Archive for the ‘Dominique Fils-Aime’ Category

Week One Research

March 23, 2012

In my first initial week of research, I finalized my Lancaster block of choice, continuing and expanding on a block I had previously remolded from an earlier project.  I chose to recreate North Queen street, remodeling the 1929 versions of buildings 1-68.  Using the 1927-1928 directories and colored scans of the 1929 Sandborn maps from the Martin library archives, I was able to determine the Utilitas and a bit of the Firmitas of a most of buildings.

The directories were a significant source to use when trying to determine the function of each building.  Searching through pages of names, addresses and advertisements allowed me to acquire valuable information that helped me put together a small piece of 1929.

North Queen Street

Buildings:  2-66 Even


  • Stripped to make way for the Griest building that was built in 1924.


  • Griest Building historic skyscraper and the second tallest building in Lancaster, built in 1924- 1925 by C. Emlen Urban.  It is a fourteen story building, made of Stone, Steel and concrete.  It is considered a “beaux arts/classical revival office building,” and was built to house the Conestoga Traction Company, the Edison Electric Company and the Lancaster Gas Light and Fuel Company (466).
  • The outer skin is predominantly made of Indiana Limestone with a granite base.  The interior spaces have been altered over the years


  • Kay Jewelry
  • the ornamentation on the store front was removed


  • n/a
  • original storefront was replaced


  • Erisan the Costumer
  • Shaub shoe store.
  • 20 ½ -Leah Reinoehl: Dressmaker


  • Fields Clothing
  • Marble added to the storefront


  • Groff & Wolf Co:  clothing store
  • reinforced with iron posts


  • n/a
  • Flats on floors 3-5 (apartments)


  • The Lancaster Trust Company


  • Weber Diamonds


  • Reilly Bro’s & Raub Wholesale & Retail Hardware


  • Lancaster Business College (59)
  • Zooks* -John B. Hartman

52:  n/a

54 – 56

  • Ivan Rohrer:  Contractor
  • Harry Shor: Dentist
  • JA & Miller Co Drug store
  • Parking garage in back


  • United Cigar Stores Co.


  • Gansman Adolph: Clothing
  • Frank Stevens: Dentist

Buildings:  1-65 odd

North Queen

Buildings:  1-65 odd


  • Fulton National Bank
  • 3:  Clayton Phillips
  • 5:  Heidelbaugh Coal

15:  n/a

21-27: Woolworth Building


  • Louis K Liggett Co:  Drugs
  • Cement floor

35-37:  n/a

39-41:  n/a

43 :  n/a


  • Leinback & Co:  Department Store
  • Floor 2-4: Offices


  • Nixdorf & Bard
  • Knesgess Co


  • WM. O Frailey:  Druggists
  • 59:  Darmstaetter’s Photography

63-65:  n/a


Research Proposal

March 2, 2012

Modeling Lancaster:  1929

Research Question: 

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with buildings, hotels, houses and architecture in general. As I grew older, I realized that I wanted to know the intricate details about how they were made, what drew people to them and how certain individuals were capable of creating such wonderful masterpieces and works of art.  Thus, I was instantly drawn to proposal to recreate downtown Lancaster city blocks through SketchUp.  Through the use of an extensive record of photographs, maps (including the Sandborn maps and drawings of the original buildings) and other sources, I strive to create a 3D replica of a few Lancaster city blocks.  In doing so, I hope to re-create a part of history, using the significant information/data up to the year 1929.

Consider this project our own personal architectural time machine.  I am so interested to see what was here 83 years ago.  What was our modern day downtown Lancaster like?  What were the buildings used for and did they serve their purpose well?  What sort of people inhabited them and most importantly, why were they built the way they built?

Research Hypothesis

With all of the sources within my grasp, both primary and secondary, I plan to investigate the buildings located on certain blocks of downtown Lancaster (North Queen Street), mainly to cut a glimpse through time and have a visual image of the past.  I plan to investigate the Utilitas, Firmitas and Venustas of each building on North Queen Street.  In doing so, I will be able to communicate how these historic and beautiful works were constructed in 1929.

