The handsome Staufer Building, located at the Northwest corner of Sixth and Franklin Streets, was erected by William M. Staufer in 1897 as a building for offices, apartments and an assembly hall. Many civic groups met here, including – at the turn of the century – the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Its imposing Romanesque Revival facades feature a great deal of stone trim, corbeled brickwork, and seven copper bay windows. L.M. Pickel, master mason, was awarded the contract to do the masonry work.
William M. Staufer was born in Chester county, Pa., Nov. 12, 1831, son of Jacob and Mary (Meyers) Staufer.
The Staufer Building was completed in November 1897. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) held their convention in the new building on November 16 – 18. The late Mr. and Mrs. Staufer were known as strong believers in the WCTU. The Berks Unions, of which Staufer Union was one, held state and county level conventions and meetings on the second floor, where an auditorium and meeting rooms were located.
After years of neglect, the Staufer building fell into disrepair and was condemned in 2013 and is waiting for the City to take action.
Below: Staufer Building, northwest corner of Sixth and Franklin Streets. Click Images to Enlarge.