You are here

Lark Hall, Lancaster Theological Seminary

-A A +A
1893–1894, John Smith; 1977 restored, P. Richard Frantz. 555 W. James St.

Founded as a German Reformed seminary in 1825 in Carlisle, it soon moved to York and then in 1837 to Mercersburg. The removal of Marshall College in Mercersburg to join Franklin College in Lancaster in 1853 caused the seminary to follow suit in 1871. In 1893 it commissioned a Harrisburg architect to design an all-purpose building with classrooms, administrative offices, and a chapel in the semicircular extension. It pays homage to H. H. Richardson in the great Syrian arch of the entrance, but its strongly differentiated volumes expressing different functions and wildly asymmetrical composition make it very much a descendent of Frank Furness's University of Pennsylvania Library ( PH147.3). Sensitively restored, it is a regional treasure.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Lark Hall, Lancaster Theological Seminary", [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, 321-321.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,