Counties in Pennsylvania with the most pre-war homes

(STACKER) — Pre-war homes—those built before 1939—are architectural gems. They are sturdy, charming, and often what people are referring to when they look at the prevalent colorless, linear designs of today and lament “they just don’t make them like they used to.”

In some ways, that’s a good thing. Pre-war homes often contained materials we know to be hazardous today, like asbestos and lead. But their signature characteristics, including hardwood floors, nickel accents, ornate crown molding, and high ceilings, are among the features many people look for in a dream home.

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Preserving the history of these properties, many of which you’ll find on the National Register of Historic Places, is labor that often extends beyond the scope of an individual homeowner. Depending on where these homes are located, special permission by local historic commissions may be required before renovations can be done in an effort to preserve their historic architectural integrity.

Stacker compiled a list of counties in Pennsylvania with the most pre-war homes using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest percent of homes that were built before 1939 based on 2020 5-year estimates.

#30. Huntingdon County

– Homes built before 1939: 26.8%
– Homes built since 2000: 15.1%
– Median year built: 1972
– Total homes: 22,727

#29. Berks County

– Homes built before 1939: 26.9%
– Homes built since 2000: 13.1%
– Median year built: 1968
– Total homes: 167,514

#28. Elk County

– Homes built before 1939: 27.2%
– Homes built since 2000: 8.9%
– Median year built: 1960
– Total homes: 17,808

#27. Northampton County

– Homes built before 1939: 27.2%
– Homes built since 2000: 17.2%
– Median year built: 1968
– Total homes: 123,556

#26. Wyoming County

– Homes built before 1939: 27.4%
– Homes built since 2000: 12.0%
– Median year built: 1972
– Total homes: 13,479

#25. Susquehanna County

– Homes built before 1939: 27.8%
– Homes built since 2000: 12.0%
– Median year built: 1974
– Total homes: 23,360

#24. Clearfield County

– Homes built before 1939: 28.6%
– Homes built since 2000: 11.1%
– Median year built: 1967
– Total homes: 39,321

#23. Allegheny County

– Homes built before 1939: 28.7%
– Homes built since 2000: 7.9%
– Median year built: 1957
– Total homes: 602,416

#22. Columbia County

– Homes built before 1939: 29.2%
– Homes built since 2000: 11.4%
– Median year built: 1967
– Total homes: 30,299

#21. Warren County

– Homes built before 1939: 29.2%
– Homes built since 2000: 8.3%
– Median year built: 1960
– Total homes: 23,627

#20. Somerset County

– Homes built before 1939: 29.5%
– Homes built since 2000: 9.2%
– Median year built: 1963
– Total homes: 38,523

#19. Armstrong County

– Homes built before 1939: 29.6%
– Homes built since 2000: 8.7%
– Median year built: 1959
– Total homes: 32,852

#18. Carbon County

– Homes built before 1939: 29.6%
– Homes built since 2000: 15.0%
– Median year built: 1972
– Total homes: 34,817

#17. Lawrence County

– Homes built before 1939: 30.5%
– Homes built since 2000: 7.6%
– Median year built: 1955
– Total homes: 41,317

#16. Sullivan County

– Homes built before 1939: 30.8%
– Homes built since 2000: 11.9%
– Median year built: 1969
– Total homes: 6,378

#15. Lycoming County

– Homes built before 1939: 31.2%
– Homes built since 2000: 8.6%
– Median year built: 1961
– Total homes: 53,533

#14. Greene County

– Homes built before 1939: 31.4%
– Homes built since 2000: 10.2%
– Median year built: 1962
– Total homes: 16,787

#13. Cambria County

– Homes built before 1939: 32.0%
– Homes built since 2000: 5.4%
– Median year built: 1954
– Total homes: 66,072

#12. Tioga County

– Homes built before 1939: 32.4%
– Homes built since 2000: 14.7%
– Median year built: 1971
– Total homes: 21,869

#11. Blair County

– Homes built before 1939: 32.9%
– Homes built since 2000: 9.0%
– Median year built: 1958
– Total homes: 56,960

#10. Bradford County

– Homes built before 1939: 33.2%
– Homes built since 2000: 10.6%
– Median year built: 1969
– Total homes: 30,691

#9. Fayette County

– Homes built before 1939: 33.2%
– Homes built since 2000: 7.4%
– Median year built: 1956
– Total homes: 63,820

#8. Jefferson County

– Homes built before 1939: 33.2%
– Homes built since 2000: 9.8%
– Median year built: 1960
– Total homes: 22,738

#7. Venango County

– Homes built before 1939: 33.5%
– Homes built since 2000: 11.2%
– Median year built: 1959
– Total homes: 27,593

#6. Luzerne County

– Homes built before 1939: 33.8%
– Homes built since 2000: 7.7%
– Median year built: 1957
– Total homes: 150,235

#5. Lackawanna County

– Homes built before 1939: 38.0%
– Homes built since 2000: 8.2%
– Median year built: 1954
– Total homes: 100,576

#4. McKean County

– Homes built before 1939: 38.6%
– Homes built since 2000: 5.3%
– Median year built: 1951
– Total homes: 21,260

#3. Northumberland County

– Homes built before 1939: 40.6%
– Homes built since 2000: 7.2%
– Median year built: 1952
– Total homes: 45,522

#2. Philadelphia County

– Homes built before 1939: 41.3%
– Homes built since 2000: 6.2%
– Median year built: 1948
– Total homes: 689,121

#1. Schuylkill County

– Homes built before 1939: 47.6%
– Homes built since 2000: 7.4%
– Median year built: 1943
– Total homes: 69,965

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