A chance encounter at the Glennland Building

Around dinner last night in Downtown State College I met up with a friend in his second year at Penn State Law. We met at his apartment at the Glennland Building, which is at the corner of Beaver Ave and Pugh Street, across from SAE’s house.

When the elevator opened to take us downstairs and eventually to Local Whiskey for dinner, a husband and wife were already in on their way down from a higher floor. They were bringing four wooden chairs down with them, the type that belong to a nice dining room table.

“Where are you heading with those?” I asked. “We’re moving my mom out. She’s lived here for a long time, but she’s ready to move into a home for assisted living.”

The Glennland Building was State College’s first apartment building, put up in 1933 and the tallest building in town for four decades. The bottom floor used to contain the town’s first indoor community pool, but that floor was converted to office space in the late 1960s. In 1946 R. Paul Campbell, longtime area judge, bought the building a few decades before founding Centre Foundation in 1981. It’s a place with history, and the connections inherent to passing time. Unlike our contemporary approach of segregation of the population by age, the Glennland Building obviously still has a diverse resident population.

“How long has your mother lived here?” I asked the man in the elevator.

“58 years.”