The 20 sites on the Saturday, October 18, tour of the historic business and industry sites have adaptive re-use in common. Constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries, the sites have been preserved and restored for 21st century purposes – offices, residences, restaurants, and hotels.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to see the impact of historic preservation on the renaissance of Lancaster’s increasingly vibrant downtown,” said Lisa Horst, president of the Historic Preservation Trust Board of Directors. “Saving the buildings that define our past gives Lancaster a uniqueness comparable to other popular historic destinations.”
The Historic Lancaster Walk & Talk Tour is a joint education initiative of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County and Moxie House, publisher of Fig Lancaster, a guide to local shopping, dining, arts, and entertainment in the City of Lancaster.
“We are excited to celebrate the businesses that laid the foundation for our City alongside current local business owners and entrepreners who’ve contributed to Downtown Lancaster’s revitalization over the last five years,” said Deborah Brandt, owner of Moxie House and creator/editor of Fig. “This year’s tour will be different than previous years because of the involvement of local businesses, including Miesse Candies, Season’s Olive Oil, Thistle Finch Distillery, and others. This will allow guests to experience Lancaster then and now.
Also new this year are Moxie House’s hand-illustrated informational postcards. Tour-goers will be able to collect these one-of-a-kind souvenirs at each historic destination.
Another theme of the tour is how the railroads charted the course for downtown Lancaster’s development in the 1700s and 1800s. Much of the tour is along the corridor from where the railroad station once stood, at the corner Queen and Chestnut streets, northwest along where trains used to run toward where Franklin & Marshall College is today.
Sites on the tour are:
1. Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House (1787) – 123 North Prince Street – office and home for surveyor Andrew Ellicott (1754 – 1820) who taught Meriwether navigational skills prior to the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1803-1806) Today: Headquarters for the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County
2. H. Doer Tobacco Warehouse (1886) – 118 North Water Street – H. Doer warehouse and then silver-plating manufacturer Osborn & Co., followed by several other businesses including Safe Padlock & Hardware, Morris Levy & Sons, Consolidated Cigar Corp. and retail store Radel & Stauffer. Today: Steeple View Lofts (senior apartments), Miesse Candies, the Friendship Heart Gallery and The Arch (creative work spaces)
3. Hirsh & Brother Tobacco Company Warehouse (1869-1874)– 42-44 North Water Street –initially a tobacco warehouse and then a warehouse for Conestoga Delivery followed by the Conestoga Restaurant Supply Company and Mack the Coffee Man Coffee Makers. Today: Fulton Theatre costume shop
4. Fulton Theatre (1852)– 12 North Prince Street– nation’s oldest continuously operating theatre and one of only eight theatres to be named a National Historic Landmark (Not open for tour due to performance. Open house planned for November 7, 2014)
5. Lancaster Central Market (1889) – 23 North Market Street – the oldest continuously operating farmers market in the United States and nationally recognized by the American Planning Association, winning its 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for Urban Design.
6. Old City Hall (c. 1795-1798) – 1-3 West King Street – built as a “public office house” and housed Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offices when Lancaster was the capital from 1799 to 1812. It has also housed city and county offices, a Masonic lodge, a post office, and library. Today: the Lancaster Visitor’s center and the City of Lancaster Office of Promotion
7. Brunswick Hotel site (1915-1920) – 26 East Chestnut Street – original structure razed in 1967 and replaced by a Hilton Inn and then the Hotel Imperial. The hotel was renamed the Brunswick Hotel before closing in 2012. In its day, the Brunswick was Lancaster’s finest luxury hotel. Today: The Hotel Lancaster
8. Pennsylvania Railroad Station site (1834) corner of North Queen & East Chestnut streets – first of two passenger stations with the second being built in 1857 and a third in 1929. Train service here ended in 1929. Today: Red Rose Transit Station and Federal Taphouse restaurant
9. Keppel’s Wholesale Confectionery (1913-1914) – 323-325 North Queen Street – constructed in 1913-1914 for Jacob G. Shirk and Sons to house their cigar making and products wholesale operations. It was purchased by Robert Keppel & Brother Company, Inc. in 1916. Today: undergoing renovation
10. Lancaster Storage Company Garages (c. 1808-09; storefront c. 1920) – 342 North Queen Street – two-story brick structure that was originally the Jacob Sherer House, later the Washington Inn and then offices for Lancaster Storage Company. Today: Building Character and The Candy Factory
11. High Welding Company (c. 1820) – 27 West Lemon Street – originally the livery stable and carriage house for the adjacent John S. Rohrer Mansion (today The Belvedere Inn). In 1931, it was the birthplace of the High Companies. Today: Zeller Travel
12. S. R. Moss Cigar Factory (1896; rebuilt 1907) – 401 North Prince Street – original building largely destroyed by devastating fire in 1907; enlarged when rebuilt. Today: The Press Building – a condominium project
13. Swisher & Buckwalter Tobacco Warehouses (c. late 800’s to early 1900’s) – 400 block of North Prince Street – initially Swisher Tobacco Warehouse and later Buckwalter Warehouse and then Stadel Volvo and numerous row houses. Today: a multi-use development known as Prince Street Centre that includes The Brickyard Sports Bar, offices and residential apartments.
