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Lancaster County Convention Center


“Meeting planners like that it’s not just another bland, institutional space,”said Nowak. “The facility offers historically and architecturally significant aspects that enrich the experience. We are routinely asked at opening sessions to provide an overview of some of the historical aspects of the location, such as the Beaux Arts facade, the Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith site, the Montgomery House and the overall history of Lancaster.”


The complex incorporates historic struc- tures and narratives within and around its new architecture. At the entrance (at the intersection of King and Queen streets) is the iconic 19th-century facade of the landmarkWatt & Shand department store, a Beaux Arts-style structure that was designed by Lancaster architect C.Emlen Urban.


The site includes the former residence, law office and Kleiss Tavern once owned by U.S.Congressman and abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. Stevens’home and law office were named as a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site by the National Park Service in 2011. The complex also includes boarding homes that belonged to Lydia Hamilton Smith,who was a free woman of color and also was Stevens’business manager. Guests entering the lobby off theVine Street entrance can view a water cistern that dates back to the CivilWar period and which was found during the site’s pre-construction archeological dig.


Nowak said the staff is proud of where they work,and that attitude helps to shape a professional, friendly service approach. What’s more, the clients appreciate the close,personal attention they provide.


According to Nowak, the range, flexibility and characteristics of the facility and its location support many different types of groups and events. Whether a client requires a huge water feature for a fly fish- ing expo,high ceilings for a cheerleading event,or natural lighting for trade shows, the venue has it all.


“Attendees don’t feel confined in a space far from their hotel where they have to walk long distances to hotel rooms,”said


Mid-Atlantic EVENTS Magazine 39


Nowak. “Instead,attendees have the chance to spend a few days in a beauti- ful, walkable setting with natural light that’s in a vibrant, small city right outside their door.”


Once outside the building,attendees will find easy access to many opportunities, such as dining,nightlife, shopping and culture.


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