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C. Emlen Urban: Lancaster's Architect at the Demuth Museum
Photographer Unknown. The Demuth Tobacco Shop Exterior, c.1910. Demuth Museum Archives.
LANCASTER, PA.- The Demuth Museum exhibition, C. Emlen Urban: Lancaster’s Architect will examine the work of Lancaster’s first native architect, C. Emlen Urban (1863-1939). Urban was a prolific architect and greatly influenced Lancaster’s skyline and urban look. Graduating from Lancaster Boy’s High School, Urban then apprenticed in Scranton, Pennsylvania and returned to Lancaster in 1886 to begin his own architectural practice. That year, at the age of twenty-five, Urban received his first major commission and designed Lancaster’s Southern Market. Over the next fifty years of his career, Urban’s commissions ranged from schools and churches, office buildings and industrial buildings, hotels and private residences, to Lancaster’s only skyscraper, the Greist Building. His commissions not only varied in type of building, but also in a wide array of architectural styles.

This exhibit will look at the many extant Urban buildings still in Lancaster through the eyes of Lancaster’s contemporary architects. For example, Richard Levengood will examine the Demuth Tobacco Shop (1917), John Hershey will look at the Greist Building (1924-25), L. Scott Paden will look at the St. James Parrish House and Melanie LeFever will examine a private residence. Other architects such as Tom Gilbert and Carol Hickey will examine other Urban buildings that influenced their work. Also accompanying the exhibit will be a free self-guided walking tour brochure as well as a First Friday book signing by Suzanne Stallings of her new book on Urban’s architecture.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 1, 2009 from 5-7 p.m. in conjunction with First Friday festivities. Regular Museum Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10-4 & Sunday, 1-4

The Demuth Museum, established in 1981, is dedicated to developing awareness, understanding and appreciation of the artwork and legacy of Charles Demuth (1883-1935). As a leader of the American Modernist movement, Demuth is best known as a pioneer of the precisionist style and a master watercolorist. Located in the artist’s former home and studio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Demuth Museum has a permanent collection of over 30 Demuth works, along with an extensive archive and library. The Demuth Tobacco Shop, the oldest operating shop of its kind in America, and other historic buildings surround the museum; all are open to the public. All exhibits are supported in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts. The Demuth Museum is also supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.






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