List of the oldest buildings in Pennsylvania

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This article attempts to list the oldest extant buildings surviving in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States of America, including the oldest houses in Pennsylvania and any other surviving structures. Some dates are approximate and based upon dendochronology, architectural studies, and historical records. Sites on the list are generally from the First Period of American architecture or earlier. To be listed here a site must:

  • date from prior to 1776; or
  • be the oldest building in a county, large city, or oldest of its type (church, government building, etc.),
Lower Swedish Cabin LowerSwedishCabin.JPG Drexel Hill 1640–1650 House Possibly oldest log cabin or wooden house in Pennsylvania
Wall House Wall house front.JPG Elkins Park 1682 House Oldest house in Pennsylvania which has had continuous family residency, possibly the oldest stone house in Pennsylvania with part of the house dating to 1682
Caleb Pusey House ACalebPuseyHouse.JPG Upland 1683 House Oldest English-built house in Pennsylvania. Only extant building known to have been visited by William Penn. Completed
Pont Reading Pont Reading133671pu.jpg Ardmore 1683 House
Growden Mansion BensalemPA GrowdenMansion.jpg Bensalem Township 1685 House
William Smith House William Smith House, Wrightstown PA.JPG Wrightstown 1686 House
Sign of the Bird in Hand Sign of the Bird in Hand Newtown 1686 Tavern Originally a residence, then tavern with other uses. Oldest frame house still standing in Pennsylvania. Famous as the site of the 1778 Newtown Skirmish during which Loyalists killed 5 and captured 16 to acquire cloth being manufactured for use by Washington's troops at Valley Forge. Now a private residence.
Phineas Pemberton House BristolPA PhineasPembertonHouse.jpg Bristol Township 1687 House
Wynnestay Wynnestay (cropped).jpg Wynnefield, Philadelphia 1689 House Oldest house in Philadelphia
Farmar Mill Fort Washington, Pennsylvania 1690 Mill Historic mill building. Original terminus for Skippack Pike.
Thomas Massey House MasseyHouse.JPG Broomall 1696, later additions House One of the oldest "English" houses in Pennsylvania, one of the oldest Quaker homes in the state
Morton Homestead MortonsenCabin.JPG Prospect Park c. 1698, later additions House Farm founded in 1654
Old Norriton Presbyterian Church Old Norriton Presbyterian Church, East Norriton PA 01.JPG East Norriton Township 1698 Religious Oldest Church in Pennsylvania
Edward Morgan Log House Morgan Log House.jpg Towamencin 1700 House Home to the maternal grandfather of Daniel Boone
Gloria Dei
(Old Swedes' Church)
Gloria Dei Church.jpg Philadelphia 1700 Religious Oldest surviving church in Philadelphia
Wolley Stille Wolley 1.JPG Wallingford 1700 House
Langhorne Hotel Langhorne HD 14.JPG Langhorne 1704 Tavern Built about 1700 by William Huddleston. The tavern was known as the “Tavern at Attleboro” which the village was called until it became Langhorne in 1876.
Brinton 1704 House Brinton 1704 House & Historic Site.jpg West Chester 1704 House One of the oldest houses in Pennsylvania. Built by a Quaker family.
Rittenhouse Homestead Rittenhouse Homestead.jpg Blue Bell Hill (near Germantown), Philadelphia 1707 House Home of William Rittenhouse, the first paper maker in British North America. Built by William Rittenhouse and his son Nicholas in 1707. 1732 birthplace of David Rittenhouse.
Old Trinity Church Trinity Church Philly HABS.jpg Oxford Circle, Philadelphia 1711 Religious Church of England services first held on this site in 1698 in a log meeting house that had belonged to the Oxford Society of Friends.
Merion Friends Meeting House Merion Friends Meeting House, 615 Montgomery Avenue (changed from Montgomery Avenue & Meetinghouse Lane), Merion Station (Montgomery County, Pennsylvania).jpg Merion Station ca. 1715 Religious One of the oldest Quaker meeting houses in America
