Venustas of North Queen Street


2/8 N. Queen Street- Griest Building

The Griest building, like many of C. Emlen Urban other buildings, is an example of Beaux Arts and the Italian Renaissance Revival style.  In doing so, Urban gave it a classical detailing.  He also combined the arcuated and the trabeated structure; on the first floor and the top floor, Urban used the arcuated structure above the windows and designed the windows on floors 2-10 with the trabeated structure.  In doing so, Urban gave the Griest tower a traditional and classical look, a look commonly found throughout Lancaster.  The Indiana limestone that covers the façade of the building represents uniformity; although the building is one of the tallest skyscrapers in Lancaster, due to this element it communicates that the entire building is connected.  That translates into a strong sense of pride and allows the customer to feel secure that the people and services inside will provide the best attention possible.  The scale of the building is also inviting because it is proportional to how we occupy space, rather than being overwhelming and intimidating.

10 N. Queen (which includes 12 N. Q)

This building, which uses the trabeated structure for the first two levels and the arcuated structure for the third floor windows, emulates the simplicity of the building.  Its original design was created for a drugstore and over the years the function evolved into a pizza parlor.  The façade, covered by common bond style brick, clearly communicates its purpose to society; to deliver the necessities of the store at the time.  What is interesting about this building however are the two towers located on the roof, which resemble Gothic attributes.  Along with that, the dark brick used is reminiscent of the Gothic/Medieval era.

14 N. Queen

The storefront we see today on 14 North Queen is not the original design from 1886.  Although its function has changed throughout the years, it now resides as a male clothing store.  The store however has maintained a simple yet inviting atmosphere, regardless of its occupants.  The storefront is separated by stories; the first story follows a post/post lintel structure (unfortunately the material is unknown but it seems to be some type of light colored ashlar, possibly even wooden paneling painted over to look like stone).  The full glass display allows customers easy access to view into the store.  The top two floors change style a bit as the dark red brick is in a simple Common bond.   This building actually combines both the Classical and Gothic style; the use of the arcuated structure and the sort of classical Greek porch at the rooftop symbolize the formal aspects of the building, while the flanking towers and the dark brick are sort of medieval/gothic.

18 N Queen (which includes 20-22 N Q)

This building, known as one of the longest family owned businesses in Lancaster is the Shaub’s shoe store.  Its initial purpose was to function as a shop and it has remained that way since it’s construction in 1880.  As a store, one of the targets was to attract customers; thus Shaub made sure this building stood apart from the rest on the block.  The storefront was made from a thin white limestone layer, in order to catch the potential customers eyes and draw them in.  The glass display box on the first level is extremely intriguing; not only does it hold numerous items in order for customers viewing pleasure, but it also creates an indented space in which the public is allowed to walk in and interact with it before even stepping foot into the actual store.  The second story seems to be an extension of that, as there is a large glass window that panels along the storefront.  The lamp on the side echoes the style located on either side of the second story window, giving Shaub’s store a unique touch and style not found along any other building on the block.

24 N Queen

What is intriguing about 24 N Queen is that this building incorporates different styles that can be found from it’s neighbors.  For instance, the post/post lintel structure  along the first level as well as the material, which was also difficult to decipher, were similar to 14 N Queen.  The material that decorates the first level seems as if it could be wooden paneling that was painted over with a rustic red.  The function of this building was to remain a shop, which it did over the years, allowing the glass windows to fulfill their purpose and permit customers to look inside and be invited into the space.  Like the Shaub store next door, the top two levels were covered in a bright stone, which in this case is marble, in order to attract customers to the store.  In this case, the light marble really brings out the dark red located beneath it, making it captivating which ultimately pulls you in.

26-30 N Queen

This building echoed similar characteristics from the Hager building located on West King Street.  The first level is what makes it unique as it is used to house two different shops:  Details (a home design shop) and a Photography store.  The building is visibly symmetrical and stands four stories tall.  It’s monochromatic façade allows the building to blend in with the two buildings towards its left side, yet it stands apart further down the block as many of those buildings chose to use dark brick instead of the tiling used on the storefront.   What makes this building beautiful and unique from the rest on North Queen street are the simple yet beautiful designs located from the fourth story upwards, that span horizontally across the storefront.  These details really help the top story pop out against the silhouette.


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