Built in 1882, this Master Mechanics Building housed then, as it does again today, stories of what made the Pennsylvania the most important railroad in America and a cornerstone of the industry.
Each Pennsy operating division had a Master Mechanic, whose job was to oversee the upkeep of locomotives and cars in his division to assure their first-rate performance and reliability. Nowhere was he more respected than here in Altoona - headquarters of PRR's Middle Division, home of the world's largest railroad shops, and a hub of day-to-day railroading activity.
In this building were also housed the finest state-of-the-art physical and chemical laboratories, where research was conducted by the Pennsylvania Railroad Test Department. Founded by engineers, the PRR emphasized cutting-edge science and technology to build the biggest corporation and self-proclaimed "Standard Railroad" fo the world.