It’s a woman’s world at annual 2015 Lancaster Letterpress Printers Fair

Thomas-Printers _ Kseniya Thomas _ Carlisle, Pa.

Kseniya Thomas, owner of Thomas-Printers in Carlisle, Pa., and co-founder of Ladies of Letterpress, will share her passion for printing at the Sunday, Oct. 11 fair.

Typecase Industries _ Washington, DC

Typecase Industries was founded in Washington, D.C., and has been successful since its inception.

Typothecary Letterpress_bottle_tags

A gift tag by Typothecary Letterpress of Reading, Pa.

Letterpress printing is no longer your grandfather’s profession.

Just ask Kseniya Thomas, co-founder of Ladies of Letterpress, owner of Thomas-Printers in Carlisle, Pa., and three-time exhibitor at the Lancaster Letterpress Printers Fair to be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11 in historic Downtown Lancaster.

“The fact that I get to work with antique machines, beautiful paper and killer designs doesn’t hurt either,” she told Uppercase magazine in an interview. “I really believe in making things by hand and keeping people involved with processes, and am thankful every time someone choose a handmade invitation over one made by a machine in a huge plant.”

Indeed 60 percent of the exhibitors at this annual celebration of printing are hands-on female entrepreneurs.

Typecase Industries, a first-time vendor at the Lancaster Letterpress Printers Fair, was founded in 2012 by three close friends with a passion for pursuing their dreams and is now a leading letterpress and design studio in metro DC.

In 2011 Megan Zettlemoyer of Reading, Pa., began her foray into letterpress printing after visiting the Heritage Press Museum in Lancaster, which is run by the nonprofit .918 Club, organizer and benefactor of the Lancaster printing event. Her Typothecary Letterpress was born shortly after that visit.

This year’s confirmed exhibitors include:

The event, which is the largest of its kind on the east coast, this year will be held atop the North Queen Street Garage, 424 N. Queen St.

The event started in 2013 as a nod to Lancaster’s place in printing history (Did you know Ben Franklin had a print shop in Lancaster?) and features vendors and suppliers of letterpress equipment, foundry type, cards, posters, broadsides, ephemera, and more. There will also be demonstrations nearby in the Heritage Press Museum’s 1920s print shop located inside BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, 342 N. Queen St, rear, as well as activities for kids.

New this year is a $5 admission (ages 16-under are free) to benefit the .918 Club’s Heritage Press Museum, a non-profit dedicated to the education and preservation of letterpress printing.


WHAT: 2015 Lancaster Letterpress Printers Fair
WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
WHERE: Atop the North Queen Street Garage, 424 N. Queen St., Lancaster, PA 17603
COST: $5 admission; ages 16-under are free. Benefits the nonprofit Heritage Press Museum
PARKING: Hourly in the garage and free at street meters
DETAILS: Vendors selling printing supplies and handmade products.
LEARN: Live demonstrations in the Heritage Press Museum’s working 1920s print shop nearby at 346 N. Queen St., Lancaster

Madcap & Co. gives budding makers a home on North Queen Street

Madcap & Co., featuring exceptional handmade and vintage goods, will open Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in the heart of downtown's shopping district, the 300 Block of North Queen Street.

Madcap & Co., featuring exceptional handmade and vintage goods, will open Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in the heart of downtown’s shopping district, the 300 Block of North Queen Street.

LANCASTER, Pa. — Madcap & Co., featuring exceptional handmade and vintage goods, will open Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in the heart of downtown’s shopping district.

Madcap & Co., a multi-merchant companion shop to BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, Downtown Lancaster’s largest retail store, opens at 310 N. Queen St., with 17 independent merchants, says Marty Hulse, BUiLDiNG CHARACTER and Madcap & Co. owner.

With the new store, Hulse said he is carving out an additional retail niche for the makers movement, which in recent years has gained popularity thanks to the renewed push for American-made goods and DIYers looking for an outlet to sell their creations. “There are so many talented craftspeople in the Lancaster area, and now they have a place to showcase their ingenuity.”

