“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
State College in Centre County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Foster/Gentzel Building

State College Historic Site

The Foster/Gentzel Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 31, 2019
1. The Foster/Gentzel Building Marker
Inscription.  Built in 1894, the Foster Building—which later became the Gentzel Building—was State College's first apartment building. It is credited as the first property to convert from a wooden to a concrete sidewalk. The store space made history, housing the first post office on its own, the first store devoted to children's clothing, and the oldest continuously operating bar. With the arrival of "Foster's Corner," four apartments were available to State College families; previous rentals were in private homes.

As the front of William LeFevre Foster's building, as this 1904 photograph shows, was his general merchandise store and the post office, whose incoming mail arrived from the railroad station in Lemont via wagon. In 1913, Will Foster sold the building to Perry Homer Gentzel. From 1929 to 1967, the post office space held The Children's Shop, opened by Myra S. Breon and owned for 36 of those years by Verda and Ross Edminston. Pennshire Clothes, managed for many years by Les Pooler, moved in until 1984; the Kids Clothesline opened in 1985.

Around 1930, the Foster's store location became "Pop" and Viola Flood's Campus
The Foster/Gentzel Building image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, May 31, 2019
2. The Foster/Gentzel Building
Green Room; below it, in 1933, was the Green Room Rathskeller and Gardens, which became C.C. "Doggie" Alexander's All-American Campus Restaurant here from 1946 to 1973. The Old Main Restaurant followed; Spats Cafe & Speakeasy opened in 1987.

The upstairs apartments are still rented.
Erected by Downtown State College; Penn State Alumni Association.
Location. 40° 47.711′ N, 77° 51.624′ W. Marker is in State College, Pennsylvania, in Centre County. Marker is at the intersection of East College Avenue (Pennsylvania Route 26) and South Pugh Street, on the right when traveling west on East College Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 108 South Pugh Street, State College PA 16801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Breon-Stover Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Campus View Apartments/Schlow Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); American Elms (about 400 feet away); Hotel State College (about 500 feet away); The Bent of Tau Beta Pi (about 500 feet away); Old Engineering (about 500 feet away); Industry Research (about 600 feet away); Pattee Mall American Elms (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in State College.
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 1, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 1, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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