C. Emlen Urban
|C. Emlen Urban|
The Hager Building in downtown Lancaster
February 26, 1863|
Conestoga Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
May 21, 1939|
He was born on February 26, 1863, to Barbara Hebbie and Amos S. Urban in Conestoga Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Lancaster’s Boys High School in 1880, and then apprenticed as a draftsman at the E.L. Walter architectural firm in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Emlen also worked in the office of Willis G. Hale in Philadelphia. He returned to Lancaster in 1886. He designed many of Lancaster’s notable buildings including the Farmer's Southern Market on Queen Street in 1888, the Watt & Shand Department Store in 1898, and the Y.M.C.A., Harold's Building, Unitarian Church, and St. James Lutheran Church parish House on Duke Street in 1903. His designs embraced architectural styles as diverse as Queen Anne, Beaux-Arts, and Colonial Revival. His work forms a bridge between the Victorian Era and the Modern Age.
C. Emlen Urban also worked in Hershey, Pennsylvania during its developing period. Urban knew Milton Hershey through Lancaster's Hamilton Club. As Hershey developed, Urban designed all of the main buildings constructed between 1903 and 1926, including the Original Hershey Chocolate Company Offices and factory (1903), Cocoa House (1 Chocolate Avenue) (1905), Hershey Trust Company (1 W. Chocolate Avenue) (1914), Community Building and Hershey Theatre (14 E. Chocolate Avenue) (1915, 1928-1932), and Convention Hall (former Hershey Museum building) (1915).
He died on May 21, 1939, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Individual listings on the National Register of Historic Places
- 1888: Farmer's Southern Market, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- 1891: Charlie Wagner's Cafe, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- 1904-1905: Stevens High School, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- 1910: Lancaster Trust Company, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- 1910-1911: Reilly Brothers and Raub Building, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- 1910-1911: Hager Building, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- 1911-1912: Kirk Johnson Building, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- 1915, 1928-1932: Hershey Community Center Building, Hershey, Pennsylvania
- 1924-1925: W. W. Griest Building, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Contributing properties to historic districts
- Lancaster City Historic District
- Ephrata Commercial Historic District
- Manheim Borough Historic District
- Northeast Lancaster Township Historic District
- "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes Christopher Dawson (December 1997). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: W. W. Griest Building" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-02-25.
- City of Lancaster: C. Emlen Urban
- Hershey Community Archives: Urban, C. Emlen
- "To Build Strongand Substantial: The Career of Architect C. Emlen Urban," Produced by The City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 2009
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. PA-5653, "Harold's Furniture Store, 4-6 West King Street, Lancaster, Lancaster County, PA", 11 photos, 14 data pages, 1 photo caption page