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Building History

H. Doer Tobacco
Warehouse (1886)
118 North Water Street

Built in 1886 as the H. Doer Warehouse, the building was occupied by Osborn and Co. from 1892 to 1897.

John Hartman, a principal in Osborn & Co. bought the building in 1894. Osborn and Co. was one of several silver-plating manufacturers in Lancaster.

In 1897, the building became the J. Kleaman’s Tobacco Warehouse. A stable was in the rear and to the south there was a frame building for wagons. In 1903, Lancaster Stripping Company, handlers of leaf tobacco, occupied the building until ten years later when Knoedler, Hall & Co. Umbrella Handle Manufacturing Co. became tenants. In 1913, Lancaster Stogie Company occupied the building. The building was sold by John Hartman to liberty Can & Sign Company in 1919.

About 1920, the liberty Can & Sign Company added a fourth story, and about 1925 an adjoining four-story addition was constructed on the rear.  Safe Padlock & Hardware then occupied the building, along with a foundry, from 1925 to 1934-the longest period of manufacturing in the building.

Lloyd B. Hershey, president of Safe Padlock & Hardware, bought the building from Liberty Can & Sign Company in 1926. This building sometimes is referred to as the Osborn/Hershey Building. Armstrong Cork Company was tenant from 1937-1938.  Morris Levy & Sons bought the building in 1943 and began using it as a tobacco warehouse again.

Consolidated Cigar Corporation used it as a tobacco warehouse until the mid-1970s when the building was sold to the Staherski family. Around 1979, the first floor facade of the east elevation was-remodeled and a storefront window added.  John Staherski operated Starr Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. there from the early 1980’s until 2005.  Zamigias Properties purchased the building from the Staherski’s and is leasing the building today to Landis Communities as Steeple View Lofts.  It opened in 2013. Miesse Candies, which was founded in 1875, moved its factory and factory store into 4,000 square feet of the building’s ground floor in 2013. The Friendship Heart Gallery and several other small businesses are located in the building.

** Text via Lancaster County Preservation Trust


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