Lancaster City is located in South Central Pennsylvania. This city serves as the seat of Lancaster County. It is also one of the oldest inland towns located in the United States. Other old inland towns in the US include Springfield, Petersburg, Massachusetts, Schenectady, Virginia, New York, and many other early settlements. Lancaster City has an estimated population of 59,322 people. Among the other Pennsylvania cities, Lancaster ranks 8th in population. The population in the Lancaster metropolitan area is estimated to be 507,766. This population makes it the 101st largest metropolitan area within the US. It is also the 2nd largest in the South Central Pennsylvania region.
Lancaster City is located within a driving distance of Baltimore, Washington DC, Delaware beaches, Philadelphia, the Jersey shore, and New York City. However, there is so much interesting about Lancaster City apart from its geographical location. This city depicts a lot of historic preservation as well as cutting-edge arts scenes. It is also a city of neighbourhoods that are safe and quite welcoming. Lancaster City encourages investment and entrepreneurship, and values the ethnic, cultural, and diverse lifestyles of the residents and the guests who visit to explore the city.
The primary industries in Lancaster City include public administration, healthcare, manufacturing, tourism, as well as professional and semi-professional services. The City is also home to the Park City Centre shopping mall. This is the largest and most prominent indoor retail facility that is available in the region. It is also interesting that this city hosts more electronic public CCTV outdoor cameras per capita as compared to other cities such as San Francisco and Boston. Furthermore, the city has in its history as being the home to James Buchanan, the 15th president of the US. Thaddeus Stevens, a congressman and abolitionist in the US government at some point in time also lived in this city.
Lancaster City was originally referred to as Hickory Town. However, the city was later renamed after the English city of Lancaster by John Wright. The symbol of this city is a red rose, derived from the house of Lancashire. This city served as the capital of the United States for a single day on September 27, 1777 during the American Revolution. This was after the Continental Congress fled Philadelphia which had unfortunately been captured by the British. Lancaster first served as the capital of Pennsylvania from 1799 to 1812 before the capital being moved to Harrisburg.
After the American Revolution, the city of Lancaster was converted into an iron-foundry centre. It manufactured two common products that were required by the pioneers to settle the Frontier. These two products included the Conestoga wagon as well as the Pennsylvania long rifle. Apart from such historical achievements and many others that remain unmentioned, Lancaster city was also named as one of the winning communities for the 2000 All-America City Award.
In the recent times, Lancaster City has been in the process of reconstructing its economy. As such, there has been extensive growth in the number of boutiques, speciality shops, clubs, and bars. There has also been much reinvestment in the downtown institutions and locations in the city. In fact, in 2005, the city cemented its status as an arts destination by creating the ‘Gallery Row.’ More pieces of art also exist in the city since the art community continues to thrive and expand. Apart from the many boutiques, art galleries, and vintage shops in Lancaster City, there is also the Park City Centre. This is the largest shopping centre within the South Central Pennsylvania. This mall features over 150 stores, and has been in operation since 1971.
This city is governed by a Mayor/ Council form of government. The city council consists of seven members. The city is protected by the Lancaster City Bureau of Fire that has staff of about 75. The fire department operates out of three stations that are located throughout the city. Lancaster is also protected by the City of Lancaster Bureau of Police that was founded back in 1865. This police station is located at 39 W. Chestnut St. in Downtown Lancaster.
There are very many points of interest in Lancaster City. One major point of interest is the Penn Square that is considered to be the hub centre of the city. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is located in the middle of the square and was dedicated on July 4th, 1874. The monument honours the soldiers in the county who had served the armed forces. One block west of Penn Square is another attraction referred to as the Fulton Opera House. This is the oldest theatre in America that has been operating continuously. The Opera House was named after Robert Fulton. Most performers at this opera house include George M. Cohan, Barrymores, Al Jolson, and Sarah Bernhardt.
There is also a Central Market that is located off Penn Square. This market dates back to the mid-1700. The market opens each Tuesday and Friday and mainly features bakers, farmers, and butchers selling their wares. Southeast of the Penn Square there is the Trinity Lutheran Church. This is the oldest congregation in Lancaster that dates back to 1729. The steeple of the church was considered to be the tallest structure in the whole of west Philadelphia in 1800. Currently, the corners of the steeple of the church feature statues of the four evangelists.
Lancaster City also strongly emphasizes on the preservation and restoration of the older buildings. The city adaptively reuses these structures and you will notice this when touring the area. Furthermore, it is only in this city that you will be told that someone was eavesdropping on your conversation. This happens every day at the Bowsman House that is located at East King Street. The eavesdropper often listens to whatever is being said on the sidewalk from the overhang of the house. Also, visitors may find the Lancaster County Prison to be quite unique. The prison was established in the 1850’s and is thought to resemble the castle at Lancashire, England.
Lancaster City has a lot of curiosities and architecture that you should consider exploring. You can walk the same streets where Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Payne once walked. Lancaster City is a captivating city that portrays the old-fashioned as well as the contemporary aspects of the society.