113 East Main Street
Address: 113 E Main Street
Year built: between 1872 and 1876
Builder/Designer: possibly Washington Megahan
Building Style: Classical Revival with later alterations
List of Businesses: The Naugle House Hotel, Recke’s Bakery, Somerset Post Office, Commercial Hotel, The Grand Theater, Rascona’s Restaurant.
The building at 113 East Main Street was constructed soon after the Great Fire of 1872 destroyed much of Uptown Somerset. The building’s original owner was Frederick Naugle, who operated it as the Naugle House Hotel beginning in July 1876; researcher Terry Necciai believes that it was originally built for another owner and purchased by Naugle after a legal dispute with another landowner. The building was originally designed with a large stable attached for travelers to house their horses.
In 1881, after a brief ownership by Mary Brant, the Naugle House was purchased by Albert and Frederick Recke, German immigrants from Johnstown who already owned several parcels of land in Somerset. They added to the hotel a bakery, leased space to a barbershop and, for a brief period, the Somerset Post Office operated at this address. Jane Winters, the wife of County Sheriff John Winters, purchased the building in 1889 and operated it as the Commercial Hotel, removing the bakery and the barbershop. Under her ownership, the Naugle House gained some notoriety as the only hotel in Somerset that served liquor, leading to several challenges to her license after neighbors accused her of selling alcohol to minors.
In 1917, entrepreneur Cecil B. Pascoe opened The Grand Theater on the property. Pascoe paid for significant alterations to the building’s original design, converting the first story theater space to fireproof steel construction, refacing the East Main Street facade with limestone and making the footprint of the building twice as deep. Pascoe’s ownership of the building was not without controversy; he opened an adjoining theater, the Par-K nearby which led to a dispute when Jane Winters attempted to add a covered walkway that would block egress between the two theaters.
Jane Winters retained ownership of the property until 1944, when she sold it to Nunziata and Grazia Rascona. The Rascona family turned the building into a popular restaurant, Rascona’s Restaurant, further altering the design with a lowered ceiling, Carrara glass and a neon sign outside. The restaurant remained in operation until 1990, at which point Sam Rascona turned it into an antique mall. The building was sold again in 2005.