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Christian Herr/Hans Herr House

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1719, Christian Herr. 1849 Hans Herr Dr., off U.S. 222, 6 miles south of Lancaster
  • (© George E. Thomas)

The oldest building in the county is this powerfully evocative house that represents the late medieval sources of the early German settlers. Roughly square in plan, it is constructed of carefully squared sandstone with larger blocks at the corners. Architectural custom, the cost of glass, and concern for the house's exposed position on the frontier together account for the tiny casement windows, while the high roof containing a full story and an attic and the internal chimney are hallmarks of German design. Its original wood detail and three-room plan are on the order of the House of the Miller at Millbach ( LE1) with a large living hall–kitchen, or “Küche,” along one side of the building, and the living room, or “Stube,” and the private chamber, or “Kammer,” for sleeping placed along the other side. Historian William Murtagh makes the case that plans of this sort are readily found in the towns of origin of these settlers such as Mehlbach and Otterberg. With the Henry Antes House ( MO30) in Montgomery County and the nearby Ephrata Cloister ( LA34), this is one of the key German buildings to see outside of the Bethlehem ( NO20 and following) group.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Christian Herr/Hans Herr House", [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, 322-322.

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