About Preservation Williamsport

Preservation Williamsport is dedicated to preserving and protecting Williamsport’s architectural heritage.

In recent years the Millionaires Row Historic District has seen a significant increase in the interest to preserve and restore this historically sensitive area.  It is now a National Register Historic District. 

A long range plan for the Millionaires Row Historic District was completed in 1989 with personal participation by members and funding by the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, the First Community Foundation Partnership of PA and the Rotary Club of Williamsport.  Large amounts of private money have been invested in returning former mansions which had become “boarding houses” back to private residences and professional offices. Park Place is a dramatic example of adaptive reuse while preserving architectural heritage.

With the expansion of Pennsylvania College of Technology, the Maynard Street corridor, the Streetscape Project and the new Transportation Museum, the surrounding neighborhoods are benefiting as the area transitions into a tourist destination.

The mission of Preservation Williamsport is to restore and preserve Williamsports rich architectural heritage, and to educate the public about the importance of preservation. The acquisition of the Rowley House was a natural adjunct.

Historic preservation provides a community with a sense of place, connecting people to their neighbors and their past. With the addition of the Rowley House Museum visitors to the area will be able to discover not only names and street addresses of the industrious generations who came before us but they will now be able to experience first hand how these millionaires lived and worked. They may view an authentic and vivid time slot of history, with original amenities still intact nearly 130 years later.

Preservation of Williamsport Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 and incorporated in 1990 when a group of preservation-minded citizens saw the need for an organization dedicated to protecting Williamsport’s rich, but endangered, historic heritage.

In 2004, a board of 10 members formed to pursue the acquisition of the Rowley House. Officers were elected and funding sources were sought. With a $75,000 grant from the First Community Foundation Partnership of PA and a large private donation from Allen and Kay Ertel, Preservation Williamsport was able to acquire the Rowley House.  All avenues to secure funds to pay for the building and to perform repairs and restoration work are being targeted. Annual membership solicitations and various fundraisers have been conducted regularly.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like additional information.
Preservation Williamsport
(Preservation of Williamsport Foundation, Inc.)
960 West Third Street
Williamsport, PA 17701

Learn more about Park Place’s history, present and future by clicking here >>> 

 

Rowley House Museum

Rowley House MuseumPreservation Williamsport is governed and operated exclusively by community volunteers. All fundraising activities are organized by its volunteer board of directors and implemented with the assistance of other volunteers from its membership.

PW has formed various committees to oversee its activities.  They include: the “Millionaires Row” committee, which focuses on projects to enhance West Fourth Street, such as providing period benches along the street; the Victorian Christmas committee, which annually stages a tour of historic and architecturally significant homes to raise funds for providing holiday decorations and hanging flower baskets along “the Row;” and fundraising committees. PW has held annual membership campaigns and has solicited and received financial support from various sources for specific programs and capital improvement needs. These include the Allen Ertel Family, Nassberg Family, Lycoming County Visitors Bureau, First Community Foundation Partnership of PA, Park Home, PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development, City of Williamsport, M & T Bank, Susquehanna Bank, Woodlands Bank and scores of individual donors.

Interested in Volunteering? Click here for more information

People Behind the Renaissance

Photo courtesy of Terry Wild

“I feel fortunate to own one of these homes. I dreamed of it when I was a little girl walking past on my way home from school.” Rose has lived at 726 West Third Street for more than 30 years. It was built in 1888 by William Hart and is Simplified Queen Anne style.

Rose Rizzo


Photo courtesy of Terry Wild

“The thing I like about the Historic District is that the workmanship that was performed 130 years ago with hand tools is still surviving. It’s a challenge to duplicate it even with today’s modern tools. This is a heritage that needs to be preserved. But who’s going to do my copper work?”

Nina & Eric Cheetham


Photo courtesy of Terry Wild

“I think these are the most interesting houses in the city. I’m glad to be a part of the neighborhood.” This home was designed by Eber Culver for Hiram Rhodes. It is a Queen Anne style Victorian with porches, gables and a unique red slate roof.

Marcia Miele & Bob Elion 

Photo courtesy of Terry Wild

“Why would anybody want to tear down these buildings? Where else would we find such a nice place to live? People need to respect our past.” The Porter house, built in 1877, is Italianate style designed by Amos Wagner.

Zachary Porter, age 13
Debi, Jeff and Zachary Porter


Photo courtesy of Terry Wild

“One of my life’s goals was to fix up one of the neglected houses in the Historic District. I can’t afford to do a lot of the needed repairs all at once so I work on it a little at a time. The satisfaction of seeing the house become the “Jewel I knew it could be makes all the time, sweat and hard work worth it. I’m glad I live here!”

Diane Franklin


Photo courtesy of Terry Wild

“I just have one thing to say about the Historic District: I wouldn’t want to live anyplace else.” Sara-Ann Briggs ad Eric Tallman both lived in the renovated apartments at 918 West Fourth Street, built in the early 1870s for G. Bedell Moore in the Victorian Italianate style. The house features stunning stained glass and ornate wainscoting.

Sara-Ann Briggs

 

Preservation Williamsport is a member-supported, not-for-profit, 501 (C) (3)
organization dedicated to preserving the architectural integrity of Williamsport.

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