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10.14.2018

Weatherly, PA's Mrs. C. M. Schwab School Building

Today we visit the Mrs. CM Schwab School, a beautiful and historic school building from 1901. It was built as a gift from wealthy steel executive Charles M. Schwab to his wife's childhood hometown of Weatherly, PA. 

The building's status has been in limbo since it was closed in the 90s and fell into private ownership. It was acquired by members of the Weatherly community in 2017 and is said to be in the midst of a renovation project. 
When we visited the building and its stunning clock/bell tower, it was covered with at least forty turkey vultures.
Charles M. Schwab worked his way up the executive chain to become president of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel. He then set the stage for the company to be purchased and transformed into US Steel. Following clashes with management, he left the company to organize the struggling Bethlehem Steel Company, which he had left out of the purchase and merger that formed US Steel. Schwab purchased Bethlehem Steel, and soon sold it to JP Morgan. Eventually, drama within the industry and friction between him, Carnegie, and the other executives at US Steel led him to becoming president at Bethlehem Steel. His efforts turned it into the second largest steel producer in the world.

While he was still with US Steel, he gifted the Mrs. CM Schwab School to his wife's childhood hometown of Weatherly on their 18th anniversary. On the occasion of their 18th wedding anniversary, they stopped in the borough with their private railcar and offered them a gift of their choice. The borough assembled a meeting and decided upon the creation of a new high school.
The building was closed in 1991 and has fallen into disrepair. An effort is in place to restore it, thanks to an ambitious community effort. The staggering amount of turkey vultures sitting upon the building, and its stunning architecture captured our attention. This borough has lots of other nice architecture, industrial, and Lehigh Valley Railroad remnants that are very nice. 
Did I say that the vultures were really something else? I never saw them congregate on a building like this. 
If you are in the Weatherly area, be sure to check out this beautiful old building.

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