Lancaster is about to lose another unique and interesting historic building. The former Gunzenhauser Bakery on North Prince Street is slated for demolition.
We ask concerned citizens to contact the Lancaster City Council and ask for their oversight of this matter. You can contact them via email at:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a sample letter you can copy/paste:
[City, State, Zip Code]
Subject: Request for Review and Revocation of Demolition Permit for 801 N Prince St
Dear Lancaster City Council Members,
I am writing to express my deep concern and disagreement regarding the recent issuance of a demolition permit for the property located at 801 N Prince Street, dated September 28, 2023. This decision, I believe, has significant implications not only for our local heritage but also for the integrity of our city’s historical preservation processes.
Charter Homes has acquired a permit based on an assessment by their engineer, who declared the building at the aforementioned address to be structurally unsound and in imminent danger of collapse. This assessment, while concerning, conveniently bypasses the critical oversight mechanisms that have been put in place to protect our city’s rich historical heritage. These mechanisms include the Heritage Conservation district ordinance, the oversight of the Historical Commission, and the review by the City Council for any demolition activities within the district, especially under the guise of “public safety.”
While I understand and appreciate the need for ensuring public safety, it is imperative that such claims are thoroughly vetted and examined, not just for their immediate impact but also for their long-term implications on the city’s historical landscape. The decision to demolish a structure within a heritage conservation district should not be taken lightly or unilaterally, particularly when it involves bypassing established protocols designed to preserve our city’s history.
Therefore, I respectfully request that the City Council take immediate action to revoke the demolition permit issued to Charter Homes for 801 N Prince Street. This action is necessary to allow for a comprehensive and transparent review process. It is crucial that the Historical Commission and City Council are given adequate time to review the proposed demolition, to hear detailed reports from Charter Homes and their engineering team, and to consider input from concerned citizens like myself.
Preserving our city’s historical buildings is not just about protecting bricks and mortar; it is about respecting the legacy and the stories that these structures embody. It is also about ensuring that development and progress do not come at the expense of the unique character and heritage that make Lancaster such a special place to live and visit.
Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to your prompt and favorable response in this matter and am hopeful that together, we can find a solution that honors both our city’s safety and its rich historical heritage.
Earlier this week, we sent a Letter to Lancaster City Council Regarding the Planned Demolition of the Former Gunzenhauser Bakery. Click here to read it.
Here is some additional information on the property from the HPT archives.
City Directories and Building permits indicate that this was built for the Gunzenhouser Bakery in 1911-12, operating until 1970. The architect of this very fine building is not known at present. Verbal sources indicate that this building spurred much further construction activity on N. Prince Street.
For total architectural distinction, this is certainly the finest building on all North Prince St. between the City Line at Liberty St. and the n. wall of the present Lorrillard Tobacco Warehouse at the NE corner of N. Prince and W. James St. Every effort should be made to preserve this building. The important design features are relatively intact.