Archive for April, 2012

Urban’s Hand #4

April 12, 2012

Rathfon Houses. 238 and 240 N. Duke. The exterior of 238 has been extensively modified; the porch has been enclosed.





Week 4 research

April 12, 2012

Week 4 research. Redrawing to scale of the basement of the brunswick. Many features are present in this basement that make it a very interesting architectural piece. Along with the obvious storage compartments, this basement hosts a bakery, laundry room, and barber shop.

Watt & Shand Displays Reality Behind Windows

April 7, 2012

Over the past week I was able to get some more extensive pictures of the Watt & Shand Building. I discovered the realistic displays of the windows, how they differ and relate to the inner design of the store, and how people react to the windows themselves.

Before I offer the pictures and a little interpretation of each I want to share some background information about the Watt & Shand department store that I was able to discover in the Watt & Shand Collection at the Lancaster Historical Society.


Peter T. Watt, Gilbert Thompson, and James Shand were merchantile apprentices who were looking to build a store in a wealthier area where they would not face great competition. February 22, 1878 was the first announcement that this very “New York” store was coming to 20-22 East King Street, Lancaster, PA. Its new and exciting nature was reflected in its name.

This new store would be the first department store to sell a variety of foreign and domestic dry goods. Its space, however, was limited and their stock was not extensive.

On March 9, 1878 the store made its first sale that pushed the store to great success. Over the next thirty years the store expanded and sought to serve the best interest of the customers. The store encouraged shoppers to stay longer than posted hours to create a true welcoming atmosphere.

As demand increased, the store moved to 8-10 East King Street and officially became the Watt & Shand Company. In 1885 the company bought the building next door and occupied 6-10 East King. On this site the name was shortened to Watt & Shand as it stayed for the remainder of its existence.

At this point, the store had expanded its merchandising and now sold ladies clothing. This addition of fashion, drove Lancaster into a new era. In 1896 the corner of Penn Square were bought and the store added shoe, millinery, and carpet departments.

To emphasize the great success, the filing received a new facade in 1898. The facade of terra cotta, light grey brick and marble was designed by Lancaster’s architect, C. Emlen Urban and still exists at the south east corner of Penn Square.

By the 20th century Watt & Shand had become part of Lancaster’s entertainment. Its central locale became the place to hang out as trolley cars and elevators made it easier to move around and soda fountains offered a place to get a refreshment.

During the 50’s and 60’s the store had bought out neighboring Appel and Weber finest jewelry store and Hager’s Department store.

The success of this store was made possible by their desire to serve the whole community of Lancaster. Through their displays and friendly environment, Watt & Shand was one of the first and most influential department stores.


Week 4: Brunswick Hotel 3D Modeling

April 7, 2012

After examining multiple blueprints for the Brunswick Hotel at the Lancaster Preservation Trust last week, I decided to create a 3D model of the structure of the building. My model shows the placement of I-Beams in the building and allows us to see the support system of the hotel. I hope to use this model to compare it to other Urban tall office building as well as additional tall office buildings from Chicago built in the same time period.

Week 4

April 6, 2012






The above is a 3d rendering of the block . The sketch up file shows detailing of windows and entrances during this period.However, this does not show all the detailing of the buildings.

The next step would be to create the year prior (1886) and the year after (2012).

relevent science buildings of late 1800 and early 1900

April 6, 2012

For this weeks research I sought to compare the construction of franklin and marshall’s new science building with what other colleges were doing at the same time period. These are the buildings that I saw to be most relevant.


Rankin Hall of Science (1906-1907)

Carroll college

Architect: Patton and Miller

Foundation: Waukesha limestone

Walls: Waukesha limestone

Roof: Spanish terra cotta tiles (original);


Funding for the Rankin Hall of Science came largely from a gift of Ralph and Elizabeth Voorhees. This gift was to help with the construction of three campus buildings, including this science building which was named after his friend and former Carroll College (WI) President, Walter Rankin. The building opened for classes in either 1906 or 1907, and the fabric of the building remains much the same today as when it was first built.

It is possible that Rankin Hall of Science was designed by Patton & Miller, because some aspects of the structure’s massing, hip roof, and rusticated stone exterior are similar to elements in the firm’s other buildings. But this attribution is uncertain and requires further research.

The other two buildings funded by the Voorhees’ generous gift were Voorhees Hall, and Voorhees Cottage, a modest president’s house that has since been razed.

Further sources

Langill, Ellen. Carroll College: The First Century, 1846-1946. Waukesha, WI: Carroll College Press, 1980.



Hughes Science Hall (1911)

Dakota Wesleyan University

Architect: Unknown

Foundation: Sioux quartzite

Walls: Sioux quartzite
Roof: wood; slate tiles


Hughes Science Hall is a four-story Sioux quartzite building. The cornerstone was laid on August 1, 1911, and dedication ceremonies marking its completion were held June 5, 1912. Science laboratories and classrooms were on the lower two floors, while the upper stories housed the School of Music and a new chapel.

During World War I the basement of Science Hall was temporarily converted into barracks for the campus Student Army Training Corps. Later, a basement room temporarily housed the library after College Hall burned in 1955.

