the ceilings and chimney pieces of the first floor rooms. The design of the library ceiling can be traced to a plate in Batty Langley's City and Country Builder's Treasury. Although such lavish work was by no means foreign to contemporary English stucco work, it was exceedingly fare in eighteenth century American houses. Kenmore's plasterwork decoration is considered to be among the very finest colonial work extant in the country.

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Old Beersheba Inn - Beersheba Springs Hotel, Beersheba Springs Tennessee

The long line of important names closely associated with Beersheba Springs make this one of the most interesting, if not the most interesting, settlements in the State of Tennessee. This is not to be construed as belittling the settlement in the Watauga Section of Tennessee or the Natchez Trace Section, but the difference between Beersheba and the aforementioned sections is that Beersheba is a small community whereas the Watauga Settlement and the Natchez Trace District are so large as to be made up of many group settlements and in that way we are differentiating Beersheba from other important areas. Beersheba also differs in that where the political, religious and social developments were excuted or administered or flowered in Watauga and in the Natchez Trace, it was here at Beersheba that many of those people in whose hands the society and culture and politics were placed that these men gathered and where so many of their policies were conceived. Architecturally the Old Beersheba Inn is unique in that the plan of the building group takes the shape of a large rectangular court which furnished meeting places in the open for the guests of the Inn where religious services, political speeches and open air amusements could be indulged in. This shape also formed a natural protection against the ravages of Indians and animals which were not uncommon at that time. It was in this court that Bishop Otey and Bishop Polk ministered to the Indians and the first Christian Conversion in that district was made here.

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Railroad Power Director Center - Thirtieth Street Station, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Power Directors Circuit and Switch Indicating Boards were designed to visually and aurally indicate the operating status of the railroad's power system. This particular power director center monitored and supervised operation of all switches in the railroad's power control system from North Philadelphia to Wilmington, Delaware. The power directors working at this site oversaw and continually updated the electrical status of the system. Power directors were responsible for safely de-energizing catenary segments for maintenance and repair. Most commonly, actual physical control of a switch was accomplished by a tower or substation operator responding to telephoned orders from the power director. However, some power switching was done directly by the power director. The power director recorded the position of the switch by manually actuating a corresponding indicating light on the model board. The model board and operational system that evolved represents a precomputer technology for centralized control of a electrified railroad power network. The early years of the 20th century saw the evolution of electrified railways all over the world. Electrical energy was and continues to be an effective, economical, clean and practical source of railroad traction power. Concurrent with the employment of electric power, railroad engineers developed methods of controlling and monitoring its distribution and use. For an electric railroad to work, controlled power had to be delivered to trackside in quantity. Supervision of power distribution and its regulation is the responsibility of workers designated as load dispatchers and power directors. These individuals are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the electrical equipment in the system under their control1. Power directors are responsible for coordinating power handling with train dispatchers and maintenance crews to safely allow work on the catenary and transmission system.

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Beverly Shores South Shore Railroad Station, Beverly Shores Indiana

The station was built in 1929 by Leo W. Post according to a design by Arthur U. Gerber for Samuel Insull, head of the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend Railroad (the South Shore Line). The railroad which began in 1901 as the Chicago and Indiana Air Line Railroad was reorganized and incorporated in 1925. As part of this revitalization process, the Beverly Shores station as well as several other stations (including a second station at Central Avenue in Beverly Shores) were built. Sometime before 1946 the large neon sign was added to the roof; it is currently owned by the town of Beverly Shores and leased to the South Shore Line until November 30, 2 034.3 The building itself is owned by the South Shore Line (HICTD) while the land on which it sits is owned by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) which leased the land to the South Shore Line with a 99-year lease beginning August 17, 1929. The Beverly Shores Station was closely linked to the history of the community of Beverly Shores. Beginning in 1926, real-estate developer, Frederick H. Bartlett marketed his subdivision at Beverly Shores to upwardly mobile families in Chicago's South Side. The electric railroad linked the city to the Indiana lakeshore and made it possible for people to commute to the beaches for the weekend. Prospective buyers rode the South Shore Line to Beverly Shores where Bartlett picked them up in a black Packard and showed them around the community. When the station was built in 1929, it was designed in a style closely resembling the Spanish Mission style preferred by Bartlett; he had built the town administration building and up to thirty model homes in that style using Leo W. Post as the contractor and builder.

