C. Emlen Urban

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C. Emlen Urban
Hager Lancaster PA.jpg
The Hager Building in downtown Lancaster
Born February 26, 1863
Conestoga Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Died May 21, 1939
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Nationality United States
Occupation Architect

Cassius Emlen Urban (February 26, 1863 – May 21, 1939) was a Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based architect. He was the leading architect in Lancaster from the 1890s to the 1920s.


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.[1] 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.[2]

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).[3]

He died on May 21, 1939, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Selected works[edit]

Individual listings on the National Register of Historic Places[edit]

Stevens High School

Contributing properties to historic districts[edit]

1035 Marietta Avenue in the Northeast Lancaster Historic District


  1. ^ "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.
  2. ^ City of Lancaster: C. Emlen Urban
  3. ^ Hershey Community Archives: Urban, C. Emlen

External links[edit]