11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Year Listed: 1999
Location: Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania
Famed as a center of "Pennsylvania Dutch" culture because of its population of Amish, Mennonites and other plain religious sects, Lancaster County is a place where farming is still a way of life, where small-town America still thrives and where residents cherish a strong sense of community. Long known as the "Garden Spot of America" for its lush and productive farmland, the county boasts a stable industrial base and a strong traditional character largely defined by early 18th and 19th century settlers, predominantly of German, Scots-Irish and Welsh ancestry. But on the threshold of a new century, Lancaster County is besieged by the forces of sprawl. With its population mushrooming, the region is experiencing explosive suburban growth, the arrival of a phalanx of big-box superstores and retail "power centers," the decline of existing town centers and the threat of a new superhighway.