Madcap & Co. will open where the venerable Mommalicious served thousands of fans for nearly 10 years. Mommalicious will be a merchant inside Madcap along with 16 others.

Madcap & Co. will open where the venerable Mommalicious served thousands of fans for nearly 10 years. Mommalicious will be a merchant inside Madcap along with 16 others.

According to Adweek magazine, the makers movement is the umbrella term for independent inventors, designers and tinkerers. “Makers tap into an American admiration for self-reliance and combine that with the open-source learning, contemporary design and powerful personal technology like 3-D printers. The creations, born in cluttered local workshops and bedroom offices, stir the imaginations of consumers numbed by generic, mass-produced, made-in-China merchandise,” it writes.

BC has perfected its multi-shop retail management system in the eight years it has been in business on the 300 Block of North Queen Street, the city’s most desirable shopping district. Madcap & Co. will continue BUiLDiNG CHARACTER’s business model, giving multiple small businesses a brick-and-mortar retail store open seven days a week.

“The beauty is I don’t have to man a store all day long, which gives me more time to create,” says Cynthia Price, owner of Sanctuary opening in Madcap & Co., who already has a space at BUiLDiNG CHARACTER. “This is perfect for makers who are more creatively inclined and not as business saavy.”

Madcap & Co.’s new space was the former Mommalicious, a downtown Lancaster fixture for 10 years. Owner Alicia Byler couldn’t think of a better fit for the retail space in the building she owns and lives in with husband Dennis Snader.

Byler is excited to join such creative makers at Madcap & Co. and is appreciative of Hulse assuming the financial and time-consuming risks of operating an independent retail store. “There are a myriad of responsibilities that are being taken care of … even down to the rolls of toilet paper,” she says. “I know how much energy and money can be spent running a shop, and it’s great that Marty is willing to share it with others.”

Welcome to Madcap & Co. opening Sept. 4 at 310 N. Queen St. in Downtown Lancaster, PA.

Welcome to Madcap & Co. opening Sept. 4 at 310 N. Queen St. in Downtown Lancaster, PA.

The decision to open a second retail concept was a no-brainer for Hulse.

“When the opportunity to open a storefront right on the 300 Block of North Queen came to me, I had to say ‘yes!’ said Marty Hulse, owner of BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, which is nestled through a brick archway at 342 N. Queen St. “I love this block and am excited to add another specialty shop to the mix (on the block).”

The 300 Block of North Queen is also home to several other businesses that offer handmade works, including the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, Art & Glassworks, Russell Locksmith, j.a. sharp Custom Jewelers, the Framing Concept and BUiLDiNG CHARACTER.

BUiLDiNG CHARACTER opened in 2007 selling primarily architectural salvage and by 2008 saw a need in the community to offer a collective for other like-minded entrepreneurs looking to sell vintage, recycled and handmade goods. Today there are more than 60 small businesses in various size retail spaces in the 10,000-square-foot retail location.

Like BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, known for its community-partnered events and lively music playlists throughout the store, Madcap & Co. also will be open seven days a week with extended hours for First Friday and Music Friday, the third Friday of the month which will feature the popular Ladies Night Out with free drink and dessert samples, free chair massages and local live music.

Step right up to Madcap & Co. opening Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.

Step right up to Madcap & Co. opening Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 at 310 N. Queen St., Lancaster.

Madcap & Co. will open with the following 16 merchants (one merchant is pending):

