The downtown “market” district has had many different looks over the years and continues to evolve even today. With the many different types of businesses and the High School so close, almost everyone has a great memory tied to Lawrence Avenue. Like Bruce Brenneman who shared with us his memories of coming to Ellwood City from Portersville and how impressed he was with Blocher’s Jewelry Store and that black marble front. Also how he loved going to Isaly’s, Young’s Drug store, and Alberts Drug Store but he could not recall which made the great Lemon Blennd drinks.
In the pictures you can see Wehr’s Meat Market (Home Dress Meats) that was located at 523 Lawrence Ave and Hotel Conway in some others. Hotel Conway was located at 526 & 528 Lawrence Ave on the North Side of the street. It was the first building erected on Lawrence Ave between 5th & 6th Streets. Later the West side of the building was remodeled for banking purposes and was the original home of Peoples National Bank here in Ellwood City. Later it was again remodeled for store and office purposes.
On the North side of Lawrence Ave you can see Deemis confectionary. Deemis was a popular “hangout” for teenagers until it was sold and became IMB Fray’s, and today is Olivers Pub. Another popular spot a few doors down was the Majestic Movie Theater owned by the Biordi family. Folks remember seeing Star Wars Return of the Jedi in that theater just before in burnt down.
On the Southwest corner of Lawrence Avenue and Fifth Street is the Stiefel Building, named after R.C. Stiefel, the inventor of the seamless tube. During her term, Congresswoman Melissa Hart had her office on the first floor of the Stiefel Building.
The bank diagonal from the Stiefel Building has changed names so many times over the years it is hard to keep track of the various names but at one time had an adverting clock on the corner that is no longer there. Beside the bank is a sign for Kaufman’s Lunch.