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WC History: Cabinet Hall

August 19, 2014 | Malcolm Johnstone

West Chester PA - In 1835, Thomas U. Walter designed Cabinet Hall to be the home of the Chester County Cabinet of Natural Sciences at 18 South Church Street. It was completed in 1837 and became a significant example of rational classicism of an Italianate character.

It housed an auditorium on the third floor, a library and a museum. In 1848, with the opening of Horticultural Hall -- another Thomas U. Walter design -- use of Cabinet Hall began to wane, in part because the Quakers withdrew their support when military organizations were allowed to use the structure.

The first floor space was leased to various businesses including the West Chester Post Office until it was relocated to its present location in 1907. Schools and lodges were also located there.

In 1910, a steam laundry opened there and today it's the home West Chester Laundry.
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Reference: Livable West Chester by Alice Kent Schooler, 1985; pg 35.

See Read Nature and Be Wise, an interesting look at how Cabinet Hall developed, by Pamela Powell, Photo Archivist, Chester County Historical Society.

 
 

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