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Industrial Buildings

Candy, Clocks, Corks and Cigars are just some of the products that were manufactured in Lancaster during its industrial heyday, from the 1840s through the 1930s. Factories also produced umbrellas, rifles, cotton cloth, combs, bricks, soap, beer, carriages, wagons, and watches.

Lancaster was well positioned to capitalize upon new types of manufacturing, since the city already enjoyed a solid reputation for the high quality of goods produced by its artisans. Eighteenth-century master craftsmen working in Colonial Lancaster included gunsmiths, locksmiths, toolmakers, carpenters, cabinetmakers, wheelwrights, weavers, and silversmiths. Industrialized factory systems gradually emerged during the nineteenth century from these specialized workshops.

Many sturdy brick industrial buildings that once housed factories, mills, and warehouses still stand today in Lancaster, and have found new uses and functions. These buildings contribute a great deal to Lancaster's Victorian character and its unique urban environment.

General Cigar & Tobacco Company Warehouses

526 through 626 North Charlotte Street

This site includes a group of three brick tobacco warehouses built circa 1876-1886. In 1886, there were six warehouses located along this stretch of block. Today the buildings house a printing company, apartments, and the offices of an architectural firm.

P. Lorillard Company Tobacco Warehouse

49 West James Street

Built circa 1899, this three-story brick building is one of the most elaborate tobacco warehouses in Lancaster County. The building's recessed bays are defined on the façade by rounded arches and on the side by corbelled brick. Purchased by Lorillard in 1920, the building was later used as the B.F. Good & Company Leaf Tobacco Warehouse. Upon acquiring the warehouse in 1985, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company undertook a major adaptive reuse project to house its cartography division.

City Crossings

352 North Prince Street

This brick factory, with a high stone foundation, was built in 1906 on the site of the Farmers' Implement and Spoke Factory. Originally used as a caramel factory, the building later housed the Haddad Shoe Company before being converted to office space.

Rose Brothers & Co. Umbrella Factory

221 East Chestnut Street

The Rose Brothers & Co. Umbrella Factory began operations in buildings just to the north, along East Fulton Street, that were vacated by the Conestoga Cork Works (which, following a merger, became the Armstrong Cork Company). To provide additional factory space, this building was constructed circa 1909-1912. When umbrella manufacturing ceased in 1930, the Domestic Tobacco Company used the building as a warehouse. It has since been sensitively renovated for its current use as law offices. Its façade is enlivened by the use of concrete keystones and spring blocks, which stand out against the brick.

The Conestoga Steam Mills

South Prince at Conestoga Streets

These buildings (known as Mills #1, #2, and #3) are one of the largest historic industrial complexes in Lancaster, built as the county's first steam-powered cotton mill. When operations began in 1847, Mill #1 was the largest structure in Lancaster, while Mill #2 introduced the Romanesque Revival Style  to the city. The mills were the city's largest industry and employer by the 1880s. Mill #1 ceased operations in 1895, and was later used as a tobacco warehouse. Mills #2 and #3 continued to operate until 1949. The School District of Lancaster has adaptively reused Mills #1 and #3, as the Carter and MacRae Elementary School. Located across the street, Mill #2 houses the Water Street Rescue Mission.

The Umbrella Works

West King at Mulberry Streets

This five-story brick structure was built circa 1892 as the Follmer, Clogg and Company Umbrella Works Factory, one of the world's largest manufacturers of umbrellas by 1910. The factory building was taken over in 1944 by the J.B. Van Sciver furniture store. Vacated in 1982, the building sat empty until being converted into apartments in 1986. Its rehabilitation included the reconstruction of the corner tower, which serves as a focal point on this corner property.