You are here

Cornwall and Lebanon Railroad Station

-A A +A
1885, G. W. and W. D. Hewitt; 1912 addition. 161 N. 8th St.
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (Photograph by William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (Photograph by William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (Photograph by William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (Photograph by William E. Fischer, Jr.)

At first glance there is little to tie the Hewitts's flamboyant and aesthetic design to the industrial culture that paid for it. The jagged profile of the stepped Flemish gable ends and the overscaled fragments of classical ornament mark the dueling elements of Gothic and classical inherent in the Anglophile, Queen Anne style. If the dark brick and terra-cotta ornament look to historic sources, it is clear from the wheels and struts of the remarkable iron brackets that support the overhanging roofs of porches and porte-cochere that the Hewitts had learned to celebrate the industrial culture from their former partner Frank Furness. Handled with consummate grace and skill by the Hewitts, it might seem a vestige of one of Pennsylvania's great railroads. In fact, it represents the choice of Robert H. Coleman, founder in 1882 of a tiny seventeen-mile-long railroad that linked the great iron ore deposits of Cornwall to the Lebanon Iron Works with the tracks of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. Coleman, head of the nearby Cornwall Iron Works that were soon to close, had already hired the same architects to ornament his estate with an immense Gothic Revival mansion (c. 1885; 1914 demolished). The south wing was added in 1912 to house the offices of the railroad shortly before it was acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Cornwall and Lebanon Railroad Station", [Lebanon, 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, 336-337.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.