“Preserve Our Past” Campaign to Protect Lancaster County Historic Landmarks

Community leaders are rallying behind the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County’s “Preserve Our Past” campaign to raise $1 million to fund trust program and operations.
“It has been awhile since we have launched a community-wide fund raiser, but we are due for one,” said Stephen Dietrich, president of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County. “‘Preserve Our Past’ is being launched with the encouragement of community leaders and others who see the importance of protecting the many historical sites that give Lancaster County  its character – one that makes ours a wonderful community in which to live, work and play.”
The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County is the only organization in Lancaster County that works to protect and preserve structures and sites that are deemed historically significant. Without the intervention of the trust and its volunteers, Lancaster would be without the Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House in downtown Lancaster, the Ellmaker House in Gap, the Rieber House in Manor Township, the Franciscus-Carpenter House in West Lampeter Township and more than 30 other historically important structures. Additionally, the trust was an important resource for preservation and development of the recently renovated Lancaster Central Market and for the preservation of the Watt & Shand Department Store Façade and Thaddeus Stevens House & Lydia Hamilton Smith House historic site that have been incorporated into the Lancaster County Convention Center complex.
Dietrich said the names of building by themselves do not convey their importance. “Each has its own – often colorful – story,” he added. “The Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House, for instance, is where renowned land planner, engineer and surveyor Andrew Ellicott (1753-1820) lived. Among his many other accomplishments, he trained Captain Meriwether Lewis at his 123 North Prince Street home/office before the famous Lewis & Clark western expedition (1804-1806). What the trust protects is more than bricks and mortar. We preserve the legacy of structures… of the people that made them significant to us and those who follow us.”
The “Preserve Our Past” campaign will fund the trust’s education and advocacy programs, its preservation consultations, its historic preservation resource library and archives and its easement initiatives. Easements enable property owners to protect a historic building or site from the loss of its historic character by preventing demolition, neglect or insensitive alterations.
Contributions to the campaign may be sent to the “Preserve Our Past” Campaign, 123 North Prince St., Lancaster, PA 17603.
About the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County
Founded in 1966 to “stem the rapid destruction of historic properties in Lancaster County,” the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County’s mission is to preserve and protect Lancaster County’s rich historic and architectural character through education, advocacy and direct action. The trust has been directly involved in preserving more than three dozen important Lancaster County landmarks and has provided advice, assistance and guidance in the protection of others. The trust is a member-supported, 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the historic Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House (circa 1787) at 123 North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster. Visit www.hptrust.org for additional information.