  • 40th Parallel Leather Goods, handmade leather bags and handwoven textiles by Peter and Laurie Eaton of Willow Street
  • B.N. Luna, handmade fleece blankets for newborns, infants and toddlers by Audrey Baxter and locally designed and printed whimsical canvas wall decor for baby and children by Heidi Herr
  • Deborah Sielski, assemblages from vintage salvaged materials reminiscent of flowers and foliage
  • Hello Niccoco, lighthearted hand-drawn designs by Nicole Duquette of Lancaster
  • Lake and Cabin, vintage and handmade home decor for your lake house, cabin or seaside abode by Micah and Holly Lessey of Lancaster
  • Madcap Mercantile, a collection of handmade greatness from near and far such as hand poured candles, handmade jewelry and wallets and bags made of recycled bicycled inner tubes
  • Miller Cast Products, collectible brass banks, trivets, wall art and figurines made in the City of Lancaster since 1887 by the J. Walter Miller Co.
  • Mommalicious, the venerable vintage and handmade goods dealer Alicia Byler of Lancaster
  • My Aunt Debbie, handmade pop-art-inspired jewelry, fashion and accessories by Debbie Serdy of Lancaster
  • Renaissance Chimney, vintage industrial pieces made from recycled materials by Mike Ellis of Bernville
  • Roaring Dog Studio, functional art for kitchen and home by Chris Clemans of Strasburg
  • Sanctuary, reinvented and repainted furniture, home decor and original paintings by artist Cynthia Price of Lancaster
  • Studioweit, handmade woven one-of-a-kind rugs and fiberworks mostly of upcycled cotton and flannel by Eric Weit and Kimberly McMullen of Millersville
  • Tortoise and the Hare, heirloom-quality handmade children’s clothing with a bit of whimsy and pinch of practicality by Rosina Lapp of Gordonville
  • Wise Oak Herbs, teas, salves, balms, powders, mists and rubs using the best organic and sustainably harvested herbs by Meeghan Orr and DJ Mercado of Lancaster
  • Wood ‘N’ Glass, creations of stained glass and handcarved wood by artist Deb Becker of Lancaster

Madcap & Co., which will have two full-time and two part-time employees, is the newest brand for the company which opened in 2007. Additional brands include Hip Thrift recycled brand name clothing, B.C. Martin’s Original and Authentic Hardware and line of souvenirs.

BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, LLC is a locally owned multiple-shop retail destination in Downtown Lancaster, Pa., that also serves as a business incubator for entrepreneurs, artists and craftspeople. Inside the store’s 10,000-square-foot, 115-year-old walls there are more than 60 shops offering vintage and collectible goods, handcrafted jewelry, upcycled furniture, recycled brand clothing, as well as the nonprofit Heritage Press Museum.

# # #

What: Madcap & Co. handmade and vintage store
Where: 310 N. Queen St., Lancaster
When: Opening Friday, Sept. 4, 2015
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday; until 9 p.m. first and third Fridays



Mark your calendars ladies and gents because our SEMI-ANNUAL Warehouse Sale is coming up on Saturday, February 14-Monday, February 16, you can find 10%-60% throughout of 45+ shops. Our sale will be starting just in time for those late Valentine’s Day presents you’ve been meaning to get and we’ve got a great selection of one-of-a-kind gifts PLUS they will be on sale!

We will be open our regular store hours

Sat| 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Sunday| 12 p.m.- 5 p.m.

