Oil City North Side Historic District.

Welcome to Oil City, PA - a city with a unique history whose story spans hundreds of years!

Oil City North Side Historic District.

Oil City, Pennsylvania 16301, United States

Created By: Venango Tours

Tour Information

This tour will provide you with an overview of Oil City - from its three historic districts, collection of church buildings, remnants of its industrial past, to its numerous examples of Victorian style residential architecture. You will learn about the oil boom that helped shape Oil City into the place it is today. During the tour, you will see impressive architecture, stately civic buildings, magnificent houses of worship, former company headquarter buildings, and much more. While the Tour covers a lot of ground, there are still opportunities for you to further explore in Oil City! We invite you to stay as long as you need and rest as often as possible at a few of our great local businesses.

This tour is based on the Oil Heritage Alliance Oil City Walking and Driving Tour. The mission of the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism is to manage the Oil Region National Heritage Area and to increase the prosperity of the Oil Region by enticing people to live, work, learn, and play in "the Valley that Changed the World" through the preservation, promotion, development, and support of historical, educational, natural, recreational, residential, commercial, and industrial destinations. This tour was adapted by members of the Venango Leadership Academy 2023-24 class, which is a program held annually by the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional points of interest were added based on local public input.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

This 1926 granite Neo-Classical Revival style Oil City National Bank Building is currently under renovation. You can see the portion of the rear of the building that had been added in the 1970s.  The Oil City National Bank began in 1865 a... Read more
The Downs Building is a contributing resource in the Oil City Downtown Commercial Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Oil Region Alliance is rehabilitatng the three-story building at 201 Center Street, ... Read more
Calvary Temple Church was constructed in 1906-1907 as the First United Presbyterian Church. After a merger, this building was offered for sale. In 1960, the Christian and Missionary Alliance purchases the property. Calvary Temple assumed ow... Read more
Saint Joseph Catholic Complex includes the church, the rectory, and former convent. The church was designed by Adolphus Druiding, the architect for numerous Catholic churches across the country. The church was completed in 1894 and served t... Read more
As you travel along Seeley and Cedar avenues, you are seeing residential development within the Oil City North Side Historic District. Notice the difference in topography and lot sizes compared to the South Side. Many of these houses were b... Read more
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A cemetery association was created in 1870, and Grove Hill Cemetery was dedicated in June 1871. The steep slopes of the cemetery offer commanding view of Oil City- walk or drive through to experience the grounds. 
Saint Joseph Cemetery adjoins Grove Hill, but is only accessible via an entrance on Bishop Avenue. The land for the Catholic cemetery was thought to be sufficient; however, as the Catholic community grew, Calvary cemetery was developed near... Read more
Hasson Park was established in 1895 from a gift of 44 acres of undeveloped land to the City from Captain William Hasson. The wooded park includes playgrounds, picnic shelters, hiking trails, and an acclaimed disc golf course.  
The James A. Nelles Memorial Swimming Pool opened in 2008 and is open each summer. The parcel is part of a donation to the City from Captain William Hasson that now includes the baseball field and dek hockey rink. 
Murray's Scenic Overlook was dedicated in 2011. Walk along the path, read the interpretive signs, and view the hills and "THE VALLEY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD!" 
This area of Oil City is known as Polish Hill because it attrached many Polish immigrants when they found work in local factories. Houses in this area are mostly unadorned buildings constructed on small lots. Many have garages at the rear o... Read more
This is the site of the former Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic church and school, which were indicative of the city's Polish heritage. In 1899, enough Catholic Polish immigrants were living in the area to warrant a new congre... Read more
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The Venango Museum of Art, Science & Industry is housed within the historic U.S. Federal Building, formerly the U.S. Post Office. Construction of the building was completed in 1906 under the direction of architect James Knox Taylor. Add... Read more
The National Transit Building and Annex were constructed in 1890 and 1896. The National Transit Company was the oil pipeline branch of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company and these buildings housed its offices. Currently, the buildin... Read more


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