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Urban renewal radically altered the character of this portion of the city, by clearing a block wide area from Church to Chesapeake Streets. What had previously been an architecturally cohesive neighborhood, is now visually divided into three sub-areas, referred to here as: Churchtowne, the portion southwest of South Duke Street; Adamstown, the portion northeast of Rockland Street; and the South Duke Street Urban Renewal Area. In addition to these, the Old Town neighborhood, a renewal area that rehabilitated houses rather than demolishing them, is located along the northwest side of Church Street.

Churchtown is generally bounded by South Queen, West Farnum, South Duke, Juniata and Strawberry Streets. The general architectural character of the area is defined by closely spaced houses, duplexes and rowhouses, generally of small scale. The majority of buildings date from the mid-1800s on, with the oldest being scattered along Howard Avenue and Church Streets and typically becoming more recent to the southeast. There are several significant early one-story houses in the older section, especially along Howard Avenue.

Bethel A. M. East Church, the original congregation of which was established on this site at least as early as about 1820, is one of America's oldest African-American congregations. The church served the city's primary African-American neighborhood.

The name Adamstown is used here to describe the area of Mussertown to the northeast of the South Duke Street Urban Renewal Area. The architectural character of this area is similar to Churchtown. Residential development at its northeast, and along its eastern boundary, is typically newer than the housing along Church Street and Howard Avenue. One substantial industrial facility remains of several that existed prior to 1945. The General Cigar Company, 453 South Lime Street, was built circa 1930 as a manufacturing facility for the National Caramel Company.

Mussertown Part IV

Lancaster City Living – Lancaster PA