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Downtown Milford

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19th century–present. Broad and Harford sts.
  • Pinchot House

Beyond the cluster of civic buildings that makes up the north side of Broad Street are a dozen late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century buildings that complete a handsome main street. The highlight is the Pinchot House, now the community center at 201 Broad Street. At its core is an early-nineteenth-century frame Georgian house with a central door on the long side. In 1899 it was moved back from the street and given grand Ionic porticos by New York City architects Heins and LaFarge, who had recently won the competition for St. John the Divine Cathedral in Manhattan. The Pinchots gave the family house to the community as a public meeting space and library in 1923. Adjacent is another Pinchot property, the so-called Normandy Cottage, a wildly picturesque structure of c. 1903 that also was built from Heins and LaFarge plans for Amos, brother of Gifford and a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union. Most of the buildings along Broad Street date from the first resort period between 1880 and 1920 including several resort hotels. The recently restored Italianate Hotel Fauchère (401 Broad Street) was built c. 1880 for Louis Fauchère, the famous Swiss chef of Delmonico's and, legend has it, the inventor of Lobster Newburg. It attracted a remarkable clientele, from Sarah Bernhardt to the Rockefellers, and restored by Steven Harris Architects (2006) is again worth visiting. Another hotel from the same era, the Terwilliger House (409 Broad Street) was joined to the former Center Square House and renamed the Tom Quick Inn to capitalize on the notoriety of the town's favorite son. More Victorian frame hotels that give a sense of the late-nineteenth-century resort can be found toward the Delaware River.

The intersection of Harford and Broad streets forms the center of Milford with the post office ( PI8) and Foresters’ Hall ( PI7) across from the Pinchot house. Opposite is the handsome brick Dimmick House (101 E. Harford Street), one of the earliest of Milford's hotels. Built in 1856, it has Georgian proportions but with a nod in its broad fascias to Greek Revival. Harford Street was the principal residential street. Cyril Pinchot built 110 E. Harford as a rental property in 1862, in a mode similar to Andrew Jackson Downing's design No. 8, “The Suburban Cottage” in the “Italian Style.” The house at 116 E. Harford may date from the early nineteenth century, with a later Greek Revival portico. At number 201 is said to be the town's earliest surviving house, a frame structure built c. 1740 but entirely disguised by nineteenth-century additions. A national competition led to the award of the commission for Pike County's new library to New York architect Fred Schwartz in 2007. A nasty battle against contemporary design by the local preservation board has killed this project. Instead of another New York urban jewel, the town will have an empty lot.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Data

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Citation

George E. Thomas, "Downtown Milford", [Milford, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-PI9.

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, 526-527.

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