Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
City plans to artfully direct visitors to Central Market
BY BERNARD HARRIS, Staff Writer
Long before CNNGo last year listed Lancaster Central Market as one of the top 10 markets in the world, international travelers had been finding their way to the downtown market.
The market was situated at the center of the town in the original 1730 plan for Lancaster. The market house, however, is no longer highly visible because it is surrounded by other buildings.
A new proposal before the city's Public Art Advisory Board would help direct people to the market and beautify the downtown.
The Central Market Gateway project calls for installing four works of art at entrances to the block containing the market.
"We don't know if it will be gates or obelisks or flags or what it will be," said Ken Hammel, an architect and co-chairman of the art board.
The works of art are intended to both enhance the city and serve the practical purpose of directing visitors to the market, Tracy Beyl, the city's public art manager, said during the board's monthly meeting on Wednesday.
The city will soon begin seeking artists who have worked in conjunction with structures on the National Register of Historic Places. The next step will be to ask for specific design proposals.
The artworks will be placed in the northwest quadrant of Penn Square, at the North Market Street intersections with West King and West Orange streets, and at West Grant and North Prince streets.
The $100,000 set aside for the artworks is part of a $2.5 million budget for the larger market streetscape project, said city public works director Charlotte Katzenmoyer.
That project includes replacing paving stones with real bricks and stone curbing around the market and on Grant Street.
Uplighting, with lights embedded in the sidewalk, will be added to the pavement around the market and in Penn Square near the Griest building. Black wrought-iron benches and black metal bollards also will be added.
Project plans also call for a winding path of words. Barbara Buckman Strasko's poem, "Bricks and Mortar," an ode to the late Lancaster artist David Brumbach, will be cast in bronze letters set in granite. The winding path will be designed to resemble the Conestoga River in an aerial view of the city.
The long-delayed streetscape project is now slated to begin in September, Katzenmoyer said. It will follow renovation work of the former Heritage Center Museum, across William Henry Way from the Market. The museum closed at the end of 2011. Title to the building returned to the city.
The exterior renovation, which will be completed from April to September, will require access to the Heritage Center on three sides, where the streetscape work also must be done, Katzenmoyer said.
Once started, the streetscape project will take nine months to a year to complete, Katzenmoyer estimated. The gateway artworks would be installed near the end of that work.