Finding New Purpose at Penn State Behrend

GBBN is working with Penn State Behrend to renovate and repurpose their Federal House building. Believed to have been built in 1838, the Federal House is the oldest brick structure in Harborcreek Township, where Penn State’s Behrend campus is located. A family home, stagecoach stop, and safe house for slaves travelling up the Underground Railroad, the Federal House is no stranger to new purposes.

Unused since it was donated to the university in 1988, the renovated Federal House will soon be the home of the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research, and Evaluation (CORE), a program that focuses on fostering positive youth development in Erie County, PA.

“The design provides youth and their mentors with a space that communicates that they are valued,“ says GBBN Principal and design team member, Anne Chen. “The design defines a space of inclusion, community, security, and growth. It reimagines the architectural language of the house to be a place of inspiration. In so doing, it supports the mission of CORE and renews and elevates the Federal House to its new use.”

Read the story in the Erie Times-News here.