Building Description Follmer, Clogg and Company Umbrella Factory, Lancaster Pennsylvania
The former Follmer, Clogg and Company umbrella factory is a massive building, built in several stages between the years 1880 and 1905. The factory is situated on a sloping hill in the midst of a residential neighborhood in Lancaster City. Constructed of brick, the factory building measures approximately 144 feet by 250 feet and is U-shaped in plan.
The Follmer, Clogg and Company umbrella factory is located at the southeast corner of West King Street and South Mulberry Street. The original building on the site was built c. 1880 by Peter Otto, a manufacturer of coverlets. In 1892 a five story addition facing West King Street was constructed by The Umbrella Company, a partnership including Follmer, Clogg and Company. Additions were made to the rear of the factory in 1900 and 1903 by Follmer, Clogg and Company. In 1905, Follmer, Clogg and Company made one final addition to the structure. Duplicating the facade of the 1892 structure, this addition was added to the front along West King Street. Alterations to the factory took place in 1944 when the structure was purchased by the Van Sciver Furniture Company. In 1977, the building was again altered by the Van Sciver Furniture Company.
The original building on the site of the Follmer, Clogg and Company factory was used for the manufacture of coverlets and counterpanes. Constructed 1880, the building faces along South Mulberry Street. The building is five stories in height near the corner of West King Street and tapers to three stories at Mifflin Street. This long narrow structure is sixteen bays by four bays and has a gable roof. The Mulberry Street elevation has one segmental. arched double door entry. Paired and single segmental arch windows with decorative window hoods are found above the second story. Below the second story, the facade is very plain. Most of the windows are nine over nine sash. The Mifflin Street elevation has segmental arched windows with decorative window hoods and nine over nine sash. One of the four bays on this elevation has large round arch door openings with decorative hoods. One original round arch wood paneled double door remains. Brick corbelling at the roofline, brick beltcourses between the stories and raised brick piers also decorate this structure.
The first addition to the factory was completed 1892 when The Umbrella Company began to use the building for the manufacture of silk umbrellas. This addition is situated at the corner of West King Street and South Mulberry Street. The facade, which faces on West King Street, is six bays wide and five stories high. A corbelled brick cornice and corbelled brick end piers decorate this elevation. Decorative brick spandrels divide the second and third, and third and fourth stories. The original one over one and two over two rectangular sash and round arch sash remain in good condition.
Originally the first story windows were also round arch sash, though they are presently rectangular storefront windows. Paired narrow segmental arch sash windows are found on the fifth story. Five tall, thin rectangular openings, now bricked-in, are found on the fifth story near the corner of West King and South Mulberry Streets. All the windows have rough stone sills. The two bay South Mulberry Street elevation is identical to the West King Street elevation and includes the five tall, thin bricked-in rectangular openings on the fifth story. The second story windows are presently bricked-in on this elevation. Originally the 1892 addition had a two bay, six and one-half story corner tower with hipped roof, corbelled brick chimneys and round pinnacle.
Because of the need for additional work space, the factory was added to three more times. A four story, three bay brick structure was added to the rear along Mifflin Street in 1900. This very simple, flat roof factory building had segmental arch windows with twelve over twelve sash. This addition was used for the expansion of the shipping, cutting and tippping departments. In 1903 a five story, four bay by sixteen bay structure was added to the rear along Mifflin Street. It is of mill construction. This simple rectangular shaped building, originally used as a silk mill, has six over six segmental arch windows. The first story along the east elevation once had segmental arched window openings that are presently bricked-in. The Mifflin Street elevation has a rectangular double door entry and a segmental arched doorway with transom on the first story. Tall segmental arched doorways are found on the second, third and fourth stories. One of the original double doors with transom can be seen on the fourth story. The fifth story doorway is rectangular in shape and has a glass and wood paneled double door. Between 1904 and 1909, a four story, five bay brick structure was added to the east of the 1892 building along West King Street. This addition was identical in design and detail to the facade of the 1892 section.
The Follmer, Clogg and Company factory has gone through two periods of alterations over the years. In 1944 the Van Sciver Furniture Company of New Jersey purchased the factory. The new owners converted the umbrella factory into furniture showrooms, warehouse, repair shops and administrative offices. To modernize the exterior of the structure, the top story and one-half of the corner tower was removed. Very little was altered on the interior except for the converting of the large open spaces in the 1892 building into small temporary furniture display rooms. In 1977, the Van Sciver Company again altered the structure. Approximately $500,000 was spent to renovate the building and grounds. Work included the removal of the front portion of the 1905 addition to the east along West King Street to allow additional parking, the alteration of the first story along West King Street and South Mulberry Street to increase showroom visibility, and the bricking-up of many of the warehouse windows. The first story of the West King Street elevation was altered by enlarging the original round arch sash into rectangular storefront windows, masking the original brick with a stucco covered styrofoam material and placing a large aluminum sign board above the storefront. The sign board presently continues along the east side of the 1892 section and the remaining rear portion of the 1905 section. Fortunately, most of the original brick remains under the first story alterations, and most of the original window sash remain on the inside of the bricked window openings.