Monday| 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Participating Shops

o Antique It Candles ~ 25% OFF shop
o Charming Magic ~ Marked down items
o Barbers Artglass ~ 20% OFF shop
o Blueberry Hill ~ 20% OFF shop
o Bronze Age Antiques ~ 10% OFF shop
o BUiLDiNG CHARACTER ~ 30% OFF hardware, salvage items, windows and doors; some exclusions
o Cheap Frills ~ 20% OFF shop
o Clay Path Studio ~ No discounts
o Crystals Stones & Wire ~ 10% OFF shop + additional mark-downs
o Custom Canvas Prints ~ Marked down items
o Debi’s Artistry ~ 20% OFF shop
o Duvall Bottleworks ~ 20% OFF shop
o Eclectic Collective ~ 10% OFF shop
o Egnerama ~ 10% OFF shop + 20% OFF all jewelry
o Fotographiya ~ 25% OFF entire shop; 50% OFF $2 photos and postcards
o Garden Party Soapworks ~ 20% OFF handmade
o Handmade by Kanga ~ 10% to 30% OFF shop
o HiP THRIFT ~ 30% OFF Saturday, 40% OFF Sunday, 50% OFF Monday
o It All Has a Purpose ~ 10% OFF shop
o J.P. McCaskey Art Club ~ 20% OFF shop
o Lil Red Brick House ~ No discounts
o Love Letters ~ Marked down items
o Melding Studios ~ 10% OFF shop
o The Modest House ~ 20% OFF shop
o Music For Everyone ~ 20% OFF shop
o Opportunities ~ Marked down items
o PlarnStar ~ 17% OFF shop
o Reclaimed Art ~ 15% OFF shop
o Rebecca’s Wreaths ~ 10% OFF shop
o Rejuvenated Furniture ~ 25% OFF shop
o River Valley Music Collective ~ 50% OFF shop; excludes CDs
o Rust and Junque (formerly VintageLancaster) ~ 20% OFF shop; excludes handmade
o SandraCycled ~ 15% OFF shop
o The Sassy Tassel ~ 30% OFF shop + marked down items
o Serendipity Gourds ~ Marked down items
o Scrappy Bags ~ 10% OFF shop
o SheCre8s ~ 15% OFF shop
o Shimpin’ Salvage ~ 20% OFF shop
o Silks ‘N’ Scents ~ 20% OFF shop
o The Simple Cup ~ 10% OFF shop
o Sisters ~ 10% OFF shop
o Smilin’ Gal ~ 10% OFF shop
o Sola Fide Furniture ~ TBA
o Steve’s Man Cave ~ 25% OFF shop
o Sticks & Stones by Roxanne ~ 10% OFF shop
o Style Archaeology ~ 20% OFF shop
o Sweet Sally Soaps ~ 15% OFF shop
o The Brown House ~ 20% OFF shop
o Vintage Young ~ 25% OFF shop
o White Elephant ~ 25% to 50% OFF shop
o Wood ‘N Glass ~ 10% OFF shop + 25% OFF selected items
o Zole ~ 20% OFF shop

*Only at participating shops

Holiday Events for BC and the 300 Block


  • Parking is on us this holiday season! BUiLDiNG CHARACTER and other merchants on the 300 Block of North Queen Street will give you one free hour parking with a $40 purchase between Dec. 1-24 (while supplies last); excluding Sundays when parking is always free.
  • Friday, Nov. 6 10am-9pm First Friday
  • Friday, Nov. 28, 6-9pm BUiLDiNG CHARACTER’s Hip Santa arrives for the season. Visit with him Fridays 6-9pm; Saturdays and Sundays 12-5pm through Dec. 23. Get your photo taken free and a Christmas gift for children and pets. BUiLDiNG CHARACTER –
  • Saturday, Nov. 29 9am-8pm Small Business Saturday
  • Friday, Dec. 12 Holiday Open (Ware)House 7-9pm with treats and sounds of the season and get up close and personal with live demonstrations by BUiLDiNG CHARACTER’s resident artisans.
  • Friday, Dec. 19 Ladies Night Out Holiday Edition 7-9pm with free drink and dessert samples, massages, locally made gift ideas and shopping at 40+ shops under one roof.
  • Saturdays, Dec. 6, 13 and 20 9:30-11am Breakfast with BUiLDiNG CHARACTER’s Hip Santa at Commonwealth on Queen, 301 N. Queen St. Call 717-394-7201 for reservations.


  • Saturday, Nov. 29 9am-9pm extended hours for Small Business Saturday at participating merchants on the 300 Block of North Queen Street.
  • Sunday, Dec. 7 11am-5pm Holiday Open House on the 300 Block of North Queen Street, Downtown Lancaster’s premiere shopping district. Enjoy sounds and treats of the season at participating merchants, including Art & Glassworks, Mommalicious, j.a. Sharp, BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, Space and more.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 10 5:30-9pm Men’s Night Out at j.a. Sharp Customer Jewelers and other participating merchants on the 300 Block of North Queen Street.
  • Extended shopping hours are participating merchants or on the 300 Block of North Queen Street, Downtown Lancaster’s premiere shopping district. merchants, including Art & Glassworks, Mommalicious, j.a. Sharp, BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, Space and more.
  • Parking is on us this holiday season! Merchants on the 300 Block of North Queen Street will give you one free hour parking with a $40 purchase between Dec. 1-24 (while supplies last); excluding Sundays when parking is always

