Lancaster City Hall
Art & Culture

Lancaster City Hall: 104 East Main Street


The first City Hall was built in 1860. It was torn down to build a new one in the same location.

The current City Hall was built in 1897 with a corner-stone being placed in February 1897. An opening reception was held on June 6, 1898. It was built in the most popular style of its time for public buildings, Richardsonian – Romanesque.

Characteristics include rough-faced stone (quarried locally), curved arches and windows with smooth-faced stone, a tall square tower crowned with a steep pyramidal roof, and prominent roof dormers. The inside features included hard maple flooring in the offices and marble in the halls. The building was completely wired for electric lighting and fitted with the latest appliances of steam heating. Stairways from the first floor to the tower were made of iron and steel. The clock tower was completed in 1898. The glass dials were eight feet four inches in diameter. The clock arrived from the Howard Watch and Clock Company of Boston, Mass. The weight of the piece is 3,190 lbs. In March 1898 the clock tower was lighted for the first time. Gas was used in the clock tower and an attachment turned its lights on and off. A room on the second floor of the clock tower is where the mechanism that operates a cable that pulls the hammer that strikes the bell is located. The bell was one of the last items to be installed.

An auditorium that could seat 300 people was used for political events, wrestling and boxing matches, and entertainment.

In 1959 the City Hall was remodeled. They took out the slanted second floor and turned it into a courtroom, while the third floor was added to divide the ceiling from the floor of the auditorium. Offices replaced the area that once was used for entertainment.

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