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preserving history

Built between 1927-1928, Penn Treaty Junior High School (as originally named) was erected as part of a five new building order by the school board to accommodate the growing city population. The new model of separating high schools into new junior high schools began in 1922 when the first eight junior high schools were built by the city. 

The first eight schools ordered were designed by Irwin T. Catharine who used a designed named JHS-4. For the next round, including Penn Treaty, he employed a new design JHS-6 which adjusted the Georgian Revival aesthetic to a Gothic Revival as seen in higher education institutions across the East Coast. 


The building is a 4-story brick building with 17-registers and a partial 5th floor all built on a raised brick base. Each register also features arched entrances with accompanying tracery. Two of the registers at the main entrance feature additional stonework at the third and forth floors that lead to the main battlement tower. The building also houses 2 gymnasiums and an auditorium with original seating and plasterwork. A beautiful stained glass window graces the main entrance. 


Penn Treaty School was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 for its role in the history of education in Philadelphia and for its impeccable elements of Gothic Revival architecture. 

We need your support to help keep the beautiful details of this building in the condition they deserve.

a neighborhood icon

The building today remains in much of the same condition as it was when it was built. However with these original details comes additional work and maintenance in order to keep the building true to its original grandeur but also adapted for modern use. 

We welcome other organizations and grant makers with a focus on historic preservation and conservation to help us keep this building the neighborhood landmark it has been for the past 90 years. 

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