Primary Sources

  • Martin Library Archive Room (directories and maps)*
  • Sandborn Maps
  • Lancasterhistory.orgà photographs and people/shop directories
  • Lancaster Historical Society visit

Secondary Sources

  • (Books, journals ad photographs from Martin and Shad)
  • Journals from JSTOR
  • Word Press
  • 1929 newspapers

Preliminary Plan

Week One

Finalize the blocks I want to research in my project.  After doing that, I will begin to gather the measurements of each and every building on North Queen street (possibly more streets, TBD) and start to draw them by hand.

 Week Two

Study the Sandborn maps of 1929 and analyze them.  See the materials they used during the construction.  Analyze how each building was created, and it’s Firmitas; determine how many stories it has, and begin to do extensive research on each building.

Week Three

Begin to re-create North Queen Street using SketchUp.  After having initially drew the buildings, in using their measurements and structure I will begin recreate/to do that digitally.  Simultaneously, I will continuously investigate the maps as well as the photographs and sources.

Begin a draft of the final paper and gather any sources/materials needed for the essay

Visit Downtown Lancaster (including the Lancaster History Society) again and visit the streets I will build; draw free hand sketches of each building and transcribe anything extraordinary/important of each building

Week Four

Revisit the Lancaster History Society and gather any materials, digitally and create hard copies.

In this week, I will gather any information I can regarding to the families and people that occupied the building as well.  I plan to also do a mini directory of my own, a directory of North Queen Street to be a written guide to the visual one I will be creating.  Although many of the records have been destroyed or lost since that time, whatever information I find is key and will bring me one step closer to truly discovering the 1929 Lancaster.

Week Five/Six

Complete the overall digitialization/3D model.  Scan the photographs and begin to attach them to the sketch up project.

Continue to work on the written aspect of my final project (essay TBD.)

Week Seven-On

The remainder of the weeks will be to:

  • Revisit the primary and secondary sources to gather any more necessary or needed facts
  • Finalize any last minute details of the 3D SketchUp project
  • Complete the final draft of the Paper
  • Create a PowerPoint presentation for the class:  equipped with sufficient amount of slides that I feel will help present my project clearly and effectively.
    • Have pictures of my 3D model
    • Use pictures from the Lancaster History Society of 1929
    • Highlight any interesting facts and surprising evidence found throughout the research (for instance any cool family facts or 1929 celebrities that influenced or dwelled in any of the buildings I am covering)

Klein Reading

February 25, 2012

Lancaster County

 After reading “Lancaster County 1841-1941” by Frederic Shriver Klein, I learned that there were a great deal of factors and important issues to consider within Lancaster during the late 19th century and early 20th century.  It is interesting to note that there are some similarities between the issues in the early 20th century compared to those we are faced with today.  For instance, a few of the issues presented within the article are as follows:

  • Incorporating electricity into their stores
    • lighting and gas
    • use of elevators, electric fans and electric lights
  • For crop growers; finding favorable weather
    • Since tobacco was a huge industry during this time, they depended on the weather
  • The inherent need to adapt to an ever growing population
    • The population grew from 17,000 to 46,000 in the matter of 40 years (1860-1900)
    •  accommodating these people into new jobs and occupations
    • assist in the grow of demands of the people
    • create new industries to foster their demands for lighting/electricity and other modern technologies that came to light during the 19th century
  • Along with the growing population, they needed to find adequate space to house the many up and coming industries (which include Brewing industries, the Helvetia Leather Company, The Keystone Lock Works, tool manufacturers and more)
    • Over one hundred new industries had come into existence over a short period of time
  • Adapting to new materials
    • First brick industries were popular, then the rise of steel and iron came into play
  • The use of automobiles and it’s effect on the public
    • Accommodating the street to incorporate automobiles, wagons, trolleys and pedestrians
    • The rise of traffic rules, macadam streets and gasoline stations (121)

One of the main issues that I noticed within the article was that Lancaster needed to pave the way for growth and expansion and rapid economic development.  “With the growth of the city, large department stores began to take the place of the smaller shops” (106-107).  By the 20th century, Lancaster was becoming the epitome of the “modern city.  A thing of din and steel, of clanging trolley cars and honking automobiles, of electric signs and factory whistles” (113).  The industrial development truly aided in Lancaster’s growth and helped it flourish into a modern day city.  In doing so, the rise of consumerism was met with the demand for more products.  Chocolate, shoes, public education, woodworking industries and more all had a place within Lancaster with an eager population to help it thrive.

