Old Town Lancaster
Old Town Lancaster is a restoration project in downtown Lancaster located just two blocks from the central business district. Instead of leveling 66 dilapidated residences and commercial structures, these buildings were restored and the street patterns were rearranged by Derck & Edson to create a city showpiece.
This trend-setting project has been recognized in numerous trade magazines and has won a Grand Award from the National Association of Home Builders and Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Featured in Landscape Architecture magazine, Old Town Lancaster represents a bold step in restoration development and spurred similar revitalization projects here and in cities nationwide.
“The landscape architecture firm of Derck & Edson prepared a site plan that saved two blocks of nearly derelict residential buildings ranging in age from 80 to 200 years old from demolition and restored them to better-than-ever condition as a historic district, with a new infrastructure and identity. …
The landscape architects made Old Town Lancaster into a new place by redesigning the street system. Portions of two streets that had divided the larger of the two tracts into three sections were vacated, and one of the vacated streets became part of a loop street within the now-contiguous blocks. In the smaller tract another loop street was made from vacant lots. The interior streets were paved in brick and given rolled curbs of concrete to mark off the brick sidewalks. Buildings were then remodeled inside. …
Old Town Lancaster is perceived as a special place because of an internal circulation system that sets it apart from its urban environment without walling it off. The changes in the street pattern are not major interventions that deny the urbanity of the place, but rather offer only a slight variation on the urban context.”
Landscape Architecture, April 1991