Highland Hall, nestled in Hollidaysburg, was designed by Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan. Originally, to be a Presbyterian Seminary for both male and females, the building was built in 1865. In 1911, it became a female academy and officially named Highland Hall. It continued as a girl’s school until 1940. Highland Hall was used as an Army training center during the World War II years. From 1942 until 1944, it was the Keystone Radio School. Later, Franciscan Fathers used the building as a boy’s school. In 1968, Highland Hall became an annex for the Blair County Courthouse. The building itself has spent years in a state of disrepair until recently, Highland Hall is now being renovated to serve housing for seniors 62 years or old that make less than $32,000 a year. The building will contain 53 units, while preserving some of the exterior walls of the original Highland Hall. There will also be a historically accurate addition to the new Highland Hall to retain some of the historic character.
Highland Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Buildings in 1978. The Bicentennial Moon Tree planted on May 5, 1976, grown from a seed carried to the moon on Apollo XIV, is located on the land. Also, the Pioneer Family statue was placed in the same year. However, it has been moved in recent years to the Blair County Courthouse.
Interested in more info on Highland Hall history? There are more than five hundred items from the Highland Hall School available at the Blair County Genealogical Society’s Library for research.