hip santahip santa2

hip santahip santa 3

The Twists & Turns of the Jewelry-Making Team of SheCre8s


shecr8es1FEATURED SHOP: Shecre8s

Shecre8s is owned and operated by wife-and-husband duo Barb and George Thompson of Horsham, Pa. Shecre8s specializes in handmade jewelry and art that is made from recycled vintage silverware. Their rings, bracelets, and necklaces are full of whimsical and unique designs. Each piece is jaw-dropping from their organic-flowing-structure to the gemstone-inspired creations. Whether your style is classic-chic, artsy-boho, or a little in-between you’ll find the perfect statement piece with Shecre8s wearable art collection. Here’s the inside look at Shecre8s artistically recycled world:

What is the creative process behind your designs? … more particularly the figures/statues, i.e., the artist and the “thinking man.”

All of the whimsical sculpture pieces are done by George as our attempt to recycle all pieces of the utensils that we cut. So the inspiration or suggestion to him was to do waiters/chefs who may have an interest to buy. At the shore shows we have done fisherman and in Center City Philadelphia we were doing a show in the Art Museum area and I suggested Rodin’s thinker since its such a recognizable classic figure in that area. Of course with George’s “classic” sense of humor he decided to put him sitting on two oval flattered spoons which gave the impression of a toilet. So he added a toilet seat back and called him “The Stinker.” So be it for “classic.”… But it sold immediately and then several were custom ordered for a plumbing business.


Where do you find your silverware and what era of silverware is your favorite to find?
We learned that the best plated utensils to use for jewelry were made pre-1960ish. It was an “IS” process called inlaid silver. Most of what I turn into jewelry comes from the early 1900s and late 1800s. All other silverware we use as hooks, key chains, parts for sculptures etc.

We are now lucky enough not to have to spend so much time scouring yard sales and flea markets. A man who collects scrap metal brings me what he collects. I buy online when I am targeting certain pieces or patterns.

What is the process of bending and molding the shape of the jewelry? Why do you prefer not to heat the pieces for bending?

We found that heating to bend the silverware changes the final result in finish when I go to buff the piece. Although it was OK, I prefer a shinier finish which would be what the piece would have looked like originally. So George does 95% of the fork tine bending since he has more hand strength. But I hand hammer all bracelets and rings around a mandrel on a vise. The pieces go through many steps of sanding, (4 grits of sanding discs) shaping the ends after holed, buffing out as much of the surface scratches as possible, thoroughly washing, tumbling and hand buffing before the piece gets dressed with links, magnets, gems etc.

before and after

How long have you been making jewelry and why silverware inspired pieces?

Once I was downsized (at my job) in 2012 I made beaded jewelry, stained glass, wire wrapping to stimulate the latent creativity that went untapped for so long as a way to decompress from years of corporate stress and a means to supplement my severance pay and bridge the gap between jobs.
The silverware jewelry became a much more interesting creative challenge for me and the whole repurposing idea was extremely satisfying. I feel blessed that so many people enjoy our creations and since it has been very successful for us we intend to continue fulltime (even though George WAS semi-retired due to health issues). We both have found new life, energy and satisfaction in our joint effort to support ourselves through retirement.

Favorite part about selling your pieces? 

Meeting the people face-to-face and come back to compliment us on how much they love it and appreciate the recycling of what would have been scrapped.


If you could have one super-hero power what it be and why?
Spider-Man. As I age my joints and muscles prevent me from getting certain places, like on a ladder, climbing stairs and Spider-Man can get everywhere fast and efficiently!

