Head back to the classroom to ‘tour’ some of architect’s greatest schools
It’s September and even C. Emlen Urban had to go back to school! However, as a young architect it was for a new objective—to design them! Urban’s illustrious career included many building types: residences, civic buildings, churches, industrial, mercantile, offices and even schools. In all, he designed 13 public schools, from his first in 1895 at the age of 32 to his last in East Lampeter Township on Old Philadelphia Pike toward the end of his career. His more notable school designs included Stevens High School, 1906; Milton Hershey Consolidated School, 1914; Fulton Boy’s School, 1916; Reynold’s Middle School, 1927; and Lancaster Catholic High School, 1929.
Urban’s school designs were as varied as the architectural styles that he chose for each of them. Each school represented a popular style of the time beginning with Italian Renaissance for the 1895 Strawberry Street Elementary School, to Gothic Revival for The Reynold’s Middle School, and Beaux Arts/French Renaissance for his most controversial design, the Stevens High School. All 13 buildings are still in existence; some are being used for their original function while others have been repurposed for a new use. Either way, their longevity reflects the integrity of the materials he specified, the quality of the design and the buildings’ ability to adapt to the changing times.
The full LNP News article and photos are available at Lancaster On-line.