The Lancaster Arts Hotel, located in the James Street Improvement District, just blocks from Clipper Magazine Stadium and Franklin & Marshall College, was originally constructed in the 1880s and has joined the ranks of historic hotels in Pennsylvania on the Register of Historic Places.

outside the lancaster arts hotel

In September of 1881, Thomas E. Franklin, of Lancaster, sold the lot at 300 Harrisburg Avenue to Arnold Falk, of New York, for $1400. Mr. Falk used the property to build a 3 1/2-story double warehouse, measuring 64 feet and 4 1/2 inches by 245 feet. Three months later, he sold half of the building to Albert S. Rosenbaum, also of New York. The property was divided down the center by a party wall and was occupied by G. Falk and Bro. and A.S. Rosenbaum Tobacco Warehouse.

Sometime later, the buildings were combined under one deed and single ownership, becoming the Falk and Rosenbaum Tobacco Warehouse. Thereafter, the building was used for tobacco storage by at least three other companies until circa 1945.

Over the next forty years, the building was occupied by a wholesale paper and twine business, presumably United Paper and Twine, and then used for storage by various companies, including an electronics business.

In 2004, developers acquired the historic building, one of only four buildings still standing from what had been a collection of eight warehouses. Over the next two years, the former tobacco warehouse was converted into a luxury boutique hotel, now known as Lancaster Arts Hotel.

The hotel was designed to take advantage of the historic features of the original building, leaving many of the original brick walls and some of the original wood floors intact. Art work, primarily from local artists, was displayed throughout the hotel. Most of the furniture in the hotel was made by Pennsylvania artisans including traditional pieces by New Holland furniture maker John Martin, including four-poster beds. The hotel lobby and suites featured “tobacco chairs”, crafted by Martin.

tobacco chairs

Today, the five-story, 35,000 square foot edifice houses all of the suites and most of the hotel rooms. 10 rooms were added in a second, smaller building that is about 50 years old.

“As an historic hotel, Lancaster Arts Hotel embraces the roots of the city and places pride in the experience that each guest encounters during their stay.”

The gorgeous interior of this hotel boasts a $300,000 art collection featuring work from 36 artists, and modern furnishings that are handcrafted and provide a distinguished appearance to the hotel’s atmosphere.