Also not exactly a super power but “I dream of Jeannie”or “Bewitched” so I could just wiggle my nose and carry and move my product during show set up and breakdowns. They are brutal for us old folks.

heart bracelet

Visit SheCre8s 7 days a week inside BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, rear warehouses at 342 N. Queen St., Downtown Lancaster

Shecre8s social media: click the icons below


Featured Vendor~ Opportunities

Opportunities is owned and operated by Faith Barrett of Lancaster County. Opportunities is just what the name implies, an opportunity for the community to help young girls and woman fight human trafficking and oppression to pursue a dignified life. Opportunities features an arrangement of jewelry, bags, sandals, and accessories all of which are handcrafted by the talented young girls and woman. The proceeds of all sales go straight to the three organizations Opportunities supports, Seeds of Hope Homes, New Hope Girls Academy, and Mercy Jewelry.  Faith has made a home for Opportunities here at BC, and we are very gracious to be part of such a great cause.

seeds of hope

using fashion to educate

Photo courtesy of Sseko

I started at Building Character in October 2013. My favorite part of being a vendor at BC is telling people about the non-profit organizations with which I partner. These organizations do amazing things. I’m forever inspired by them and what they do for women and girls in third world countries.

Over the last ten years I’ve gradually become aware of the plight of women and girls in third world countries. I heard things like it is common for women from the “Untouchables” caste in India to kill their infant babies in order to keep them from the horrible life that an “Untouchable” woman has to endure. I heard things like many women choose to sell their bodies many times a day just to provide food and shelter for their families. I also heard about mothers selling their own daughters into prostitution and sex slavery. I heard these things and I felt sick.

I also began to hear about organizations that exist to help these women. These organizations rescue women from human trafficking. I became aware companies being started for the sole purpose of giving women jobs. I also became aware of schools starting in extremely impoverished communities to educate young girls in order to help prevent their families from selling them in to slavery. I heard these things and I wanted to do something. But, I was stuck on what that “something” might be. I began buying from companies who sold fair trade products, but I still wanted to more!

During the same time period, I began creating. I inherited my grandmother’s sewing machine and I began making beautiful things. I made beautiful things for my home, my kids, my nieces and nephews, and then I began selling my beautiful creations. There is no higher compliment than for someone else to purchase something that you have worked hard to make. They value your attention to detail, choice of materials, creativity, vision, skill, and time so much that they are willing to pay their own hard earned money to have it for themselves. There is nothing else quite like it!

One day it occurred to me that I should combine my two passions! Opportunities is the result of that thought. At Opportunities I sell my own handmade creations, but best of all I offer the fabulous goods made by women in an effort to create beauty out of their lives and situations. I partner with three non-profit organizations: Seeds of Hope Homes, New Home Girls Academy, and Mercy Jewelry.

Seeds of Hope Homes operates on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. They exist to offer rehabilitation and education to girls who have been rescued from human trafficking. Before Seeds of Hope existed just a few years ago, the girls were often rescued at the hospital after an assault, but then had no where to go after being released. They simply went back onto the streets and often taken again as slaves. The girls make beautiful beaded bracelets and shell earrings that are sold at Opportunities.

New Hope Girls Academy was started to help prevent the girls in an extremely impoverished community in the Dominican Republic from being sold into slavery. The schools motto is: Dreaming for the girls in the barrio (slums) the same dreams we have for our own daughters. Several of the ladies (some of them moms of the girls in the school) in the community sew beautiful bags that are sold at Opportunities. The ladies are paid a fair wage to help support their families and part of the money goes to support the school.

Mercy Jewelry exists to provide employment with dignity to women who formerly have been involved in prostitution in San Pedro Dominican Republic. These women have chosen prostitution not to get rich, but to provide the bare necessities for their families. Many of them have felt that there is no other choice for them to feed their children, but to sell their bodies. Mercy Jewelry provides them employment making beautiful jewelry.

