With the amazing dedication of local contractors and the dream of John and Kelly Dantinne, Owners,
the Excelsior came to be. Panacea Construction LLC’s project manager and Hickey Architects worked together
to combine two historic buildings and one non-historic building into a 35,500 sq. ft. event complex with an outdoor
terrace. A beautiful adaptive re-use of structures dating between 1852 and 1873. The restoration included
repurposing of old timbers for use in new framing, relocating floors and constructing handrails on-site to
match existing rails.
Lancaster Barn Challenge
A mid-19th century Pennsylvania German barn in southern Lancaster County was the palette. Turning it into a striking modern residence meeting client specifications was the challenge.
But it didn’t happen easily. Structural plans for the adaptive reuse took two years and required complex coordination with the architects and contractors plus attention to historic detail.
“These projects really excite me,” said structural engineer Ed Greenebaum, president of Greenebaum Structures, P.C. “You think about the age of this barn and that it was used to store farm equipment and to dry tobacco. It looks pretty simple, but the level of detail required to make it work is unusual. It’s pretty stunning that this type of transformation can happen.”
One challenge was shifting interior barn posts and reframing the structure to accommodate open spaces specified by the clients. Another feat was maintaining the historic integrity of the structure by recycling original materials or locating complementary period materials, such as the exterior stones and heavy framing timber. Not only that, but the structural design had to meet 21st century building codes.
After two years of construction, the result is 3,500 square feet of comfortable and livable space in a design that uniquely merges the modern with the historic. Construction was completed by Gallagher & Sons of Lancaster; architectural services were by John Mayfield of Austin, TX; structural engineering was by Greenebaum Structures, P.C.
Hanover Residences, Hanover, PA
Once facing a slow death by decay or a quick death by demolition, this historic five-story shoe factory now houses over 80 subsidized apartments and a community center. Architects Stuart + LeFevre and Harkins Builders realized the vision of Philadelphia’s Pennrose Properties. Our challenges included determining the viability of the water-damaged heavy timber framing and decking and stabilizing the cracking brick shell. In 2003, this project won a state award for historic preservation.
Hess Agency, Mt. Joy, PA
Architect Carol Hickey designed this sensitive and adaptive reuse of a bank barn into the Hess Insurance Agency offices. Structural challenges included rebuilding failed fieldstone basement walls, reinforcing or replacing rotted heavy timber framing, and adding a mezzanine where the hayloft used to be. The exposed post and beam framing contrasts beautifully with the new windows, glassed entry and drywall finishes. In addition, a glazed ceramic tile silo was rebuilt as part of the entry. Four years after completion, the Hess Agency is still giving tours to delighted clients.
Fulton Opera House, Lancaster, PA
Lancaster’s premier performing arts facility dates from the early 1800s, with early twentieth century renovations by renowned architect C. E. Urban. The 1990 project team included Detroit architect William Kessler and New York theater designer Roger Morgan. Our role included renovations to the timber-framed theater and a new 4-story, steel-framed addition. Tight floor to floor height required composite steel/concrete construction. The addition included a new elevator and stair tower plus an ornate lobby. Warfel Construction led the construction management team.