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Bartow-Pell Mansion, Bronx New York

The history of the Bartow-Pell property goes back to 1654, when Thomas Pell purchased over 9,000 acres from the Indians, commemorated by a tree northwest of the mansion, planted on the spot where that event took place. Thomas Pell became the first Lord of the Manor of Pelham, which was named after him and confirmed by a Patent granted by Governor Nicolls on October 6, 1666. The Bartow-Pell Mansion thus stands on land which was once a part of the Manor of Pelham. The property then passed through successive generations of Pells until 1790, when John Bartow, the son of Bathsheba Pell and Theophilus Bartow, purchased a part of the property from the Pell family. From 1794 on, Herman Leroy, who had served as the first Consul General from Holland to the newly formed United States, began to purchase property in Pelham. Leroy and his brother-in-law, William Bayard, were among the largest landowners in the City, with huge holdings in western New York State. Founded in 1790, Leroy, Bayard and Company was one of the most highly respected and successful shipping firms in New York. Leroy was a director of the Bank of the United States and president of the Bank of New York. One of his daughters married Daniel Webster and a son married into the Hamilton Fish family. In 1813 Herman Leroy purchased 200 additional acres from John Bartow, a transaction witnessed by Aaron Burr, who at that time was married to a Bartow. In 1836, Robert, a grandson of John Bartow and the husband of Maria Rosina Lorillard, purchased the same 200 acres from the Leroy family. Thus, many of New York's most prominent families—Pell, Bartow, Bayard, Leroy, Fish, Lorillard and Aaron Burr--were associated with the historic Bartow-Pell property.

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Chester Electric Power Station - PECO Energy, Chester Pennsylvania

By the year 1900, commercially produced electricity had been available in large American cities for almost two decades. Using the patents of Charles Brush and Thomas Edison, early electric companies had begun to illuminate downtown streets in New York and Philadelphia during the early 1880s. Soon they faced stiff competition. Wealthy entrepreneurs, often simultaneously involved in real estate, street car and gas lighting ventures, rushed to capitalize on new technology developed by Brush and Edison, establishing small utilities that vied for territory and municipal lighting contracts. Following a pattern of consolidation set in the streetcar business, electric utility owners repeatedly joined forces during the 1880s and 1890s. In Philadelphia, The Edison Electric Light Company merged with a group of interests controlled by Martin Maloney, ending a long-standing competition in 1896. The final step toward monopoly in that city came three years later, when Maloney's Pennsylvania Manufacturing Light and Power Company united with the National Electric Company. The result of that union was the massive, New Jersey-based Philadelphia Electric Company. Like the two corporations it absorbed, Philadelphia Electric was holding company. As such, it owned controlling interest in twenty seven older companies, many of which already overlapped in their financial and managerial structures. Some of these ventures were simply smaller holding companies while others were operating companies, charged with the daily management of power plants, transmission lines and related apparatus. There were eighteen operating companies in all, presiding over as many small generation and distribution systems. From a technical standpoint, joining these disparate parts into a single, unified system was both feasible and desirable. Although the operating companies used different kinds of equipment and generated a wide variety of currents, alternating current and the universal system devised by Westinghouse made integration possible. Alternating current could travel cost-effectively over much greater distances than direct current, permitting companies to serve large territories with a single plant; rotary converters and other couplers allowed such a plant to be connected to the heterogenous older systems of any given region. Thus Philadelphia Electric began planning the construction of a massive alternating-current plant almost immediately.

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Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower, Collinsville Illinois

There is not a lot of information on the early history of the Brooks Catsup Factory. What is known is that by 1908, a plant was bought by the Brooks brothers, Everette and Elgin, who changed its name from the Collinsville Canning and Packing Company to the Triumph Pickle Company, By 1912, the brothers were the major officers of the company and changed its name once again to the Brooks Tomato Products Company. In 1925, the Brooks Tomato Products Company signed up more than 400 acres of tomatoes and 18 acres of string beans. The Collinsville Herald February 17, 1925 issue noted, that this amount of tomatoes will be more than this local plant can process. In 1927 the Suppiger Company in Belleville, Illinois, took the overflow of tomatoes from the Brooks company. Gerhart Suppiger, the company's founder, had been the Secretary and General Manager of the Brooks Company since 1914. In 1933 the Suppiger Company purchased the Brooks Company. All the canning operations were incorporated into the Collinsville factory. The Brooks label and name were retained because Brooks Catsup had been an established product since before World War I and the label was familiar to the public. The demand for Brooks Catsup grew so large that by 1940 the company built a second canning factory in Converse, Indiana. In 1941, a third canning operation was begun in Mt. Summit, Indiana. Two other plants were added to the company by 1951. In 1952 the net sales of Brook's products was $8,155,800.00.

