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Mutual Benefit Insurance Group (Dorris, Scott, and Snare Houses)

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Dorris, Scott, and Snare Houses
1825–2006. 4th and Penn sts.

This row of two- and three-story red brick buildings houses the insurance group founded by W. Emmert Swigart in the late 1920s, now called Mutual Benefit Insurance Group. The oldest building (1825), at 401 Penn Street, was the home of William Dorris and now has a large c. 1914 window on the facade. Next door, the central Oneida office building (1992) at 403–407 Penn Street was designed by Jeff Martinson of Easton for his architectural firm, the Martinson Group. The design continues the rhythm established in the earlier buildings by the repetition of round and segmental arches. The third building, at 409 Penn Street, now called the Insurance Building, was John Scott's town house of 1850. It was purchased in 1935 by Swigart who had architect William D. Hill trim it with eighteenth-century Philadelphia woodwork. The house built for David Snare in 1852 is at 415 Penn Street. Called the Fisher Building after a later owner, it is a two-story red brick, gable-roofed structure with a facade to match its neighbor at 409 Penn Street. Across the street (412–414 Penn Street), the Finance Building is a three-story red brick commercial building with two storefronts and a central entrance. It was built in 1900 to house a bank, but has been owned by the Swigart family since 1900. At the corner of Washington and 4th streets, the Martinson Group designed a four-story, tan and orange brick addition in 2005–2006 that features arcaded windows, terra-cotta embossed spandrels, and oversized scrolled brackets at the cornice, all of which distinguish it as well as link it to the older buildings around the corner.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Mutual Benefit Insurance Group (Dorris, Scott, and Snare Houses)", [Huntingdon, 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, 358-358.

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