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Old Sewickley Post Office

Proof that Sewickley always went first class is the old Sewickley Post Office Building located near the Sewickley Bridge at 200 Broad Street. This Beaux Arts building, designed under the supervision of James Knox Taylor, was the pride of the Valley when it opened for business in 1912.

Plenty of persuasion was needed to interest federal postal authorities in constructing such a grand edifice in a town not heavily populated. However, Sewickley was an important stop on the Pennsylvania Railroad West. When construction began alongside the PRR station, located then on what is Ohio River Boulevard today, trains constantly whizzed by, heading to Chicago and points west. Commuter trains stopped every few minutes picking up local professionals whose offices were in Pittsburgh. The iron-and-steel barons of that great city were building their mansions on Sewickley Heights.

A set of photographs in the files of SVHS shows the progress of the limestone building and the fine workmanship that went into it. At its completion, across the entablature was carved United States of America, one of only three post offices in the country with this distinction.

Architectural features inside include a grand foyer with an elegant molded ceiling and portals of carved oak. Marble floors and wainscoting were a feature of the main rooms. The postal boxes, fashioned from brass, were so fine that today they are in the Smithsonian.

Phased out after the construction of a new Sewickley post office in 1981, the building was vacant for several years. It was acquired by the Old Sewickley Post Office Corporation with funds raised from the public and, after extensive renovation, was reopened 1987 and dedicated to use as a cultural center.

Today, the building is the headquarters of Sweetwater Center for the Arts and the Sewickley Valley Historical Society.

- B.G.Y.S.

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