Main Stair Railing

Main Stair Railing
Simple elegant railing at the main stair

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CONTEXT 101- Allegheny Arsenal and Stephen Foster

The Allegheny Arsenal, a Federal arsenal built in 1814 was the main industry when the Mowry house was built on the 100 acre farm. Cannonballs were manufactured here for the Civil War. Here are some photos of the original buildings at the Allegheny Arsenal in Lawrenceville.

Commandant's Quarters

Can you imagine if these buildings were still standing? The Allegheny Arsenal would be a National Monument. My office is located in one of the last buildings constructed in the Arsenal in 1866, and is visible in the photo of the Commandant's Quarters. It is directly behind the Quarters Building.
The houses to the left are on 39th Street, and many are still standing today.

Curly, past Director of Maintenance here at Arsenal Terminal told me that once when they were excavating on the property, they ran into a pyramid of culled cannonballs. Amazing!!

Here is a portrait of Stephen Foster, who was born in Lawrenceville in 1826, and lived here when the Carnegie Street house was new. There's a good chance Foster would have visited the Mowry House as a child.

One of his best known songs, Oh Susannah! was composed while he was still here, and every year the Lawrencville Historical Society sponsors Doo-dah Days, a celebration of Stephen Foster on the grounds of Allegheny Cemetery, where Foster and his parents are buried.

And finally, check out a photo of Carnegie Street from 1901, showing the original rowhouses built in the late 1800's.
Wait until you hear about how the farm was transformed into what we see in this photo! More maps and pictures coming.

Typical Wood frame rowhouses on Carnegie Street in 1901.
Most of these houses are unrecognizable today, and have
been covered with insul-brick, perma-stone, aluminum and vinyl siding.
There's something really nice about the uniformity of scale, material,
and building elements, i.e. doorways and dormers .

And how about the belgian block street? WOW


  1. This is fascinating! I live on 40th Street and spend a lot of time walking around Lawrenceville and wondering about the past. Thanks for putting these amazing pictures up.

  2. It's a fascinating neighborhood, isn't it? Thanks for your comment.
    Check back for more.

  3. Keith, do you know which intersection, and in which direction this is pointing. If I had to guess, I'd say McCandless, facing toward town, but it's hard to tell. I'd sell a limb for a photo of my place (built 1879, according to Carol P.), but it doesn't appear to be in this shot ...

  4. Josh- I think you are right about the placement of this photo. I've also been looking for photos of our block but so far, none! I did hear that there may be some photos of a wedding at the Slovenian Club (our house), and if I get them, I'll post them here.