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Historic District

The National Historic Landmark properties within the City of Coatesville are along South First Avenue, Route 82 and Lincoln Highway.The properties includes several residential and office buildings.Maps of the Historical places within the City of Coatesville are available at National Register of Historic Places.

Following are the properties which are shown on the maps of the National Register of Historical Places listed within the City limits of the City of Coatesville.

Brandywine Mansion

One of Coatesville’s oldest buildings and perhaps it most historic.

The blue and gold marker was placed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 1985 commemorating Lukens’ 175th Anniversary.

The earliest portion was built in the mid 1700’s by the Fleming Family, early owners of record of land in what is now Coatesville. The property was purchased by Moses Coates in 1787. Coates, for whom the City is named, built the larger section of the house to the west. Farmer, inventor and the area’s first postmaster, Coates is believed to have entertained President George Washington here as he passed through this area to Philadelphia in October, 1794.

In 1810 Coates sold the property to his son-on-law, Jesse Kersey and Kersey’s partner Isaac Pennock. A saw mill on the property was converted to an ironworks under Pennock’s direction and called the Brandywine Iron Works & Nail Factory. This fledgling business was the beginning of Lukens Steel Company.

In 1813, Pennock’s daughter, Rebecca Webb Pennock married Dr. Charles Lukens, who joined his father-in-law in the iron business. Charles and Rebecca Lukens moved into this house about 1816, as Dr. Lukens assumed management of the young mill. It was Dr. Lukens who began the company’s manufacturing of boiler place, about 1818.

Following his untimely death in 1825, his widow Rebecca assumed management of the mill, despite family opposition and a multitude of problems. She proved to be a most capable businesswoman and achieved much success, becoming in the process, Coatesville’s most celebrated historic figure. She lived in the Brandywine Mansion until her death in 1854 at age 60.

The larger commercial section was added in the early 1920’s for the Lukens Employees Store, which remained in operation until 1992. The property is now owned by Bethlehem Steel Corporation.

Clock Tower Building

Clock Tower BuildingIn 1889 a group of men rallied together for the purpose of organizing a new community bank and after receiving their charter, the National Bank of Coatesville opened for business on March 13, 1889 at 204 East Lincoln Highway. By 1907, the National Bank of Coatesville had grown so significantly that a larger building was constructed and completed in 1909.

This brick and limestone, four story, three bay building was of eclectic architecture. One of its most interesting features was the clock tower which over the years faithfully informed thousands of people of the time. In 1920, care of the clock was placed in the hands of Charles Trunk, a local jeweler. His son, Calvin, eventually assumed his responsibilities. The Trunks wound the clock daily with a crank until it was converted to electricity in 1946.

Some interesting features of this building are the Greek Key, the Garlands of Fruit and the Lions Heads. Watson and Huckel were the architects and the building is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

Graystone Mansion

Graystone MansionGraystone Mansion was built in 1889 by Abram Francis Huston, son of Dr. Charles and Isabella Huston and the grandson of Rebecca Lukens. A. F. Huston succeeded his father as president of Lukens Iron and Steel Company in 1897.

Graystone is Coatesville’s most architecturally significant residence. Philadelphia architects Cope & Stewardson designed Graystone and its matching carriage house, employing the Collegiate Gothic Style of architecture for which the firm is famous. The mansion’s stately exterior of stone and slate is complemented by an equally handsome interior that includes fine wood beams, carved panels and decorative mantels. A spacious lawn studded with specimen trees provides an appropriate setting for this architectural gem.

Abram Huston died in 1930 and his widow sold the property to the City of Coatesville in 1938. From 1939 until 1992, Graystone functioned as the City Hall office building. The city built a new facility in 1992 and the mansion is now owned by the Graystone Society, which is working towards its restoration as an historic house museum and civic center.

Historical Highbridge

Historical HighbridgeAs a young woman, Rebecca Lukens predicted a High Bridge would one day carry a rail line over the valley. She lived to see it accomplished.

