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White-Brook, Inc. (Brookville Park Auditorium)

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Brookville Park Auditorium
1915–1919, H. E. Kennedy and Company, consulting architect, and attributed to Henry Hornbostel. 1 Sylvania St.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

This domed structure visible across the creek from Brookville's Main Street was built as the auditorium for the Brookville Park Association, successor to the Jefferson County Agricultural Society and Driving Park Association. Until the 1960s, the county fairgrounds were adjacent to it. Architect H. E. Kennedy of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia perched the shallow dome on a square building with chamfered corners, beautifully detailed with cream-colored brick outlining slightly recessed panels of yellow brick. Restrained classical ornament, an oval-shaped entrance pavilion lined with circular windows, and a series of arched doorways continues the elegance of the original auditorium entrance, now obscured by a one-story shed-roofed addition. At the time of its construction, Kennedy was working with Henry Hornbostel on the Liberty Theater (demolished) in Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood. Many of the features of this former auditorium are reminiscent of Hornbostel's other work, and it is possible that Hornbostel had a hand in this design. The building is locally called the “White Elephant,” not for its coloration or styling but because even as its construction lagged, the expenses grew, leading the town to doubt whether it would ever be finished. It opened in July 1919 and was condemned for public use due to structural problems shortly thereafter; it was not even heated until 1927. Over the years, it has provided office space to public servants, the Sylvania Company, which manufactured vacuum tubes there, and two different machine shops.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "White-Brook, Inc. (Brookville Park Auditorium)", [Brookville, 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, 465-465.

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