Historical Society recognizes two businesses for historic preservation

By on June 22, 2016
The Booking House was constructed in 1884. The former cigar warehouse was transformed by James “J.P.” and Michele Perron into an events venue in 2014. (Photo from theknot.com)

The Booking House was constructed in 1884. The former cigar warehouse was transformed by
James “J.P.” and Michele Perron into an events venue in 2014. (Photo from theknot.com)

 

Two Manheim businesses were presented with Manheim Historical Society’s Red Rose award for their historic preservation efforts. The Fulton Bank’s Manheim branch and The Booking House received hand-blown glass roses crafted by Stiegel Glassworks 1976 during the society’s banquet in May.

Located at 1 Market Square, Fulton Bank’s Manheim branch is in a historic building constructed in 1926 for Keystone National Bank. Keystone was acquired by Fulton Bank in 1963. A renovation project that encompassed both the exterior and interior began in September and was completed in January.

“While we made some renovations over 10 years ago, it was time to optimize this historic space to better serve our customers. Maintaining the historic character was the key factor in this project,” said Don DeHart, vice president and group manager, Manheim branch, “For both myself and out staff, it’s really neat to work in a building that has such ties to the community and is such a historic treasure.”

He explained that exterior work included power washing the building, a new awning at the entrance facing drive-up lanes, signage and an ADA-compliant handicap ramp leading at the Market Square entrance. A 24-hour ATM accessible from Market Square was also added. Interior space was renovated, including offices, the teller area, a common work area and break room. All new furnishings were added, and the interior space received a fresh coat of paint.

He applauded the efforts of the contractors on the project including Marotta Main Architects, general contractor Murry Communities and Rick’s Custom Wood Designs. He pointed out that Rick’s not only created custom cabinets in keeping with the historic character of the building, but also took steps to preserve the marble in the teller area façade.

“Investments in historic buildings such as this are part of the attraction of our community and what brings people here to work, live and visit,” DeHart said. “Adding the 24-hour ATM will be beneficial to customers and area businesses.”

While the bank building was constructed in the early 20th Century, the 20,000-square-foot building at 210 S. Penn St. that houses The Booking House was constructed in 1884. The former cigar warehouse was transformed by James “J.P.” and Michele Perron into an events venue in 2014. It had been used as a tobacco warehouse for over 50 years, but had stood vacant for a number of years.

 

Fulton Bank’s Manheim branch is in a historic building constructed in 1926 for Keystone National Bank. (Photo by Rochelle Shenk)

Fulton Bank’s Manheim branch is in a historic building constructed in 1926 for Keystone National
Bank. (Photo by Rochelle Shenk)

 

“It was a real eyesore; we initially bought it as a warehouse for my construction business (Perron Construction),” J.P. Perron said.

“I fell in love with the space and the historic character; the thick beams are amazing,” Michele Perron added. “We didn’t build the building, but during our renovation we respected its historic character. When we first walked into the building there was a faint odor of tobacco and cigars. It’s definitely present now — we’ve created a cigar lounge on the third floor.”

She said that the name pays homage to the building’s former life since booking is the art of rolling cigars as well as its current use as a special events venue since one “books” events.

“This in not only one abandoned building in our community that’s been transformed, it’s also brought business into Manheim,” she said. “Our clients often work with area caterers and florists, and their guests look for overnight accommodations here.”

The Booking House received the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County’s C. Emlen Urban Preservation Award in 2014.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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