The gorge was first crossed in 1834 by the Philadelphia-Columbia Railroad. Constructed of stone and timber, the first bridge lasted until 1867 when it was replaced with a cast iron bridge. It was partially rebuilt with wrought iron in 1883 and replaced entirely in 1891 when increased traffic and heavier loads had to be accommodated.

Excavations for a new bridge began in November 1902 and it was completed in January 1904. The bridge is 934 feet long with an overall length of 1,287 feet, 52 feet wide and stands 72 feet above the West Branch of the Brandywine River. It did not represent the latest engineering technology of the day and was criticized as being retrogressive and extravagant. However, the management of the Pennsylvania Railroad believed in building for eternity.
Time has proven their judgments correct. The bridge has been in service for almost a century.

It is a superb combination of utility, grace and grandeur and earned official landmark designation in the Pennsylvania and National Historic Registers.

Lukens Headquarters

Lukens HeadquartersAddressing the needs of a growing business, the directors of Lukens Iron and Steel Company voted in 1900 to construct a new office building. Groundbreaking occurred in the spring of 1902 with completion in the fall of 1903.
Cope & Stewardson, the architects for Graystone Mansion were retained for this project. The Main Office is in Georgian Revival style and blends Flemish bond brick work with limestone trim, slate roofing and classical wooden cornices. The original building was T-shaped but became an “H” when an addition by Stewardson & Page was placed on the west side in 1916. The highlight of the office’s interior is its meticulously crafted lobby featuring a grand staircase and natural finish, quarter sawn oak woodwork.

Terracina

TerracinaOf the six children of Charles and Rebecca Lukens, only two lived to mature adult years – two daughters, Martha and Isabella. Terracina was built by Rebecca Lukens in 1850-51 for her daughter Isabella and son-in-law, Dr. Charles Huston.
Dr. Huston came into the family with his marriage to Isabella Lukens in 1848 and eventually became a partner in the Lukens Iron business. The Huston’s made Terracina their home until their deaths in the late 19th Century. The house is distinguished for its country gothic style of architecture. Typical of this styling are the high peaked roof, the tall finials on the four peaks, the lancet windows on the third floor and the leaf like patter of the overhanging “gingerbread” eaves. The large porch, known to Victorians as “piazza”, is duplicated on the north side of the house. The lattice work is wood, not cast iron and largely original. During its 148 year history, Terracina has had only minor changes and remains largely intact. It has been the objective of the Graystone Society which now owns the property to restore the house to its 19th Century appearances. Extensive restoration work in recent years has involved the replacement of the old, crumbling stucco with new stucco, duplicating the color and texture of the original. Terracina is open for public tours, conducted by the Graystone Guild, on the first Saturday of each month.

Train Station

Train StationThe Coatesville Train Station was built in 1865 and has a long history in Coatesville. Located at 3rd Avenue and Fleetwood Street, the 137 plus year old building was originally a three story building with two wings. The first and third stories were used as residences and entirely separated from the second story which was used for railroad purposes. The following are transcripts from local newspapers:

From the Coatesville Weekly Times on April 10, 1886: “The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, which is ever looking to the comfort of its patrons, has placed a lamp, which is kept burning all night at the station in this Borough. It is a great accommodation, not only to the patrons of the road, but to the public in general, and for which they deserve the thanks of the traveling community.”

From the Coatesville Record on January 6, 1938: “The first electric train to run over the new electrified system of the Pennsylvania Railroad passed through Coatesville this morning at 9:35. A train of ten multiple unit cars rushed through this City with an audience of about 200 persons gathered at the local depot. The train left Paoli and ran through to Harrisburg, making stops only where it is desired to test switches and other connections. When it went through Coatesville, it was traveling at express speed.” More recently, the City of Coatesville is pursing grants and other options to completely refurbish the historic railroad station. The City also intends to secure commercial, retail and professional businesses to lease space in this historic building.