By: Denise Bollinger
There is a building that sits atop a small hill just off of Route 65 in New Castle, Pennsylvania. A large, red-brick architecture that holds many mysteries and unnoticed beauty. Some may not have given the archway above the main entrance doorway much of a thought, it is just a doorway that leads to the reason they are there, ghost hunting. Often times the beauty of the architecture is just given a passing glance. However, there are far more interesting and skillfully designed patterns that are worth taking the time to look at.
Admittedly people are excited and want to just get inside to contact or communicate with the spirits who still reside within those walls. There is a certain amount of anticipation and adventure in being able to obtain the evidence of and overall experience. But that archway that greets everyone holds an artistic beauty that was carefully sculpted by the creators all those years ago.
Your eyes will be drawn to the oval shape in the center that tells you when the building was originally constructed in 1925 AD. Surrounding that simple shape you will see what appears to be a cloth draped around the very top, which also contains an ornate hint of a scroll. As you follow the outline of that oval down both sides at the bottom you will find a cornucopia design. It looks as if it was designed to show that this is the Lawrence County Poor farm, the original name of the location, and the purpose was to grow food for people to consume. A veritable cornucopia to feed the masses, one might say.
Another of the more noticeable items are the ribbons that show a unique possible chain of seeds, not yet planted, and the leaves immature ready to protect the young plants which will one day grow into the produce promised. A second row holds what we would call a rope-like chain, similar to modern jewelry often found today, tying the building theme altogether.
To the left and right of the doorway are the pillars, although they are flat, not typical round Roman styled ones, they lend to the majestic, height of the archway in the front of the building. On top of each of these pillars, you will see even more intricate designs of a more decorative motif that displays a vase adorned with scrolls appearing to hold flowers and perhaps some of the “fruits of labor” from the Poor Farm. Not only do they top the pillars but extend into the interior of the doorway. The floral theme continues across the very top of the glass modern-day doors. While these flowers can be seen in the archway decor they also adorn the various other areas on the exterior walls of the building.
The architecture itself lends to the beauty of what once was, and still is, a piece of history and majesty of those who put their skills into creating this beautiful building the spirits old and newer still reside and greet those who choose to come and visit. If you have not yet had the opportunity it truly is a must-see location.