The Beginnings of
Historic Preservation 

The sheer scale of demolition, and the sense of loss that accompanied such change to the familiar cityscape, led a number of Lancastrians to take steps to preserve the historic fabric of their community . . .

Preservation Without Context: The Sehner-Ellicott House

Erected by Gottleib Sehner and famous as the residence of surveyor Andrew Ellicott, the Sehner-Ellicott house has long been considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Lancaster. Upon publication of the first plans for the Prince Street Parking Garage, which would have required demolition of the Sehner-Ellicott house, numerous citizens rallied to save the building. Their efforts marked the beginning of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County. Because of urban renewal elsewhere on the block, the Sehner-Ellicott house stands devoid of its historical streetscape context, and with the tall brick walls of the parking garage looming overhead. Photograph by John Herr, 1980. Courtesy, Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County.


The Howard Avenue Historic District

As part of the rehabilitation program in the Adams project, in 1967 Lancaster's City Council adopted an ordinance establishing the first historic district in the city. The Howard Avenue Historic District extended five blocks and contained some of the oldest residential structures in the city.


An Aggrieved Protest 
Urban Renewal in Retrospect
Urban Renewal and the Changing Face of Lancaster