T. J. Kennedy's 1858 Map of Lancaster City shows little development in the Ross Area. The Lancaster and St. Mary's Cemeteries were present, as was a public school on the north side of Lemon Street, between Lime and Duke Streets. The North Queen Street corridor is shown lined with buildings, but only a few residences are scattered around the lower block of North Duke Street. Not much changed by the time Bridgens and Allen completed their Atlas of the City of Lancaster in 1864. Ten years later, when Roe and Colby published their Map of the City of Lancaster, additional houses had been developed further northward along North Duke Street. The Lancaster Agricultural Park, a large fairgrounds, is shown to the northwest of the cemeteries. By 1887, when the Lancaster Board of Trades completed its Map of the City of Lancaster, most of the areas south of East New Street, west of North Lime Street, had been developed. Several factories are shown, including: a carriage factory on North Market St., a rifle works on East James St., a lock works on Park Avenue and a fan blower works on North Cherry Street.

The presence of these industries is reflected in the surrounding houses. Rather than the larger and grander structures found along the North Queen and North Duke Street corridors, houses built in these newly developed areas were more modest duplexes and rowhouses that largely served as housing for working class Lancastrians. The 1887 map also shows the agricultural park as "B. J. McGrann Park and Fair Grounds." Additional development occurred in the area by the time of Graves and Steinbarger's 1899 atlas. The final major expansions occurred in the early twentieth century with the creation of two large subdivisions, McGrann Park and later Grandview Park, on the former fair grounds and land to its northeast.

The North Queen Street Corridor has a consistent architectural character that is achieved through a repetition of several basic house types that are common in many parts of Lancaster City. About 75% of the structures on North Queen Street from James to Liberty Streets are two-story brick houses, most built in rows, with variable two- or three-bay facades; simple corbelled brick cornices are common. About 10-15% of the remaining buildings on these blocks are two-story frame houses of general two-story height, the houses on the side streets generally follow this pattern, although some have front porches that appear to be early or original features. The architecture of the block of North Queen Street between Lemon and James Streets is slightly more varied, although two and three story brick residential/commercial structures dominate. In this block is located the John S. Rohrer Mansion and Franklin Row; immediately to the north of this block is Grace Lutheran Church.

Ross Part III

Lancaster City Living – Lancaster PA