N. Queen, Grant St. and E. Orange


I analyzed the half block of Lancaster on North Queen St. between Grant St. and E. Orange St. If standing on Queen St., looking directly east, you would be facing the strip of buildings on my assigned half block. This specific half block is made up of 7 buildings, ranging in address from 35 N. Queen St. to 57 N. Queen.

From 1929 Sandborn Map

31-33 N. Queen
This building first appears on the 1886 map at the Corner of N. Queen St. and Grant St. Although the building remains unchanged in the 1891 and 97 map, the 1912 map shows that the building was lengthened and then attached to a building behind it. The building remained unchanged in 1929. According to Lancaster archives, this building was constructed in 1868 as a three story bay brick store. It was established as a food store and then remodeled in 1977 to become Schultz Hat store. Today it remains as a coffee shop. It stands today as a building constructed of a light rock and dark black wood trim.

Venustas: This building is not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing on the block. The black and white color of the building is very plain. However, the first floor is a small cafe shop and they do a good job of making people feel welcome with the openness. The bottom floor is almost all windows and allows for walker-bys to look in and maybe pop in to grab something to eat. Above is simple windows which looks like apartment type buildings. The receding nature of the doors are used to “lure” in customers.

35-37 N. Queen
The building that is shown here in the 1929 map first appears on 1886 map but in a much different form. The spot is made up of two square buildings, side by side, with rectangular additions in the back of both buildings. These buildings remain this way in both the 1891 and 97 maps. Finally in the 1912 map the building appears as one large rectangular building. According to the archives, the original buildings were a part of D. A. Altick & Sons Carriage Factory and then in 1920 the Beyer Store was added as a department store. Today the Building serves as a Rent-A-Center store.

Venustas: This building is similar to 33-35 in that it is mainly white, some kind of stone construction. The bottom level is used by a Rent-A-Center and the all glass bottom wall allows for the public to see in and feel welcome as well. The Rent-A-Center sign sits on a ledge that has an arched appearance over the windows. The arch was seen in Roman times as power and strength. Also the windows above the first floor are very plain except for the 3rd story which has arches at the tops of the windows. A nice ledge caps off the top of the building.

39-41 N. Queen
The original spot is occupied by 2 buildings apart of the Carriage Factory and is present in the 1886 and 91 maps. However, in 1891 the New Era building was constructed as a 3 story four bay brick building for Queen Anne Printing Company. This can be seen on either of the 3 maps from 1897 and later. In 1890 the new building was originally intended to be a tavern for John A. Snyder, but he sold it before completion to J.M.W. Geist and John B Wargel, founders of Queen Anne Printing. The building today serves as a department store.

Venustas: This building is different from the others in that is made primarily of brick. the 2nd and 3rd floor exteriors are brick with multiple skinny windows lined in white wood. Below the top floors which suggest apartments, is a department clothes store. The bottom floor has a nice aesthetic beauty with green  walls and beige outlining windows going from one side to the other. This building also has an open and welcoming feel with lots of glass on the bottom feel. It also has the receding doors “luring” in customers.

43 N. Queen
The Eicholtz building was first recognized on the 1912 map. Like the previous 2 addresses, there were buildings at this address in the 1886,91, and 97 on the map but they were apart of the carriage factory as well. 1912 is when the building is on display in its full size. It was used as a movie theater in 1912. The building remained untouched until 1925 when it was turned into a department store. Built for Edward Grant Eicholtz as a rental property, Ross department store was the first tenent and first department store in Lancaster. Today this building hosts a small business selling clothing and other goods.

Venustas: Covered from the street by a tree, this building appears very similar to the first bulding on the block, 33-35. It is primarily white stone, with black wood ledge on the bottom floor. The bottom floor hosts a small business and is mostly made up of windows. Here they hang many items for the public to see as they walk by. The windows are lined by black and brown wood. The above floors are simple apartment style windows constructed with a simple white stone.

47-49 N. Queen
Building is first recognized in the 1912 map. Like the above address, in previous years, the buildings in this lot were used as a part of the carriage factory. In 1906 the building was completed as a four story three bay brick building used for offices. In 1929, the Sanborn map represented the first floor as a department store, with the above floors still serving as offices. In 1942, the original façade was replaced with a late Art Deco style façade. This was the only major construction project in Center City during World War II. Today this building hosts 2 small businesses. On the right side of the building lies a mini food café, and to the left is a tobacco shop.

Venustas: This building is one of the nicer appearing buildings on the block. Having the facade replaced in  1942, the building stands 4 stories, the tallest on the block, and has a nice light stone appearance. I believe the facade was replaced with limestone. The top 3 floors have symmetrical windows suggesting offices or apartments. The bottom floor, like others on the block hosts businesses. Two businesses split the floor and have open windows to allow the public to see in. the Windows are outlined by black metal and each door for the two businesses are in separate corners. They are trying to lure the public into their section of the building.

51-55 N. Queen
Similar to most of the buildings on my block, this building was first recognized on the 1912 map. The previous maps show small buildings at this address as the last part of the factory along this stretch of road. Although I’m not sure of its use around this time, both the 1912 and 1929 map show the building as having an open first floor and says the 3rd and 4th floors served as halls. Today the building is somewhat run-down and serves no purpose on this block. It is the only building I analyzed that is not currently being used. It is a retail property for rent that is currently vacant.

Venustas: This building is very plain and ugly to be honest. It serves no purpose and has no aesthetic beauty as it currently is vacant.

57, 61, 63, and 65 N. Queen Street
The 4 buildings on the corner of N. Queen and E. Orange are first seen on the 1912 map. In the previous 3 maps, 1886, 91, and 97, there was only 1 building in this lot and it served as the Union Bethel building. 1912 is first map where we see that 4 separate buildings were constructed. The buildings remained in the 1929 map as they appeared in 1912. Building 57 served as a drug store, and it was unclear in the maps the purpose of the other 3 buildings. Additionally, there were no records on these buildings in the Lancaster Archives. However, we are able to determine that at some time from 1929 to recent there was a major renovation to these buildings. Today this address hosts 1 large, 1 story building serving as a Rite Aid pharmacy. The building is entirely made of concrete so we can assume this renovation was done in the later half of the 1900s.

Venustas: The Rite Aid is a 2 story 1 floor building made of concrete. This is also one of the newer buildings on the block. It has windows along the bottom wall but they are currently blocked out by plywood. The wood adds no aesthetic value and looks very ugly. It also has a worn out black awning. The door, however, is located in the corner which serves as a good spot as the building can be entered from either Queen or Orange Street.

Archive book in Library, “Our Present Past” An update of Lancaster’s Heritage as prepared by the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County.

Sandborn maps on edisk

Other Collections from the Franklin and Marshall Library.


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