All of the proceeds from each organization’s sales goes directly back to them, after taking out a portion of the rent and commission fees. The highlight of my month is writing out checks to each of these amazing organizations! It feels great to be doing something to help! Every day I feel privileged to be doing a small part to give women and girls without options…Opportunities!

seeds of hopecheveron pursecapes


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And So Saturday Is ‘Lancaster History Day,’ Mayor Gray Proclaims

BUiLDiNG CHARACTER’s warehouses featured during Saturday’s walking tour


Then & Now: The Lancaster Storage Co. storefront in the 1950s and today.

DOWNTOWN LANCASTER, Pa. – Ever look at the city’s historic buildings and wonder what used to be?

Get a first-hand lesson during the Lancaster Walk & Talk Tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18.

In fact, Mayor Rick Gray proclaims Saturday “Lancaster History Day” in recognition of the 20 sites on the Historic Lancaster Walk & Talk Tour. The historic business and industry sites have adaptive re-use in common. Constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries, the sites have been preserved and restored for 21st century purposes – the city’s largest shopping destinations, offices, residences, restaurants and hotels.

“Lancaster’s history and cultural heritage are inextricably linked to its architecture,” says Gray in the proclamation. “Our movement to save historic structures and celebrate their importance with the Historic Walk & Talk Tour demonstrates our willingness to save historic buildings and restore them for adaptive reuses.”

It has been proven time and time again that historic preservation encourages neighborhood revitalization, economic development and heritage tourism.

The Historic Lancaster Walk & Talk Tour is a joint education initiative of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County,  

In addition to adaptive re-use, another theme of the tour is how the railroads charted the course for Downtown Lancaster’s development in the 1700s and 1800s. Much of the three-mile long tour is along the corridor from where the railroad station once stood, at the corner Queen and Chestnut streets, northwest along where trains used to run toward where Franklin & Marshall College is today.

Sites on the tour include:

  • Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House (1787)
  • H. Doer Tobacco Warehouse (1886),
  • Hirsh & Brother Tobacco Company Warehouse (1869-1874)
  • Fulton Theatre (1852)
  • Lancaster Central Market (1889)
  • Old City Hall (c. 1795-1798)
  • Brunswick Hotel site (1915-1920)
  • Pennsylvania Railroad Station site (1834)
  • Lancaster Storage Company Garages (c. 1808-09; storefront c. 1920), now BUiLDiNG CHARACTER (est. 2007)
  • High Welding Company (c. 1820)
  • S. R. Moss Cigar Factory (1896; rebuilt 1907)
  • Swisher & Buckwalter Tobacco Warehouses (c. late 800’s to early 1900’s)
  • G. Falk & Bro. and A. S. Rosenbaum Tobacco Warehouse (1881)
  • John DeHaven Tobacco Company Warehouse (c. 1876)
  • Edison Electric Illuminating Company (c. 1886 and 1892)
  • Robison, Blair and Company Factory (c. 1906)
  • Wacker Brewing Company (c. 1799)
  • Stevens High School (c. 1904-1906) and
  • The Walter Schnader Tobacco Warehouse (c. 1900).

BUiLDiNG CHARACTER’s warehouses-turned-retail store (c. 2008) were renovated in 2007, including the replacement of all the exterior sliding doors recreated to match the originals.

In addition to a wealth of history on the tour and docents dressed in 19th century attire, there will be ice cream, candy and spirits. Yuengling’s Ice Cream will be served as well as Miesse Candies and The Hershey Company’s new “Lancaster” soft caramel creme candies. Season’s Olive Oil and Vinegar Taproom will serve samplings. The tasting rooms will be open at Thistle Finch Distillery and the Wacker Brewing Company.

Artist Rebecca Lee also will demonstrate her work on the tour, and artwork from Penn-Mar will be displayed. Many of Penn-Mar’s larger pieces have had upwards of 85 people take part in their creation.

Tickets for the tour are $18 for members of the Historic Preservation Trust, $20 for non-members and $10 for children under the age of 12. Blocks of five tickets may be purchased for $75. Ticket sales will be at 123 N. Prince St. (Tour Stop #1). The self-guided tour begins at 10 am and ends at 3 pm.  Continue reading