T.W. Phillips Gas and Oil Company
Erected: 1928
Architect: Janssen & Cocken, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Builder: Harry Wimer, Inc. Butler, Pa.

The Butler Pennsylvania Poems

Learning to See

Didn't our visionaries
say that change could happen
if beauty approved
and went on to erect edifices
to inspire us, pride ourselves in—
uplifts in stone
reminding us of lands left behind,
faces Roman, Gothic, Florentine, Doric,
that have long stood looking at us
from churches, lodging places,
banks and Court House—
and, let it be said,
from that one plain structure,
its base elevated on lawns
where North Street joins Main,
a shrine of sorts not a business place,
the lines of which at every passing
taught our untrained eyes
lessons in harmony, balance and order,
schooling us in classic forms,
a work of art that ennobled us,
instilling pride in self and city
merely by being there to see
and speaking to us, silently.

What was it our eyes were seeing?
Wasn't it what others saw revealed
on looking at an ancient Roman basilica
or an Acropolis on a hill?

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