First National Bank

The former First National Bank building, on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 10th Street, Tyrone, ca. 1910.

In October 1906, a magnificent, Italian-Renaissance-style building was erected on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 10th Street and opened as the First National Bank. The four-story structure cost $125,000. The building was composed of intricately detailed buff Bedford stone, vitrified cherry red brick with projecting cornice, large terra cotta modillions and consoles, and a terra cotta balustrade along the roof line with the stone belt course between the first and second stories. The architect was the Beezer Brothers firm, of Pittsburgh. The interior was designed by W. F. Wise, of Tyrone.

During the 1920s, the building housed the bank, the McClanahan Drug Store, Francisco Hardware, Fisher Hardware, the Garman Department Store, and the Tyrone Herald. The second and third floors comprised six family apartments with front and rear entrances. On the fourth floor were lodge rooms and a large assembly room with a raised stage and a kitchen.

In 1932, the bank merged with the Blair County National Bank & Trust Company. The building then was owned by several generations of the Jones Family before being purchased by Sal Scavone in 1992. Mr. Scavone did the restoration work, and his daughter did the interior design to create the LaVilla Restaurant, which opened on April 29, 1993. The top floors were left unoccupied.

In 2002, the condemned structure was demolished except for the first floor, which then was renovated for the new home of the Tyrone-Snyder Public Library. In March 2004, the library was moved from its location at 1019 Logan Avenue.

Prior to the First National Bank building, the Study Brothers Mercantile Business operated in a building on this site starting in 1853. The building was razed for the First National Bank.

And before that, on December 25, 1850, Jacob Burley moved his family into a 1½-story frame house on this corner location. It was the first dwelling located within the limits of the original Borough of Tyrone.

Photo credits: Virginia Dollar