Do you know that Downtown State College holds a treasure trove of history? Many historic gems can be found in what are probably some of your most frequented spots downtown, and they are marked with bronze plaques that share the history of the location. In honor of the recent installation of the historic plaque dedicated to our very own State Theatre, let’s take a tour of just a few of the marked places that speak to the storied past of Downtown State College. You can enjoy the beautiful weather while exploring Downtown’s history – and art!
1) The latest historic plaque was installed at the State Theatre which opened in 1938 as a movie house. After re-opening in 2006, the theatre has successfully implemented its vision to become the area’s Community Performing Arts Center. Today you can view framed cuttings of original silk wall coverings dating back to the beginnings of the movie house. Check out the website for upcoming shows featuring live music, ballet, theater, comedians, authors, local benefits and much more!
2) Leitzell Building: Leitzell Building, now home to , has quite the past. Built in 1925, it originally had large, distinct windows and was occupied by the family run business, The Athletic Store. “The A Store” was a hang-out for student-athletes and coaches. It sold textbooks, athletic supplies, and even class rings until 1970.
3) Glennland Building: This spot, located at the corner of Beaver Avenue and Pugh Street, held what was once “Pennsylvania’s Largest and Most Beautiful Indoor Pool” which was used by the Penn State Men’s Swim team as a practice facility. While the pool is gone you can still see some of the beautiful tiles lining the hallways and when you stop by the Glennland building to visit , the , , and .
4) Schlow Building: Located on College Avenue right across the street from scenic Old Main, the Schlow Building was the first apartment building with a sprinkler system in State College. The Schlow Building and has hosted a plethora of shops throughout its lifetime–its longest tenant being Schlow’s Quality Shop. Now you can get your morning bagel fix at which has called the location home for more than 20 years.
5) The Tavern: The Tavern building is located right in the heart of Downtown, at 220 E College Ave. It opened in May 1914 as the Harvey Brothers’ Bakery and became the Tavern in 1948. The restaurant has expanded six times and is home to an extensive collection of local, historical art. While you’re waiting for your meal, be sure to check out the Tavern Photo Collection which began in 1946 and is spot number 19 on the Downtown State College Art Walk. Consider grabbing a seat on the patio, which was built in 1996 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the State College Borough.