14. G. Falk & Bro. and A. S. Rosenbaum Tobacco Warehouse (1881) – 300 Harrisburg Avenue – one of eight tobacco warehouses; was used for storing tobacco to about 1945. Over next 40 years, the building was occupied first by a wholesale paper and twine business and then by an electronic business. Today: Lancaster Arts Hotel, a member of Historic Hotels of America
15. John DeHaven Tobacco Company Warehouse (c. 1876) – 626 North Charlotte Street – tobacco warehouse through 1900s that was converted to painting facility for Henry Martin Brick Machine Manufacturing Company. Today: Gilbert Architects Inc. and Tower Marketing
16. Edison Electric Illuminating Company (c. 1886 and 1892) – 333 North Arch Street – first site in the city of Lanacster where commercial electricity was produced. Later became the Medical Arts Center, Kelly Michener Inc. (advertising) and then Cimbrian (advertising). Today: SouthEast Lancaster Health Services
17. Robison, Blair and Company Factory (c. 1906) –352 North Prince Street -two and one-half story, 14 bay brick factory, stone foundation; segmental arches; corbelled cornice; originally built by Samuel Flick for Robinson, Blair and Company as a caramel factory. Today: City Crossings, an office complex that includes the headquarters for the Isaac’s Deli restaurant chain, Robson Forensic, Inc. and the Lancaster City Alliance
18. Wacker Brewing Company (c. 1799) – 201 West Walnut Street – site of Lancaster’s last brewery following Prohibition; the brewery was owned by Joseph Wacker and his sons; became the Little Dutch Cafe (saloon) after most of the brewery was demolished in 1959. Today: Rachel’s Cafe and Creperie
19. Stevens High School (c. 1904-1906) – 355 West Chestnut Street – initially a high school for girls that became co-ed and eventually became an elementary school. It was sold in 1983 to OK Properties which developed the school into apartments. Today: The Residences at Stevens School20. The Walter Schnader Tobacco Warehouse (c. 1900) – 417 West Grant Street – After Walter Schnader, the tobacco warehouse was operated by R. K. Schnader and Sons and then Horwitz Brothers. Operated as a greeting card company in 1990. Today: Thistle Finch Distillery and Wacker Brewing Company
Tickets for the tour are $18 for members of the Historic Preservation Trust, $20 for non-members and $10 for children under the age of 12. Blocks of five tickets may be purchased for $75. Additional information is available at www.hptrust.org. The self-guided tour begins at 10 am with ticket pick up at 123 North Prince Street (the Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House). The tour will end at 3 pm.
About the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County
Founded in 1966 to “stem the rapid destruction of historic properties in Lancaster County,” the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County’s mission is to encourage and facilitate historic preservation countywide. The trust has been directly involved in preserving important Lancaster County landmarks and has provided advice, assistance and guidance in the protection of others. The trust is a member-supported, 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the historic Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House (1787) at 123 North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster. Visit www.hptrust.org for additional information.
About Moxie House
Moxie House, based in Downtown Lancaster’s progressive Historic East Side neighborhood, is led by founder and principal, Deborah Brandt. Moxie House is the creator and producer of Fig Lancaster. Fig showcases local arts, dining, shopping, entertainment and learning opportunities in distinctive towns and small cities. Anchored by a print publication with free distribution four times per year, each new issue of Fig features new businesses coming to town and people doing innovative things in their city, with special attention paid to those who give back and make a difference. Learn more at http://figlancaster.com.