Three beautiful, large stained-glass windows in the chapel were covered, possibly in the 1940s, and left hidden for decades until 1976, when Science Hall was renovated. Labs and offices were renovated in 1960, and a small greenhouse was added to the south side of Science Hall, just off the door to one of the laboratories, in the late 1970s. The biology labs were remodeled in 1984.

Ambassador George McGovern, the democratic presidential candidate in 1972, is a 1946 graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University and served on the faculty at DWU from 1950-1955. His office was on the third floor of Science Hall.

In 1996 Science Hall was renamed Hughes Science Hall in honor of Dr. Clifford Hughes, a 1927 graduate of the university. The music department has been housed in the basement since 1997, when the music program was restored at DWU. Music and theatre productions are held in Patten-Wing Theatre, which used to be the chapel. The theatre is named after Darryl Patten, class of 1960, a long-time associate professor of communication and theater, and Mary Wing, a former associate professor from the same department who taught for more than 16 years and was also Patten’s teacher.

In 2002, the doors on the north side of Hughes Science Hall were replaced and restored to their original appearance in a project funded in part by the South Dakota State Historical Society through the Deadwood Fund grant program. Hughes Science Hall is a contributing (historically significant) building within a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Follow up sources:

Coursey, O. W. A History of Dakota Wesleyan University for Fifty Years (1885-1935). Mitchell, SD: Dakota Wesleyan University, ca. 1935.



Bio-Physics Building (1889)

Clark university

Original name: Chemical Building; Science Building

Architect: Earle, Stephen

Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick; stone (trim)
Roof: tar paper


The Bio-Physics building is an irregular Victorian brick structure with stone trim around the sills and a stone belt course above the high basement. Robert H. Goddard, the “father of modern rocketry,” used his lab in the basement of the Bio-Physics Building for his early rocketry experiments and construction. This culminated on December 6, 1925 with the rocket test in this building, done on a static rack, which was the first time a liquid-fueled rocket was ever able to exert enough force to lift its own weight. A few months later, on March 16, 1926, Goddard took the rocket out to a farm for the first flight of a liquid-fueled rocket. Furthermore, at the celebration of Clark’s twentieth anniversary, Nobel Prize winners A.A. Michelson, Theodore W. Richards, and Ernest Rutherford gave lectures here.


Bush-Brown, Albert. “Image of a University: A Study of Architecture as an Expression of Education at Colleges and Universities in the United States between 1800 and 1900.” Ph. D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1958.



Mary Frances Searles Science Building

Bowdoin College

Original name: Chemical Building; Science Building

Architect: Vaughan, Henry Woodbury and Leighton

Foundation: stone
Walls: brick
Roof: slate


Designed by Henry Vaughn around 1892, Searles Hall put Bowdoin in the forefront of undergraduate science education at the end of the 1800s. Vaughan’s design has been called “Jacobethan” by Henry Russell Hitchcock–“a successful hybrid, a transitional phase of English architecture which includes Gothic and nascent Renaissance elements,” (Patricia McGraw Anderson, The Architecture of Bowdoin College [Brunswick, ME: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1988], 42)–a style which influenced future college campus buildings. Vaughan composed the principal facade, on the quadrangle, in several interlocking sections. The central portion incorporates two narrow octagonal towers that extend the full height into the projecting gable. To either side is a recessed area four bays wide, each terminating in a straight-sided gable lower than that of the central position. On either side beyond is a projecting four-bay mass, narrower than its neighbor but capped by a generous curved Dutch gable. In turn, these sections are flanked by octagonal crenellated turrets. These substantial and picturesque elements also create a handsome transition to the north and south facades, which contained, respectively, entrances to the Departments of Physics and Chemistry.

In 1998, the architectural firm Cambridge Seven from Boston carried out the renovation and re-use of the Searles, for which they received a 2002 Education Design Showcase Grand Prize Award. They designed a very successful contextual addition visible from Maine Street. The tripartite design Vaughn originally created was no longer functional for 21st century instruction in Biology and Physics. The teaching style it embodied–the lecture with a separate lab–was out-of-date, and so the building was renovated to house modern curricula in computer science, mathematics, and physics. Biology moved to the Druckenmiller Science Complex. Chemistry had moved to Cleaveland Hall in the 1950s.

Follow up sources:

Anderson, Patricia McGraw. The Architecture of Bowdoin College. Brunswick, Me.: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1988

Dober, Richard P. Campus Architecture: Building in the Groves of Academe. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996.



Research Summary, Week 4

April 6, 2012

This weeks research consisted of a look at the utilitas, firmitas, and venustas of Harold’s Furniture store in hopes of further comparing it to the Woolworth Building in New York.  The building in Urban’s eyes was a scaled down high rise commercial structure that shadowed the Woolworth Building.


