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Downtown Sunbury

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c. 1880–c. 1930. Bounded roughly by Front, N. 5th, Arch, and Chestnut sts.
  • City Hotel (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • First Presbyterian Church (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • Reading Railroad Station (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • First Evangelical Church (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • Squeeze In (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • Zion Lutheran Church (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

Downtown Sunbury contains a wealth of pre–Great Depression buildings including some that played a role in the beginnings of Thomas Edison's electrification of the nation. In 1883, Edison lighted the post–Civil War, Italianate City Hotel (1914 rebuilt after a fire, E. J. Drumheller; 401 Market Street), since renamed for Edison, the First Presbyterian Church (238 Market Street), and the Reading Railroad Station (c. 1880, Frank Furness; 159 S. 2nd Street). Other impressive buildings include the Albright United Methodist Church (1927, J. C. Fulton; 5th and Chestnut streets), a monumental Beaux-Arts design for the First Evangelical Church congregation. The values of downtown real estate are evident in the locally famous “Squeeze-In,” a tiny restaurant (1945; 448½ Market Street) squeezed in an alley between two earlier buildings. At 5th and Market streets, Zion Lutheran Church (1921) attests to the core German population of the region in its Perpendicular Gothic facade by Reading architects Richter-Lee.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Downtown Sunbury", [Milton, 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, 397-397.

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