The Hager Building, built in 1910-1911 on West King Street in downtown Lancaster was designed by the notable local Architect C. Emlen Urban. The 5-story steel-frame structure is clad in terra cotta in the French Renaissance Revival style. Upon extensive investigative services by Witmer Restoration, Inc., it was found that the building facade was at a critical point where repairs were unavoidable.
Witmer Restoration began by cleaning the facade to remove atmospheric and biological staining. Many of the terra cotta pieces were broken, chipped and/or cracked. These pieces were repaired, replaced, or rebuilt of repair material that was carved to the shape of the original piece. Mortar joints were in various stages of deterioration, many missing or with large voids, with several portions of the building envelope beneath either corroding or laden with mold. Deteriorated mortar joints were removed, prepped, then replaced to be water tight. All terra cotta surfaces were thoroughly cleaned at the completion of restorative work, followed by a careful re-glaze to resist the elements.
The Hager Building is a cherished highlight of vibrant downtown Lancaster, adjacent to the legendary Central Market, and an elegant representative of the complexities of decorative terra cotta. Both residents of the building and the community itself benefit from Witmer Restoration’s expert preservation.