Many of the buildings we presented still contain some of the physical attributes from the late 19th century.  Although their Utilitas has changed throughout the years, their Firmitas structure remains.  For example, warehouses and packing establishments were built in the 1800s as brick structures, about two to three stories high.  These attributes can be seen throughout many of the buildings located in Lancaster today, for example on North Queen Street.  Three of the buildings that stand today are covered in some sort of brick, while four of the buildings stand at three stories tall.

There is still a need to adapt to the growing population as some of these warehouses and establishments were turned into residential buildings or even used as office spaces.  Also, the need to adapt to new materials remains present; the use of stone (marble, ashlar) and concrete (reinforced as well) is shown on the storefronts of some of these antique buildings.

Venustas of North Queen Street

February 21, 2012

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.

Kirk Johnson & Co. Building

February 17, 2012


Kirk Johnson (1861-1939) was a leading music dealer in Lancaster, PA during the late 19th century.  He had opened his first store in 1885, but decided to expand in 1911. This was the pre-modernist era in which pop culture was beginning to take hold of American’s, thus music was slowly changing and more instruments were becoming popular and in demand. During 1911, Johnson had C. Emlen Urban design a building for his new music store. Currently, the store functions as a Morti clothing store along the first floor.  The other three floors are used as office space, which are also currently on the market to be rented.



The Kirk Johnson building is a narrow structure that stands four stories tall.  It was constructed symmetrically, using the divisive plan and the trabeated structure.  The interior frame was created with structural steel, and then covered with white tile and sheet copper.  The façade is made out of marble molding and stands above a pink granite base.   The top three floors are made with white tile piers that simulate ashlar masonry.  Each floor has a large window with the original leaded glass transoms (the top three stories have four large windows).  Friezes and lattice-patterned balustrades made of pressed copper, separate each window.  On top of the attic, there is a mansard roof (which is a hip roof with two slopes on each side).  The storefront still contains the original signage in gilt letters (Kirk Johnson & Co).

(Note:  the storefront, which includes the original display windows and entry doors were changed in 1926 due to remodeling.  In 1979-1980, they were restored based off of an original C. Emlen Urban drawing that had resurfaced)


Similarly to other C. Emlen Urban buildings, this building is an example of the French Baroque Revival Style.  During the time period, French Baroque and Italian revival styles had become popular.  The building’s divisive structure communicates that there was a sort of formal aspect being considered during construction.  From the façade, we can interpret that Johnson and Urban wanted to create a building that exuberated elegance, a sort of elegance that can relate back to music while still creating a unique and aesthetically pleasing storefront to attract customers.  When I look at the storefront, I see an inviting and beautifully detailed building with elements of a musical motif.  For instance, the architrave right above the Kirk Johnson signage letters resembles piano keys as it travels horizontally across the front.  Above it in the decorated frieze, is a continuation of spirals, which can often be seen on sheet music or related to the fluidity of notes.  Another unique and beautiful feature is the cornice at the top, separating the fourth floor and the roof.  On each side there are two console brackets and in the center, an oval plaque with a lyre motif to truly symbolize the function of the building.  All of these elements contribute to the classical beauty of the building.    

Frederick Coonley tombstone

February 3, 2012

Although it was a bit difficult for us to find a lot of specific information on Frederick Coonley, we were able to piece together a bit of his history through his bloodline and we found a close match with a person that resembled the dates on our tombstone.

Frederick W. Coonley (the Second) lived on the corner of Charlotte Street and Harrisburg pike, approximately in 351 W James.  He was born July 14th, 1830 and died September 1, 1879 at the age of 49.  He was a brick manufacturer who later sold his plant to a Mr. Poutz, but even after the sale, he continued to engage in contracting and building.  Up until his death, Frederick owned a large amount of real estate.  He was married twice, first to Johanna Oxford and again after her death to Susan Emore (of Reading, PA).  To our knowledge, he had one son, Frederick W. Coonley (the third) who later on moved to reading and established a bakery and a smoked meat business and ended up becoming a successful business man.