The building was originally constructed in 1921 to house the Keystone Furniture Company’s store.  However, the building became the Harold’s Furniture Store, which it is labeled as presently, across the building in 1945.  The reason for this switch in tenants is unknown, but research will be done concerning the occupants of this Gothic Revival structure.  Additionally, the year when Harold’s Furniture Store no longer occupied the building will also be figured out.  Because of the basic design of the building, it seems appropriate that a furniture store, or any store, would be suitable.  This is because of the large plate-glass windows that rest on top of the granite base on the first floor.  Furthermore, the building would be able to contain office space.  In fact, the building currently houses the Lancaster Historical Society’s headquarters while the original location is being renovated.



The structure contains large glass windows as stated before.  Part of the first floor is made accessible to the passerby in the hopes of attracting them into the store through use of display cases.  Above the window display are three stained-glass openings.   Urban utilized the attractiveness of Gothic style glass when designing the building.  The stained glass without a doubt gives it a distinct look:

The structure itself is made of steel and is approximately six stories tall, and is divided into three bays by pilasters.  As mentioned before, the base of the building is made of granite, a sturdy base that prevents any weathering or deterioration.  Urban designed features such as pilasters, lintels, and mullions in order to 1) ornate the building as much as possible in order to project a Gothic style to those that look at the building and 2) attract the eye of the general public.  The building is mostly clad in limestone, with the second floor up is clad in clay terra-cotta.  The letters that spell out ‘Harold’s’ and the address of the building are ornate gold.


The facade of the structure has a distinct “crenellated parapet” (Boyce) that rests at the top.  Shields, ribbons, floral designs are present within the ornate peak of the building.  Without a doubt, the top of the Harold’s building is what sets it apart from other buildings in downtown Lancaster, and such was probably the goal of Urban and his work.  While the materials used on the building itself are similar to that of other buildings designed by Urban, the decorative features are much more intricate than the rest.  Therefore, the beauty of the building rests within the sudden realization of the parapet as the onlooker scans the building from bottom to top.  This same analysis technique is implied in the Woolworth Building’s peak:

Week 4

April 6, 2012

The week I worked on the Kirk Johnson Building. This building was constructed in 1912 as the house for Kirk Johnson Music story. The façade is beautifully constructed in the beaux- arts style using exquisite materials. There are white tile columns that sit upon cut- stone. There is a mansard roof that is finished with copper- clad.

drawing of the storefront

Bottom: The storefront of this building features some beautiful glasswork. The glass panel on the top of the storefront has a repeating pattern. The glass windows are also designed to reflect a repeating pattern. Above the storefront are wave engravings, a beaux- arts staple. And finally, there is the original “Kirk Johnson & Co” signage.

middle section of the building

Middle: The middle section has a very light and airy look, due to the 3 story glass windows that cover most of it. On the sides of these windows are white tile columns. The windows feature a metal pattern design.

beaux-arts designs on the roof

Roof: The roof of this building is completely done in the beaux- arts style. There are copious amounts of ceramic decorations. There are two cartouches surrounded by classic designs. There are also many repeating geometric designs. The copper- clad mansard roof is a reflection of the French Revival style that was also incorporated in the buildings design.

elevation drawing

Progress: Week #4

April 6, 2012

The past week I have been making a mixture of technical and mechanical drawings based on the old pictures of North Queen Street.  These sketches will serve as a midway point between the actual buildings and photographer. After my sketches are completed, I will try to retake and recreate these old photos of current day North Queen Street.  I will then sketch these photos along with straight elevation plans of the first two blocks of North Queen Street.

The first sketch I have been working on is based on an isometric viewpoint.  This vantage point allows a 3-dimensional look and keeps all the buildings to the same relative scale.  These drawings will have more detail than the elevation sketches because they more attention to detail.  The buildings don’t exist anymore so I must study intently all of architectural characteristics in the 1900’s-1920’s photography.

In progress:

Week 4 Research- Separate Archive Info.

April 6, 2012

For the duration of the fourth week blog entry, I spent most of my time in the Archive Special Collections researching the two different firms I have been assigned for my final project, York & Sawyer and McKim Mead & White. Most of my time spent during this research section of the project was retrieving the documentation of the two architectural firms which are located in the University of Penn’s Archive Collection.  Today, on 4/6/2010 Tom paced through the University of Penn’s archive and the University of Columbia’s Archive to find some background and valid information of these two major firms located in New York City. Later in my research, I found out I would not be able to recover these documentations of these architectural companies until the following week, which would give Tom or Mike time to call the Archival centers, granting me access to these documents at these two separate universities.

My second objective during the fourth week of my research was to acquire some architectural work from both of these architectural firms and link the relevance of their work back to the Brunswick Hotel which is the main focus of my final research project.

York & Sawyer:

York and Sawyer were predominantly a Beaux-art architectural organization. The business was run by a partnership of two men, Edward York and Philip Sawyer. In 1898 both of these men established their business in New York City and began to become known for many of their outstanding structures. At the time, York & Sawyer became very popular in the construction of hospitals and banks. Both of these men trained in McKim, Mead and White.


The Former headquarters of the Brooklyn Headquarters:


McKim, Mead & White:

This was one of the most prominent architectural videos in the twentieth century.  The architectural firm has three partners who were Charles Mckim, William Mead and Stanford White. This specific firm was major training grounds for prominent architects, designers and draftsmen.