Latrobe, PA (LAB)
At Latrobe, passengers use shelters on the platforms. The former brick Victorian-style depot, opened by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1903, now houses a popular restaurant.
329 McKinley Avenue
Latrobe, PA 15650
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2021): 1,608
- Facility Ownership: Amtrak
- Parking Lot Ownership: Guy and Rita DiSalvo
- Platform Ownership: Norfolk Southern Railway
- Track Ownership: Norfolk Southern Railway
Passengers at Latrobe use two elevated platforms and shelters. The adjacent historic depot is privately owned and used for commercial purposes. The building was constructed in 1903 by architect William H. Brown for the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR). The late-Victorian single-story brick structure sits in the middle of the city beside the former PRR main line from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and was constructed at the time the railroad was making improvements to this western division of the main line that required the track to be elevated.
Trimmed in limestone and terracotta brick, the depot is relatively plain below the crown of its outside walls, with a limestone sill course running all around the structure. Triple doors pierce the front façade, with the center door under the central covered entrance way. Two doors also flank the covered cartway on the rear, track-facing side. A wide, asphalt-shingled overhang supported by brackets projects over the surrounding sidewalk.
The crown of the façade is the most embellished part of the building: a parapet with recessed panels stretches all along the top of each façade and hides a flat roof from view. The roof and parapet are interrupted dramatically by a gable that cuts across the building above what was the main waiting area. On the front, the gable features a pediment flanked by stone finials and terracotta volutes. The gable end of the rear façade has paneled chimney stack flanked by similar finials and volutes.
The station interior was originally divided into a large central main waiting room, a women’s waiting room, baggage room, and restrooms for men and women. The main waiting room featured an open truss gable top finished in a tongue-and-groove walnut paneled ceiling; the baggage room and women’s waiting room were finished with yellow pine board wainscoting and woodwork.
The elevated tracks are flanked by two 120-foot-long sheltering canopies with iron posts and steel cross-beams. A modest enclosed passenger shelter with wire-covered windows stands on the station side. The canopies stand on herring-bone fly-ash brick promenades and are well-preserved.
The station, like nearby Greensburg’s, was quite busy in the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, it declined with the rest of passenger rail travel in the mid-20th century until it was abandoned in 1970. In disrepair by 1983, the station faced demolition until preservationists submitted it to the National Register of Historic Places, where it was listed on July 17, 1986. It stood unoccupied until 1989, when the DiSalvos of Pittsburgh purchased the structure to open a second restaurant, having successfully operated one in Jeannette since 1974. The family subsequently restored the building.
When Christopher Gist came to survey the valley of the Loyalhanna River around 1750, he found the fertile space already populated by Delaware, Shawnee, Seneca and Mingo Native Americans. Even though the area was opened for settlement by the Penn proprietaries in 1769, few settled until after the conflicts of the French and Indian wars. The first mill, south of Latrobe, was not built in 1789, even though General Forbes had cleared a road from Philadelphia to Fort Pitt in 1758.
Several large farms occupied the area until Oliver Barnes, an agent of the Pennsylvania Railroad, purchased a 140-acre farm in Derry Township from Thomas Kirk, in 1851, with the plan of creating railroad yards—which were built a short distance away in Derry. Barnes instead reserved some acreage for a right-of-way, water tower, and hotel, and laid out streets and lots for a new town instead. Barnes named the new town for his good friend and long-time associate, Benjamin Latrobe, whose father was the architect of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Latrobe was organized and incorporated as a borough on May 24, 1854—but not as a city until 1999.
Latrobe is known as the home of several icons of popular culture: the homes of professional football, Rolling Rock beer, and both Arnold Palmer, professional golfer, and Fred Rogers, host of PBS’s well-loved “Mister Rogers Neighborhood.” The first came about as amateur football clubs in the 1880s formed to afford opportunities to play outside of collegiate football, which had been introduced a decade before. In some cases, the better amateur teams even played collegiate teams. The first acknowledged pay-for-play happened in 1895 when the Latrobe Athletic Association gave 16-year-old John Brailler $10 plus expenses to come from Indiana to play as their quarterback.
The Latrobe Brewing Company, established in 1893, became one of the largest breweries in the United States and the maker of Rolling Rock beer; and remained independent until purchased by Labatt Brewing in 1987. It has been through several acquisitions since. While Rolling Rock is no longer brewed there, in 2009 Iron City Brewing moved their production to the Latrobe plant.
Soft-spoken Fred McFeely Rogers, American educator, Presbyterian minister, songwriter and television host was well-known for his role in “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which ran on Public Broadcasting System from 1968 to 2001. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, a Peabody Award for his career, and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. Two resolutions recognizing his work were unanimously passed by U.S. Congress, one of his trademark sweaters was acquired and is on display at the Smithsonian Institution, and several buildings and works of art in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory. Latrobe was his childhood home, and where he was buried in 2003. Saint Vincent College in Latrobe completed construction of the Fred M. Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media in 2008.
The Pennsylvanian is financed primarily through funds made available by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Platform only (no shelter)
- ATM not available
- No elevator
- No payphones
- No Quik-Trak kiosks
- No Restrooms
- Unaccompanied child travel not allowed
- No vending machines
- No WiFi
- Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- No checked baggage service
- No checked baggage storage
- Bike boxes not available
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- No bag storage
- Shipping boxes not available
- No baggage assistance
- Same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight parking is available; fees may apply
- No payphones
- No accessible restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- No accessible waiting room
- No accessible water fountain
- Same-day, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight, accessible parking is available; fees may apply
- No high platform
- No wheelchair
- No wheelchair lift
Station Waiting Room Hours