Domi Fils-Aime & Melissa Doherty

North Queen Street 2-30

February 3, 2012

North Queen Street
Domi Fils-Aime

(N/B= Not built yet)
Note: All buildings as of 1929 were Tile Construction

2 N. Queen
Present: Bank of America branch (shared with Griest Building)
1929; stripped to make way for the Griest building built in 1924
1912; Became 4 North Queen and a local unknown shop
1891; Became Barber and Oysters Clothing. Also became 0 and 2 North Queen Street
1886: Split with 4 N. Q. street, was Hirsh & Bro clothing

8 N Queen
Present: W.W. Griest Building
1929; Griest Building historic skyscraper and the second tallest building in Lancaster, built in 1924- 1925 by C. Emlen Urban. It is a fourteen story building, made of Stone, Steel and concrete. It is considered a “beaux arts/classical revival office building,” and was built to house the Conestoga Traction Company, the Edison Electric Company and the Lancaster Gass Light and Fuel Company (466). The outer skin is predominantly made of Indiana Limestone with a granite base. The interior spaces have been altered over the years
1912; Notions was replaced with a Candy Factory
1891: Notions Photo Shop
1886: Split with 6 N.Q., local Notions Photo Shop.

10 N. Queen
Present: My Place Pizza Parlor, with a green and white awning, yet the building remains the same as it did from 1929.
1929; the ornamentation on the store front was removed
1912; same structure as 1891, but store became unknown.
1891; the first floor was altered by an addition of a modern store front. Continued to be a Drug store.
1886: constructed between 1865-1880. 3 ½ stories, made of bay brick. Originally a Drug store.

12 N. Queen
Present: Address stripped/ solely 10 N Queen
1929; Same as 1920
1912; Finally became 12 N. Queen, store unknown.
1891; Same as 1886
1886: (shared same building with 10 N Queen, but was not an acknowledged address)

14 N. Queen
Present: American Male, a full service salon for guys
1929; Same as 1912
1912; The original storefront was replaced
1891; Became a Business College and Lodge (initials B&S)
1886: First built. Three stories with an elaborate pediment at the roof line, with terra cotta 1886. Built as a resale/rental property for the Long family

16 N. Queen
Present: N/A
1929; Same as 1912 and 14. N Queen.
1912; Original Store front was replaced
1891; Became a Business College and Lodge (initials B&S)
1886: Shared a building with 14 N. Queen. Same properties and usage.

18 – 22 N. Queen
Present: Continues to be Shaub’s Shoe store. Three stories, flat roof, a large window on the second floor and a two bay section added to the North side.
1929; Same as 1891
1912; Same as 1891
1891; B&S was taken away, leaving 18-22 N. Queen to be Shaub’s shoe store.
1886: All three addresses shared the same building, including 24 N. Queen. Was a Shaub’s Shoe Store and for a short period of time an extension of B&S. Shaub’s was founded in 1880 and is one of Lancaster’s oldest family business still conducted on the original site.

24 N. Queen
Present: Appears to be only two stories, and now holds Ric’s Bread shop.
1929; Marble was added to the storefront
1912; Stripped of it’s previous interiors and became an unknown shop.
1891; Became a Piano store.
1886: shared a building with 18-22 N. Queen and was an extension of B&S

26 N. Queen
Present: Became known as Details (possibly could be same shop since 1886) in which they sell home interior
1929; Unknown shop, but reinforced with iron posts.
1912; Became an unknown shop
1891; Became a clothing shop (26-28)
1886: Shared a building with 26, 28 and 30 N Queen. 26-28 known as D&S Shop (purpose unknown)

30 N. Queen
Present: Photography Store
1929; remains unknown, reinforced with iron posts.
1912; Stripped of previous store and became unknown.
1891; Continued to be a jewelry store
1886: Jewelry Store