Lancaster Municipal Building

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Utilitas

This structure serves as the Municipal building for the City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  It is unique because in 1931, this buildings utility purpose was changed from a post office into the Municipal building it is today.  This gesture is important because it expresses Lancaster’s adaptive reuse of buildings. Instead of getting rid of the post office, they decided to maximize the preservation of this buildings beautiful exterior features and use it for a different purpose.  The Municipal building is located on the corner of North Duke Street and has 2 easily accessible entrances for its civic workers and townspeople.  Its 2 story structure supports the many municipality departments that this building houses.

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Firmitas

This building exterior is comprised of limestone but it backed with brick.  The structural system features a very little use of iron, in part because of the buildings weight bearing masonry walls.  Arcs are shown throughout the entirety of this building where each window slot is.  These arcs help support the Municipal buildings weight by distributing it more evenly.  At the intersection of the building where the dome structure protrudes out, the arcs at the top help support its copper dome.

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Venustas

Lancaster City’s Municipal Building is one of the many beautiful buildings in this downtown area.  This is the sole example of the Venetian Renaissance or Morrish style of architecture in Lancaster.  All along the roofline and the corners of the tower is oxidized copper that is rich with detailing.  More exterior details such as panels, horseshoe shaped windows and moldings show very fine sculptural detail.  The most eye grabbing aspect of this structure is definitely the dome that is placed at the front corner of the building.  On the top lies a beautiful copper dome that is a different color than the rest of its surface, allowing it to be the first thing people look at when they look at this Municipal Building.

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