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Crocker Art Gallery and Annex, Sacramento California

The history of the group begins in the 1850's, when B.F. Hastings, pioneer banker and businessman of Sacramento built a home at the southwest corner of 3rd and O Streets. No clear historical or graphic information has yet been traced about this residence as it was originally built; the house is traditionally dated to 1852 or 1853 (certainly after the fire of November, 1852), when the B.F. Hastings commercial building at the southwest corner of 2nd and J Streets was also rebuilt more solidly. Inference suggests that it may have been a youthful work of Seth Babson of Maine (arrived in California 1850), born 1828; he was busy in the late 1850's with the Fogus (now Stanford) house. The Hastings house was apparently quite classical (if one judges from the unrevised service wing to the west of the house, appearing in old photographs of the Hastings- Crocker house) and would accord with the New Sngland training of Babson as well as the obvious classicist, late Georgian undercurrent in his more fashionable Fogus-Stanford house of 1857-58, where the 18th century qualities are expressed in Italianising terms. Judge Edwin Bryant Crocker, brother of Charles Crocker, bought the Hastings house about 1868; a June 1st burglary is reported in the Sacramento Union of June 3rd, 1869—theft from the residence of E.B. Crocker at 3rd and O with the loss of considerable silverware and a watch— inferring that the E.B. Crockers had been well settled by this date in their new residence. (E.B. Crocker was born in New York State in 1818 and arrived in Sacramento in 1852, where he practiced the profession of lawyer begun earlier in Indiana. He was associated with the early stages of the Central Pacific Railway. During Leland Stanford's term as Governor of California—January 10, 1862 to December 9, 1863, E.B. Crocker was appointed to the State Supreme Court, following the resignation of Chief Justice Fields. After the expiration of his term of office, Judge Crocker became chief counsel of the Central Pacific, and general agent. He suffered a paralytic stroke in June 1869, and retired from active service, becoming a member of the Board of Directors). The former Hastings house was extensively revised (probably just before the Judge's stroke in June of 1869) by Seth Babson to suit the increased prosperity of the E.B. Crockers as the fortunes of the Central Pacific waxed ever greater. In 1870 the family went to Europe and Judge Crocker began the mass purchase of works of art which were finally assembled for exhibition in San Francisco in the fall of 1871. (The old master drawings were the most valuable single part of the Judge's European purchases; about one hundred are of major importance. The paintings were generally second rate works with major names, although the Judge and Mrs. Crocker later bought a few large California scenes of interest.) It was now thought advisable to build a special structure to properly show these treasures to Sacramento and/at the same time provide a new center for the ambitions of Mrs. Crocker and her daughters. Land was purchased before 1870 from several owners, to the west of the Hastings-Crocker house, creating a half block property on O between 2nd and 3rd, and reaching to an alley dividing the block at the south. Here, just about fifteen feet west of the service wing of the house (which had apparently never been revised by Babson in 1869), the Art Gallery was erected at a cost variously cited as $185,000 or $285,000 (the former seems to come from a more reliable source: the magazine Themis, unless it is typographical error there). Construction was probably begun early in 1872 and the building was completed in 1873. William Davis, a Welshman, was supervisor of construction; John Coffey (related to the infamous Michael Coffey?) is said to have designed the double stair. The art collections (seven hundred paintings and one thousand drawings) had been brought to Sacramento in April of 1873; an old photograph at the Crocker Gallery shows the collection hung in what is now the picture gallery proper, but with a temporary wooden floor, and no opening into the ballroom below—suggesting that the buiding was not quite completed when the collections arrived in the late spring of 1873, but that provision was immediately made for a temporary exhibition.

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