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Old Library Office Complex (U.S. Post Office)
This stone-faced Beaux-Arts-inspired office building was built for the Post Office; then after 1934, it functioned as the New Castle Library. “New Castle Public Library” remains carved above the Tuscan-columned recessed porch on the north facade. A heavy balustrade crowns the parapet, and keystone surrounds highlight each window. The building has housed offices since 1980. It is an early design by William Eckles, who founded his architectural firm in 1898 and that has been continued by his son and grandson for over a century. Eckles was the son of a carpenter, farmer, and Lawrence County commissioner. He attended Duquesne College (now University) in Pittsburgh and Cowles School of Art in Boston, then worked in Boston and Pittsburgh before returning to New Castle and opening an office. His work is primarily in the counties surrounding Allegheny, for which he designed all kinds of buildings, ultimately specializing in schools and public buildings. His son, Robert Arthur Eckles (1898–1967), studied architecture at MIT, and became a partner in his father's firm, as did Robert's son, William George II (born 1925), who trained in architecture at Carnegie Institute of Technology, graduating in 1949.
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