The downtown building dates back to the 1870s | News, Sports, Jobs
Today, the occupant is the Key Bank Building. The building is only colloquially known as the Flatiron — the name was never officially part of the record, according to Warren County Historical Society executive director Michelle Gray.
A triangular structure was first built there in 1876. But, the layout of the block was a triangle, so an occupant at the west end would have to adopt that shape. Before anyone took over the western part of the block, the eastern half was the site of one of Warren’s first brick commercial blocks.
The late 1870s saw a rapid change from timber frame to brick structures in the city center, according to Stepping Stones, courtesy of the Historical Society.
“Through the efforts of John F. Davis and Lewis F. Watson, two eminent businessmen, there arose in 1850 at the junction of Second and Water (now Pennsylvania Avenue) a fine building which lived too short a time .” according to a Warren Mail report republished in Stepping Stones.
The newspaper hoped to move into the building in 1851. Other occupants included A. Finger – watches and jewelry, a meat market, a “Beer and Food Fair” and “climb the rickety stairs” a manufacturer of boots and shoes, according to the Historical Society.
This building was originally designed to be 61.5 feet long on its east side and 29 feet long on its west and longer along Water Street (Pennsylvania Avenue) than on Second Avenue by 81 to 64 feet. The unique block shape was accentuated a few years later.
“In 1876 the Warren Savings Bank erected this building to the west and attached to the Watson-Davis block, the shape of which is clearly visible…” according to Stepping Stones. “Having lost its identity as a building on the point, it was now framed by brick buildings throughout the triangle.”
The bank, according to the New York Industrial Recorder of 1904, courtesy of the Historical Society, was a “a solid financial rampart” ranking sixth among Pennsylvania banks and 22nd among state banks nationwide. “It is finely equipped and has all the conveniences known to modern banking. Its coffers are massive and protected by all inventions… The managers of this bank are gentlemen of the highest reputation in Warren’s financial circle.
The dimensions of the original Warren Savings Bank building were not listed, but from its abutment with the 29ft Watson-Davis block, the building tapers to what appears to be 10ft or less – enough for a stone frame around a double door.
These buildings were destroyed before the turn of the century.
“It lasted only until 1889, when it and the adjacent Warren Savings Bank were destroyed in a winter fire”, according to the Warren Mail History of the Historical Society.
The triangular structure was rebuilt, although it looked somewhat different. The familiar building was first occupied in August 1891.