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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The "A Collection Of C. Emlen Urban Architectural Wonders" Story

Lancaster City Hall designed by C. Emlen Urban.
It was an ordinary day.  Looking back over a few of my stories I have posted in the past and began to take a closer look at some of the architecture that exists in my hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  I have done two stories on Cassius Emlen Urban, Lancaster talent who has designed so many of the downtown buildings as well as many houses that line the streets of the city of Lancaster.  Even found a bank in the nearby town of Lititz, PA that he designed.  So, I hopped in the car and drove the streets looking for homes, businesses, churches and schools that Mr. Urban has been responsible for during his 45 year career as Lancaster's premier architect.  
This was the home of Milton S. Hershey, of candy fame which
was designed by Urban.  He lived in this house in downtown
Lancaster until he sold his business and moved to Hershey, PA.
This home was eventually torn down and replaced with a supermarket.
His designs were stylistically eclectic, reflecting the influence of Queen Anne, French Renais- sance, Gothic Revival, Beaux Arts and Colonial Revival periods.  I found quite a few inner-city homes; be they single, semi-detached or row homes.  Even discovered a few more churches I hadn't realized he had designed as well as a school on the east side of the city that he designed.  
This Emlen designed home is called Wheatland and was
the home to Pennsylvania's only President, James Buchanan.
Emlen graduated from Lancaster's Boy's High School in 1880 and then served as an apprentice to Scranton architect E.L. Walter for eighteen months.  Moved to Philadelphia in 1884 to serve as a draftsman in the Philadelphia office of architect Willis G. Hale, finally returning to Lancaster the following year to establish his own architectural practice.  His first major commission, Lancaster's Southern Market House, was the first of many buildings he designed in his career before retiring in 1937.  If you type in his name in the small white box at the top of my blog page, you will be directed to some of the major works he has designed in his lifetime in the Lancaster area.  Today I will share with you photographs of some of his smaller buildings he has designed in his life.  I'm sure you will agree that he was a leading talent in the designing of the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  His architectural wonders continue to enrich the lives of all who live and work in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

This is what at one time was the Lititz Springs National Bank on the square in Lititz, Pennsylvania.  It is almost finished in this photograph.  It's address is 1 East Main Street and was designed by C. Emlen Urban  It opened in March 22, 1924.  The following photo shows the beautiful entrance way of the bank.

This house at 537 West Chestnut Street was designed by Mr. Urban in 1894.  It was known as the William Wohlsen Mansion and was a three story house built with dark pressed bricks and had a high hipped roof with cross gables and a tall corbelled brick chimney.  The porch was a wrap-around with a scroll work pediment about the front steps.  For as long as I can remember it had the iron fence along the pavement.  My Aunt Doris and Uncle Paul lived in the house at one time when my uncle ran his accounting business from the room directly inside the front door to the left.  The stairs were amazing leading to the second floor.  I spent many a day running up and down the stairs for entertainment while my parents visited with my aunt.  Rather funny that they sold the house and moved to Urban Drive in western Lancaster County.  I have no idea if the cul-de-sac road was named after Mr. Urban or if it was a coincident.    

This residence is located at 936 Buchanan Avenue and was built in 1921 for the A.B. Rote family.
At 1008 Buchanan Ave. stands close to the above home and was built in 1926.

The Elmer E. Stiegerwalt House at 632 West Chestnut Street built between 1894 and 1896.
The Menno M. Fry residence at 624 West Chestnut St. built between the same two years.
On the corner of West Chestnut Street and North Pine Street stands the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster built in 1908. 
I have not been able to find the year these semi-detached homes at 135-137 College Avenue were built .
Directly across the street from the previous two homes stand this row of homes with addresses from 122 to 144 that were all very similar and were built between 1891 and 1892. 
At 637 North Plum stands the Hotel Fulton which was built in 1907-1908
These three connected buildings known as the Fulton Market were also built at the same time as the previous Hotel.
St. Paul's United Methodist Church at 202 South Queen and West Farnum Streets was built in 1914.  This is the first church that I attended with my mom and dad.  I was baptized at this church in the mid-1940s.
The Buehrle School at 426 East Clay Street is now used by the City of Lancaster School District as an alternative school.

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