Franklin & Marshall College’s Old Main is LEADS’ 14th annual ornament.
LEADS, Lancaster’s Economic Action for Downtown Development, is a volunteer nonprofit that relies on private contributions for its work. The group beautifies downtown Lancaster city by paying for the hanging and maintenance of flower baskets in the spring and holiday decorations in the fall — including decorations for the Penn Square Christmas tree. Ornament sales raise funds for those efforts.
”The landmark ornament has become a popular and successful fundraiser to help make downtown streets festive for the holidays,” Joel Henry, LEADS board president, said in a news release.
Ornaments are $25 and available at the following locations:
—BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, 342 N. Queen St., rear warehouses
—Festoon at the Firehouse, 202 N. Duke St.
—The Turkey Lady at Central Market
—The city Visitors Center on Penn Square.
Ornaments are also available online at LancasterLeads.org or by calling Building Character at 717-394-7201 to purchase with a major credit card. Shipping is $4.95 for the first ornament and $.95 for each additional ornament.
Old Main was one of the first buildings constructed on Franklin & Marshall’s campus, according to the news release from LEADS. The building was dedicated in 1856. Construction began in 1854 by Baltimore firm Dixon, Balbirnie & Dixon. It was built by Lancaster contractor Haden Patrick Smith at a cost of $25,136, according to the release.
The building embodies elements of Gothic Revival architecture: extreme verticality, lancet windows and louvers, battlements and finials. It is a three-story, T-shaped brick and sandstone building with three-story lateral wings featuring a four-story, square entrance tower. (Read more about the Gothic Revival style in Gregory J. Scott’s architecture column for LNP | LancasterOnline here.)
Currently, Old Main is home to several offices at the college, including the office of the president, office of the provost, office of student affairs, academic advising and more.
Old Main was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
This is the 14th year LEADS has sold the gold-plated ornaments as a fundraiser. Every year, a significant local building is chosen for the ornament by the LEADS board.
Previous ornaments have included images of the Mellor Administration Building at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, the Fulton Opera House, Lancaster Central Market, Watt & Shand, the Lancaster Train Station and the Southern Market building.
For more information, visit LancasterLeads.org.