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Charles and Grace Johnson House

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1912–1914, 1929. 221 E. Moody Ave.

This house is one of dozens of large, distinctive houses built in New Castle by successful industrialists. It was constructed to Charles Johnson's specifications by Italian masons from Calabria employed at his family's limestone quarry in Hillsville. The rough-cut blue limestone house has such Mediterranean elements as a clay tile roof, deep overhangs, and extruded mortar joints, but the massing is vertical rather than horizontal. Clay tiles are common in the New Castle area, due perhaps to the local ceramics industry. Copper trim and downspouts accentuate the complex mass of the house. The interior has a centralhall plan and emphasizes the same richness of materials as the exterior, including a unique Italian pink marble library that was designed by the W. G. Eckles firm for Grace Johnson after the death of her husband. The property also includes a garden pergola to the east, several outbuildings, and a carriage house adorned with a sinuous wrought-iron external stairway.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Charles and Grace Johnson House", [New Castle, 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, 552-552.

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