Newtown Square Friends Meeting House Newtown Square Meeting House DelCo PA 6.jpg Newtown Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania 1711 Religious Early Welsh Quaker settlers in one of William Penn's two planned "new towns" built this meeting house in 1711.
Wyck House Wyck House, Philadelphia, HABS PA-7-3-5.jpg Germantown, Philadelphia After 1720 House Second oldest house in Philadelphia
Stenton Stenton-mansion.png Germantown 1723 House Home of James Logan, secretary of William Penn
Old Chester Courthouse 1724 Chester Courhouse.JPG Chester 1724 Government This is the oldest public building in continuous use in the United States. Served as a courthouse from 1724 until 1851, town hall until the 1960s. Now used for miscellaneous city, county and civic functions.[1]
Michael Billmeyer House Micheal Billmeyer 6505 Germantown.JPG Germantown 1730 House
Quaker Mill House Colonial Pennsylvania Brownstone.jpg Etters 1731 House One of the oldest houses in Central Pennsylvania
Bartram's Garden Bartrams-Garden-House-1.jpg Kingsessing (now Philadelphia) 1731 House The home of John Bartram (1699–1777), America's first botanist and father of William Bartram (1739–1823), himself an eminent botanist and artist.
Ephrata Cloister 2003.09.20 42 Ephrata Cloister Pennsylvania.jpg Ephrata 1732 Religious Established in 1732 by Johann Conrad Beissel, it is one of the oldest religious communities in the United States. It had the second German printing press in the American colonies which published the largest book in Colonial America, Martyrs Mirror.
Shelter House Shelter House Emmaus PA 2.JPG Emmaus 1730's House Longest site of continuous habitation in the Lehigh Valley area
Augustus Lutheran Church Augustus Lutheran Church, 717 West Main Street, Trappe (Montgomery County, Pennsylvaina).jpg Trappe 1743 Religious Oldest unchanged Lutheran church building in the United States in continuous use by the same congregation.[2][3]
Grumblethorpe Grumblethorpe Front.JPG Germantown 1744 House
Belmont Mansion (Philadelphia) WTP A11 Techserv 1.jpg Philadelphia 1745 House
Germantown White House 28-5442GTA-DeshlerMorris.jpg Germantown 1752 House Twice served as temporary residence of George Washington during his presidency.
Old Germantown Academy and Headmasters' Houses Germantown Academy HABS.jpeg Germantown 1760 School
Cliveden (Benjamin Chew House) Cliveden Mansion, Philadelphia, HABS PA-1184-88.jpg Germantown 1763 House Scene of fighting at the Battle of Germantown
Fort Pitt Blockhouse Bouquet blockhouse.JPG Pittsburgh 1764 Defense Oldest structure in Pittsburgh and one of the oldest colonial structures west of the Allegheny Mountains
Harris Cameron Mansion John Harris-Simon Cameron House Nov 10.JPG Harrisburg 1766 House One of the oldest structures in Harrisburg built right after the French and Indian War.
Concord School House (Philadelphia) 42-ConcordSchool.jpg Germantown 1775 School
The Headhouse at New Market WTP C14 AMP 1.jpg Philadelphia 1804 Firehouse Oldest firehouse in the United States
Dickson Tavern The Dickson Tavern.JPG Erie 1815 Commercial Oldest building in Erie
Academy Hall Academy Hall, Edinboro University.jpg Edinboro University 1857 Educational Oldest normal school building in Pennsylvania
Sturgis Pretzel House Sturgis Pretzel House Dec 09.jpg Lititz 1861 Commercial Oldest commercial pretzel bakery in the United States[4]
Leap-The-Dips Leap The Dips (Lakemont Park).jpg Altoona 1902 Entertainment Oldest wooden roller coaster in the United States

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1724 Court House, Chester, PA
  2. ^ "Augustus Lutheran Church". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  3. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ http://www.fieldtrip.com/pa/76264354.htm Accessed July 27, 2007