April 28 & 29, 2017
The Match Factory ∙ Bellefonte, PA
Please note that we are currently building our Old House Fair programming for 2017, please save the date and continue to check back for details!
The Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association (BHCA) is pleased to host the “Old House Fair” program in partnership with the American Philatelic Society and the Centre County Historical Society on Friday and Saturday, April 28-29, 2017 at the historic Match Factory, home of the American Philatelic Society in Bellefonte, PA.
About the Fair
The 2017 Old House Fair, in its second year, offers an exciting two day menu of workshops and bus facilitated tours of the Bellefonte Historic District that will kick off with banquet and internationally known authority on historic preservation, Ed McMahon. McMahon, along with over a dozen state and local experts will present programs about historic preservation and why it is good for our communities. Maintenance challenges of old houses, architectural styles, historic landscaping, and historic masonry among other topics of interest will also be available to old house enthusiasts.
What attendees found most useful in 2016:
“Inspiring for future historic preservation efforts.”
“The attention it focused on the value of old buildings.”
“It would be great to make it an annual event! So many topics to cover! I liked being in the company of fellow old-house owners.”
The Old House Fair relies on sponsorship support to make the programming widely available and affordable to the public. If you would be interested in partnering through sponsorship, please contact Mary Sorensen at 814-234-4779 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
(Images of Bellefonte architecture by photographer Keith Koch)
Bellefonte was laid out in 1795 by John Dunlop and his son-in-law, surveyor James Harris. Both men built homes which still stand. Bellefonte’s energetic earliest citizens managed to get the town designated County Seat of the newly formed Centre County through a combination of civic spirit and guile. The iconic courthouse, built in 1805, still dominates the picturesque downtown. Bellefonte became a borough in 1806 and a succession of businessmen and politicians kept the small town humming throughout the 19th Century. At one point, there were two daily and five weekly newspapers available. Building construction and political activity peaked after the Civil War. The political frenzy can be measured by the seven state governors who once called Bellefonte home. Meanwhile, the town was earning its current sobriquet, Victorian Bellefonte, by enduring a decades-long building boom. Between 1864 and 1873, Daniel Bush, a lawyer turned real estate developer, erected twenty-seven buildings. Bellefonte is the perfect host for an Old House Fair. The downtown is a diverse collection of large and small structures spanning the end of the 18th and all of the 19th Century. The nearby residential district is practically a museum of house fashion, ranging from mansions and stately brick Victorians to later Craftsman Style and precut homes from Sears & Roebuck.
Location: The American Philatelic Society Headquarters in the Match Factory
The 2017 Old House Fair in Bellefonte will be held in a rescued and repurposed set of grand old buildings that once comprised the Pennsylvania Match Company Factory. Established in 1899 by four Bellefonte businessmen, the facility flourished in the early years of the twentieth century and grew to become one of the largest producers of matches in the United States. It operated between 1900 and 1947.
Today, the 18 connected buildings of the Match Factory have been refurbished and house the national headquarters of the American Philatelic Society, an ambulance service, two Pennsylvania government offices, a distillery and several other uses. The factory complex with its high red brick walls, corbelled cornices, segmental arched windows, varied roof lines and vast interior spaces provides a perfect venue for our celebration of historic architecture.
The 2017 Old House Fair is being held at the headquarters of the American Philatelic Society. With nearly 32,000 members in more than 110 countries, the APS is the largest, non-profit organization for stamp collectors in the world. Founded in 1886, the APS serves collectors, educators, postal historians, and the general public by providing a wide variety of programs and services. The historic Match Factory is also home to the American Philatelic Research Library, the largest philatelic library in the United States with more than two miles of books, catalogs, auction listings, journals, dealer price lists, indexes, research papers of famous collectors and other materials. Because the APS is a noteworthy tourist destination, tours of the facility will be offered to fairgoers on Saturday morning and afternoon.