Original Research Proposal


Research Proposal

For my final research project, I plan to investigate the elements that C. Emlen Urban applied in the design of his buildings. After my investigation I will see how these elements were applied to designing of the Greist tower. From here I will specifically focus on the Greist tower and become an expert in the elements and architectural design used to create the building. I will then use primary sources, specifically, pictures and architectural documents to reproduce a 3 dimensional model of the beautiful skyscraper. In my final task, I will use what I learned about the Greist tower and its construction to analyze its aesthetic beauty and historical significance to the City of Lancaster.


I will use many primary sources during the completion of my research. I will use many pictures and architectural documents such as blueprints in order to recreate my 3 dimensional model. The Lancaster Historical Society and Lancaster Preservation trust will serve as my main sources where I will analyze the pictures and blueprints. The Greist tower, being the only skyscraper and very significant building in the city, there are many surviving pictures and documents that will aid in my research. I should have no trouble finding primary sources.


C. Emlen Urban, Greist Tower elevation Plan.


C. Emlen Urban, Greist Tower floor plan.


Pictures of building from early years and construction (Not yet collected)


Along with the primary sources, secondary sources will play a large roll in my research as well.  In conducting my research on Emlen Urban’s background and the history of constructing skyscrapers, I will resort to secondary sources for this information. Having searched Shadek-Fakenthal Library, here are a list of some secondary sources on campus that will aid in the start of my research.


Curtis, William. Modern Architecture since 1900. London: Phaidon, 1996.


Johnson, Scott. Tall Building: Imagining the Skyscraper: 2008.


Sullivan, Louis H. “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered.” Lippincott’s Magazine Mar. 1896



Week-By-Week plan:


Week 7:

  • Explore secondary sources to learn Emlen Urban’s architectural style.
  • Become familiar with primary sources at Lancaster Historical Society and Preservation Trust.
  • Relate Urban’s style and elements to his design of the Greist Tower.


Week 8:

  • Explore background on construction of skyscrapers and their significances in cities around America
  • Continue research and exploration of primary sources.
  • Relate material learned on skyscrapers to Emlen Urban’s tower.

Week 9:

  • Design 3D model of Greist tower
  • Analyze the buildings aesthetic value and significance in Lancaster.


Week 10:

  • Finish compiling research
  • Use research over the entire semester to Write final research paper and develop presentation of material.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: