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Norland Hall (McClure House)

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McClure House
1865, Stephen D. Button

The home of Colonel Alexander McClure, the town's firebrand newspaper publisher and ardent Lincoln supporter, was one of the targets of the southern raiders who put the torch to the town in 1864. The house was rebuilt in 1865 from plans by Philadelphia architect Button and his presence demonstrates Chambersburg's continuing connections to Philadelphia. In the 1860s, Button was allied with the Pennsylvania Railroad and active in the resort of Cape May. In a biographical sketch in American Architect and Building News (July 16, 1892) to celebrate his eightieth birthday, Button expressed a preference for classical designs rather than the Gothic with its “knifewhittled chamfers.” The former McClure house, now Norland Hall, is generally Italianate with a central tower and generous porches that reflected the mid-nineteenth-century suburban ideal. When McClure moved onto the national stage, his house was acquired by the founders of a Presbyterian women's college, who named it in honor of their first significant donor, Sarah Wilson, a resident of the area. The house contained the entire institution until its near twin, Edgar Hall, was constructed to the north in 1891, making it surely one of the last Italianate buildings to be built in eastern Pennsylvania.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Norland Hall (McClure House)", [Chambersburg, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 383-384.

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