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

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

  1. Nettie Jenkins says:

    This is so amgazing and humbling (Smiles) I would love to win a major PCH Prize!

  2. The big history moment PCH this sene has being here for some time well it’s good to know the back ground check thank to you Lu Esther Mertz’s I’m play this game now so I can for life good job nice picture blog .

  3. He sounds like a great man with good intentions I wish I can do things like that but my life was taken away from me at an early age and I’m just in serious pain now. I feel like giving up on life but I try very hard not to because I have a son that I need to come for! I don’t want to die a loser and that’s how I feel right now…just wish I had a little luck and my life would change!

  4. Cheryl Brown says:

    Helping my family has been my dream since I was 9 years old. When I pick out a pch entry out of the garbage my mother threw away and mailed myself without anyone’s knowledge. Our family was so poor. I wanted to help so bad. My dream is to help my own family now…….
    Destin fl :)

    1. Cathy says:

      I really LOVE this story. This is so it!!! HOPE.. And Believing in the Power of PCH.
      You can change lives! Can you imagine? Mailing Hope right in your mail box. But best of all…. the mission.. To truly change lives for the better! Life… Do not throw away. Keep it coming! Love the products!
      And the Service.

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