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Marriott Hotel (Watt and Shand Department Store)
Lancaster's most luxurious department store was founded in 1878 at this corner as Watt, Shand and Thompson's New York store. By the early twentieth century its name had been simplified and the building had grown to encompass one of the quadrants of the square. The present scheme had its beginnings in 1896 on E. King Street and gradually expanded to its present size. Its classical facade marks the triumph of Beaux-Arts classicism after the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, though Urban's version is characteristically heavy with ornament. In the 1920s the interior was updated by C. A. Wheeler, a Chicago master of department store design, who unified floors and created space for the thirty individual departments that brought the world to Lancaster. The decline of the downtown department store caused its closing in 1995. Its lower facade is now topped by a bland hotel tower by an Atlanta firm and is part of Lancaster's convention center, another phase in the city's efforts to redevelop its center.
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