215 N Front St, Philipsburg, PA 16866
The Moshannon Building: PHF Museum and Research Rooms
This solid buff brick building with limestone trim occupies nearly one-half block of No. Front Street. It rose in 1917 from the ashes of the Barnes Block, built in 1891. The Barnes Block was also of brick and stone, but its interior was completely finished in North Carolina pine, providing excellent fuel for the raging fire that consumed it on February 3, 1916. Board members of the Moshannon Banking Company, which built the new Moshannon Building, were determined that no fire should ever destroy it, resulting in a very substantial interior of reinforced concrete, with wood used only for doors and windows. The Moshannon National Bank occupied the spacious quarters at the corner of Front and Pine Streets, current location of the Timberland Credit Union.
There were originally two limestone columns at the entrance to the bank, and four separate vaults inside, none of which saved the Moshannon Bank from going broke in 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression. Subsequent re-modelings have eliminated the columns, and covered with a high arch the windows that were originally facing Front Street from the third floor. The building was generously willed to the Philipsburg Historical Foundation by the late Walter M. Swoope, Jr., following his death in 2018. The Foundation maintains its museum and reading rooms on the third floor, while commercial rentals on the lower floors provide a steady income for the preservation and interpretation of Philipsburg history.