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Local Historic Landmarks

There are tangible and intangible benefits to designation of a property as a landmark.  Foremost is formal recognition of the unique historical importance of the property.  It honors the property itself as a valued source of pride not only to the property owner, but also to the community as a whole.  The designation also protects the property against demolition or major modification which would alter the character of the property. 


Owning a historic property allows you to preserve local history or architecture. Living in a historic district or neighborhood supports traditional and historic neighborhoods and communities. Many owners find this experience to be an honor and a privilege.  Local landmark status signifies that your property is distinctive and special.  It also offers the property owner the invaluable benefit of knowing that a historic home will be treasured as such for generations to come. 


The owner of a landmark is also a steward of the property.  As such, the owner must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Lancaster Historic Preservation Commission before making any exterior changes, reconstruction, restoration, new construction, demolition or other material changes to the exterior of a landmark which would be visible from a public street or right of way.  Examples would include building an addition, removing a porch, replacing the windows, changing the siding, changing existing materials or building a fence.  Renovations on the inside of a building do not require review by the Commission as long as they do not impact the exterior.  Also, painting of a building’s exterior does not require review by the Commission.

Our Local Historic Landmark Properties

33 Lake Avenue

January 14, 2009

The John P. Sommers house is a circa 1906 Queen Anne Victorian.  The home is named after the the man who built it.  John P. Sommers built the home for his wife, Matilda, and their four daughters.  The Lancaster Bee newspaper, dated Sep 14, 1905, reported the following:  “John P. Sommers purchased a lot from Senator George A. Davis on Lake Avenue opposite the glass factory office (Lancaster Glass Works) to build a residence for himself.” A Lancaster directory dated 1900 lists John P. Sommers as an Electrician and was located at  6 Central Avenue.  He served as Deputy Sheriff in the late 19th century.  


This home is clad with wood clapboards and shingles. As is typical with Queen Anne style, the facade is asymmetrical.  A two story polygonal tower sits prominently at the front of the home.  It has the uncommon feature of a flat roof.  There is a full width porch with an end that curves into the tower.  There are several leaded windows that grace the home. There is also a large Palladian window that is topped with a leaded glass window.  


This home was designated as the first Local Historic Landmark in 2009 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

42 Aurora Street

October 12, 2016

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