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Altoona Alliance Church (First United Presbyterian Church)

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First United Presbyterian Church
1897–1898, William J. East; 1926 addition, George Espie Savage. 1314 12th St.
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

The First United Presbyterian Church is a handsomely proportioned stone corner church. Its Richardsonian Romanesque design has a large, square central tower crowned with a pyramidal roof rising ninety feet above the crossing and pierced by eyebrow dormers. Architect William J. East (1865–1936), who trained in the offices of Charles Bartberger of Pittsburgh, designed over 150 churches in the region, and ultimately moved to North Carolina, where he continued to specialize in ecclesiastical architecture. He used sandstone from Scalp Level in southern Cambria County for the exterior of this church. The windows throughout were designed by Rudy Brothers of Pittsburgh. The cruciform-shaped church has interior furnishings of red oak. In 1926, a three-story addition containing a gymnasium, meeting rooms, and classrooms was designed by the Scottish-born George Savage, who designed dozens of churches in a career spanning the years 1897 to 1929.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Altoona Alliance Church (First United Presbyterian Church)", [Altoona, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 329-330.

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