Tour of Indiana PA
This walking tour makes a short loop around the historic community of Indiana Pennsylvania.
Completed in 1888, the Old Indiana County Jail and separate, yet attached, Sheriff’s Office was the county’s fourth incarceration facility. Both buildings were designed in the Italianate style to match the Old Indiana Courthouse which is attached to the Old Jail via a second story bridge. The sheriff’s residence has the ornamentation befitting a late 19th century Victorian residence, while the jail has a more functional design. The jail and Sheriff’s House were utilized by the county until the last prisoners were transferred to a new facility in 1973. Both structures are now owned by the First Commonwealth Bank and were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Completed in 1870, the Old Indiana Courthouse served the needs of the county for a century. It was designed by local architect, James Drum, in the Second Empire Italianate style. The courthouse’s most striking exterior feature is its large, gold leaf cupola clock tower, while its interior is dominated by its second-floor courtroom with 30-foot ceiling. The Old Courthouse was taken out of service in 1970 and faced demolition shortly thereafter. However, the county reached a restoration-lease agreement with the National Bank of the Commonwealth which saved it from the wrecking ball. The Old Courthouse now houses the administrative offices of First Commonwealth Financial. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
The historic Silas M. Clark House, which houses the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County was built during the years 1869 and 1870. The three-story brick home was built in the Italian-villa architectural style and was home to teacher, lawyer, judge and politician, Silas M. Clark, from the time of its construction until his death in 1891. It was saved from demolition in the early 20th century and served as the headquarters for the local chapter of the American Red Cross from 1918 until 1930. It has been the home of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County since 1951 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Located on the campus of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), Breezedale served as the private residence for two prominent Indiana families, as a dormitory and academic building for the university and is currently home to the IUP Alumni Association and the IUP Office of Alumni and Friends. Constructed in the late 1860s by the Sutton family, it passed to the Elkin family in 1899 and then to the state in 1947. The large Victorian-Italianate structure went through a major restoration in the 1980s and its first floor is available for tours, alumni events, dinner parties and other events. Breezedale has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.
The Jimmy Stewart Museum highlights the career and life of actor Jimmy Stewart, who was also a “military hero, civic leader, family man and world citizen” (“About”). The museum offers “displays, film presentations and gallery talks” (“About”). Brief film clips can be viewed in the museum’s 1930s music theater. Located on the 3rd floor of the Indiana Public Library in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Stewart’s hometown, visitors can see original movie posters and photos dating from the 1930s onward, as well as the Stewart family hardware store site, the bronze statue of Stewart dedicated on his 75th birthday, Stewart’s vast array of awards, his favorite mementos, and the old Indiana courthouse clock (made famous by Life magazine as its back from WWII photo).