Tag: Main Street (Sharpsburg)

  • Second Empire Storefronts in Sharpsburg

    914 and 916 Main Street

    These two Second Empire storefronts could use a bit of paint, but the buildings, which probably date from the 1880s, have kept most of their decorative detail. The bricks show that the ground-floor fronts of both sides have been rebuilt, but the one at right probably looks very close to the way it looked when the building was new, and it could be a good model for restoring the one at left.

  • Old Storefronts in Sharpsburg

    814 and 816 Main Street

    Father Pitt knows nothing about this pair of storefronts other than what he can deduce from their appearance. The narrow dormers are typical of the middle nineteenth century; with their Italianate brackets and windows, these buildings look as though they were put up in the 1870s, or possibly the 1860s. On the whole they are in a very good state of preservation. Now that Sharpsburg is filling up with art galleries and breweries, perhaps they can be profitably restored.

  • Forsaith Block (and Neighbor), Sharpsburg

    Forsaith Block

    The ground floor of this building has been turned into a garage, but without losing too much of the character of the façade. The date stone tells us that the building was put up in 1889.

    Date stone reading “Forsaith Block, built A. D. 1889”

    Probably a little later, but not too much later, a building went up to the left of this one, perhaps for the same owners.

    1103–1109 Main Street

    This building appears on a 1906 map, which gives us a latest possible date. The style is somewhat different—we might call it Allegheny Valley Rundbogenstil—but the two buildings share some decorative details: the treatment of the cornice is the same, and the same flower-and-foliage ornaments (they look like a jonquil between acanthus leaves) are used on both buildings.

    Jonquil between acanthus leaves
    Round windows
  • Victorian Commercial Building in Sharpsburg

    A well-preserved specimen of Victorian architecture on Main Street in Sharpsburg. The windows have been altered, but the storefront with its inset entrance is intact, and the decorative details of the upper floors have been kept—except for what was probably art glass in the attic.

  • Two Hotels in Sharpsburg

    Lafayette Hotel

    Sharpsburg has a paucity of street names and has to double up on many of them. At the western end of the borough, Main Street splits into two Main Streets. On South Main Street we find two similar hotels from the 1890s, both in the kind of German classical-Romanesque hybrid style that old Pa Pitt has learned to call Rundbogenstil. “Hotel” meant “neighborhood bar with rooms for rent”; such hotels popped up in neighborhoods everywhere in our area, because it was much easier to get a liquor license for a hotel than for a bar.

    First, the Lafayette Hotel (probably not its original name), which not only still has a lively and beloved bar on the ground floor, but even still has rooms for rent.

    96 on the date stone

    The date stone: built in 1896.

    H in a decoration

    This probably tells us the initial of the original name of the hotel.

    Stained glass

    An oval stained-glass window.

    A block away, we have the Sharpsburger Hotel, now apartments.

    Sharpsburger hotel
    1893 on the date stone

    Built in 1893.

    Fourth St. street sign on the side of the building

    A bit of Romanesque carved foliage and a street sign that probably dates from the 1890s. Old Pa Pitt is collecting old street signs on the sides of buildings, by the way, which was the usual place for them in the 1800s. Both these hotels retain their corner signs.

    Sharpsburger Hotel
  • No. 1 Firehouse, Sharpsburg


    An old firehouse converted to a commercial building on Main Street in Sharpsburg. It still has its bell.

    No. 1 Firehouse
    No. 1 Firehouse, Sharpsburg
    Sharpsburg reflected

    Sharpsburg, including St. Mary’s Church, reflected in the windows.

  • Bell Telephone Exchange, Sharpsburg

    Bell Telephone exchange in Sharpsburg

    As Father Pitt has remarked before, telephone exchanges were designed to be ornaments to their neighborhoods, and the Renaissance-palace style was one of the most popular forms for them. This one is on Main Street in Sharpsburg, and it preserves its Renaissance dignity under the ownership of the successor to the Bell System.

    Bell System
    Corner view

    This blank wall on the western end of the building shows two different colors of bricks, suggesting that the building was originally one storey, with the second storey added later. That would explain the cornice at the first-floor level.