History of PCH: A Port Washington Office Building Turned Community Center

A few weeks ago I posted a blog story titled, “The History of PCH Told in Buenos Aires”. In that post I shared a brief history of PCH and promised to continue posting pictures and stories that I uncovered in my research of the Publishers Clearing House story. The History Channel, per a blog reader’s suggestion, has yet to approach us for a TV series on the history of PCH, but that hasn’t stopped us from telling the story here on the PCH blog!

Harold Mertz portrait
LuEsther Mertz

I figure there’s no better place to start than with Harold and LuEsther Mertz, the founders of Publishers Clearing House. As mentioned in my previous posts, it was their vision back in the early 1950s that sparked a revolution in the way magazine subscriptions were sold. While the Mertz family is known for their success in business, they are better known for their generous donations and other philanthropic efforts. One beneficiary is Port Washington, NY, which is where PCH is headquartered today, almost 60 years after being founded in the Mertz family basement not too far away.

Harold mertz community center
Harold Mertz handing over key

One classic example of the Mertz’s generosity can be found only 10 minutes from our current office building in the form of a Community Center. Pictured above, the Harold Mertz Community Center, was the original Publishers Clearing House headquarters. In the late 60’s the Mertz family already realized that the growth of Publishers Clearing House would require additional space, so they decided to build a bigger building down the street and around the corner. Instead of simply selling the old building, they donated it to Port Washington to be used as the town Community Center … as it continues to be used today. Their generosity didn’t stop there, but we’ll save the rest of the story for another blog post.

I hope you enjoy these snippets of the history of PCH. Please respond with any questions or comments below.


Frank Alb

PCH Community

32 thoughts on “History of PCH: A Port Washington Office Building Turned Community Center”

  1. Teresa Johnson says:

    Thank you to Mertz family I love pch.lt allows me to play so many fun games without have to spend a penny.

  2. Anna says:

    I remember in my 20’s and early 30’s ordering magazines and playing via mail i would sit on the couch and play all the steps to enter over the coffee table. I remember picking 2 magazine subscription and getting one free or half price

  3. Kimberly weeks says:

    It a game of fun knowledge an speed thinking so if u read the blog ull get the idea n clues figure it out read have fun an dont insult the game hate the player :) good luck tho Kim u need to be positive n have fun!!! BTW I’m in to wonv10 million plus win it all what about u???
    AR 2015

  4. Kimberly greenlee says:

    Still in it to win it! I dont understand why I can’t comment on your blogs on the last two days of entering. Why? Change Now? I enter everyday n comment on the blogs. N I had to go through nonsense to get here n be forced to play or no opportunity to blog enter? I think this is wrong

  5. I Tina Martin is proudly to be in the Family of good and Godly people.I enter the PCHSEARCH&WIN Family in 2011. But in 2014 I Tina Martin will movie up on this family pole because that’s when I will become the Win It All PCH Supe FanSearch of GWY NO. 3080,4143,3727,4177,2748,3726,3577. AND there’s more. I can’t wait until I see that Prize Van, the big check, the rose the blooms / (zinfandelSangria)and all my new fam. Two more week& my children amd I our lifestyle will change for the GOOD. We all ready indoord the bad. The you Mr Harold Mertz for thinking about the unfortunat.

  6. Nora Arico says:

    I have been sending back PCH contest forms faithfully for at least 50 years. Also, I have been using the Internet to Search and Win since it started, in addition to sending back the contest forms. Occasionally place orders when affordable. Never won anything. PCH has me listed as only being a member since 2010. Go figure.

  7. Well for sure the man had a special gift! and has touched the world from his heart how more beautiful of a human being is there!I’m sure some if not all employees knew him or of him!may he rest in God’s arms,my condolences to all that were touched by him “God bless”,the world would be a lot better place if we had more of “Harold’s heart”

  8. harold scott says:

    add your comment here

  9. harold scott says:

    it is nice to get this story of
    how it began! ever day mail is
    drop in the box and you don’t
    have this info on how this money
    got started it nice to have my
    name Harold ? could we be family! well mister Mertz have done a great job to so many people hope have that dream
    having not to work hard again!

    I hope it will be me Harold

  10. Deborah Fannon says:

    What a blessing the Mertz have been to so many people

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