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City Hall (U.S. Post Office and Courthouse)

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U.S. Post Office and Courthouse
1890–1892, William A. Freret(?). 120 N. Duke St.

The Lancaster tendency toward the Baroque is evident in this remarkable post office by the federal architect's office. In 1889, as his patron, Democrat Grover Cleveland, was preparing to leave office, Freret, a New Orleans architect, hastened to get control of thirty projects for federal buildings, this presumably being one of them. It appears to have been largely constructed under the supervision of the next supervising architect, James Windrim of Philadelphia, and was finished under the William Edbrooke administration. Because of its site in the midst of Lancaster's principal institutions, its architect made it more architectural than most post offices with an advancing central block flanked by recessed wings, all in a style that could be called Venetian if there were not so much of the Second Empire in its mass. Its silhouette is enlivened by the remarkable tower with its balconied belfry. When the new post office was constructed on W. Chestnut Street (1929, C. Emlen Urban), the old post office was adapted to serve as city hall, replacing the building on Penn Square ( LA8).

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "City Hall (U.S. Post Office and Courthouse)", [Lancaster, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 318-318.

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