It has always been assumed that Perkasie’s American House with its turret, wrap around porch, and rounded windows was designed by architect Milton Bean. Yet there was never much definitive documentation such as blueprints to confirm these suspicions.
A hotel was opened by Aaron Kern in the frame building at Seventh and Market Streets in 1870. Phillip S. Cressman purchased the hotel building in 1884 from the second owner, Oliver Nase. Having only “8 guest chambers” in the building, Cressman saw the need to construct a new hotel on the site. The frame structure was picked up and moved to North Sixth Street for use as a residence.
Constructed in 1894, the new brick hotel had 39 rooms that were heated by steam and lighted by gas. The tower “is probably the highest point in town, and from the observatory one can discern towns in three counties besides more than a dozen local villages.”
Not long ago, some of the American House blueprints, drawn by architect Milton Bean were discovered. They show the magnificent exterior details and the layout of the first-floor dining and bar area. The blueprints also show the details for the adjoining stores that were along the Seventh Street side of the hotel.
The American House remained in business, although in later years, the upstairs room were converted to apartments. The building was destroyed in the Perkasie Fire of 1988. The site remained vacant until 2015 -16 when the new “American House Building” was constructed for retail and residential use.
Organized in 1920, The Perkasie Chamber of Commerce succeeded the Board Trade as an advocate for the citizens and businesses. The chamber continued and expanded the philanthropic and organizational role played by the Board of Trade in the annual Christmas celebrations. They provided funding for town Christmas lights and organized Santa’s arrival events and children’s parties. For many years, the chamber and local businesses ran the “Trade and Travel” promotion where customers could win a vacation by making Christmas purchases at participating merchants.
In 2020, Betty Graver, the Pennridge Chamber Executive Director retired and closed the doors of the office for the last time. The Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, located in Quakertown assumed all duties once performed by the Perkasie office. The building at Market Street was sold in 2020 and will become apartments.
Memories of Perkasie
Sharing interesting connections between Perkasie's people, places and events.