Twenty sites with ties to Lancaster’s industrial and commercial past have been identified for the 2014 Historic Walk + Talk Tour on Saturday, October 18, in downtown Lancaster. The tour is a joint effort 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.
“The focus of the tour is on buildings that contributed to Lancaster’s economic growth in the 19th century,” said Lisa Horst, president of the Historic Preservation Trust Board of Directors. “The tour route includes where the city’s railroad station once stood on North Queen Street and where the tracks ran along North Prince Street past what used to be tobacco warehouses – buildings that have been restored for use as offices, residences, restaurants and hotels. The Preservation Trust encourages adaptive reuse, and we are pleased to showcase on the tour excellent examples of this.”
“At Fig, we believe part of knowing where our City is going comes from an understanding of where we come from,” said Deborah Brandt, owner of Moxie House and creator/editor of Fig® Lancaster. “By partnering with the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County for the Historic Walk & Talk Tour, we’re able to tell the stories of those that came before us—the women and men who paved the way for the thriving Downtown we celebrate 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 (1804-1806) 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 J. Kleaman’s Tobacco Warehouse and followed by the Lancaster Stogie Company, Consolidated Cigar Corp. warehouse and retail store for Radel & Stauffer. Today: Steeple View Lofts (senior apartments), Miesse Candies, the Friendship Heart Gallery and The Arch (creative work spaces)
3. 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)
4. 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
5. 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
6. Pennsylvania Railroad Station site (1834) – 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
7. Keppel’s Wholesale Confectionery (1913) – 323-325 North Queen Street – built to house a hard candy factory and offices. Today: The Candy Factory – a group of independent artists and business studios
8. Lancaster Storage Company Garages (c. 1808-09; storefront c. 1920) – 342 North Queen Street (rear) – two story brick structure originally Jacob Sherer House and later the Washington Inn and then offices for Lancaster Storage Company. Today: Building Character
9. Edison Electric Illuminating Company (c. 1886 and 1892) – 333 North Arch Street – first site in city where commercial electricity was produced. Later became the Medical Arts Center, Kelly Michener Inc. (advertising) and then Cimbrian (advertising). Today: SouthEast Lancaster Health Services
10. 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
11. 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
12. 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
13. Swisher Tobacco Warehouse (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 and 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, presumably United Paper and Twin, 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 and was then converted to painting facility for Henry Martin Brick Machine Manufacturing Company. Today: Gilbert Architects Inc. and Tower Marketing
16. Stevens High School (1906) – 335 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 School
17: 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 greeting card company in 1990. Today: Thistle Finch Distillery
18. 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.
19. Central Market (1889) – 23 North Market Street – the oldest continuously operating farmers market in the Unites States and nationally recognized by the American Planning Association, winning its 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for Urban Design
20. Old City Hall (c. 1795-1798) – 1-3 West King Street – built as a “public office house” and housed the Commonwealth 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
Horst invited the public to send information, stories and photos about any of these tour stops to the Preservation Trust so it can be incorporated into tour information that is being developed for October 18.
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.