The restored facade of Thaddeus Stevens's House on Queen Street in Lancaster
Lancaster Historical Society Takes Over Stevens House
The Thaddeus Stevens house project has gotten a new lease
on life with the takeover in December by the Lancaster
Historical Society. The Historical Society replaces the
Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster as the leaser of the
Stevens house on Queen Street.   
The Preservation Trust, which protects historic buildings in
the Lancaster area, had worked to save the Stevens house
since 2000 when it was threatened with destruction to make
way for the Lancaster Convention Center. As a result of the
group's dogged efforts, the house was saved and the facade
was restored to its 1860s appearance. But the Trust's effort
was stalled by unexpected construction expenses, which left
it with a $700,000 debt to the Lancaster Convention Center.
Under the new arrangement, the Historical Society takes
over the lease on the Stevens house and a state grant will
pay the Trust's debt to the Convention Center.
   The Historical Society already operates Wheatland, the
home of James Buchanan, the 15th President of the United
States.
  Thomas Ryan, pesident and CEO of the Historical
Society, said the two properties allows the group to better
tell the story of mid-19th century America than any other
place in the country.  "This is a public historian's dream,"
Ryan told a Lancaster newspaper.
  The Thaddeus Stevens Society will meet with Ryan on
March 29 to hear more about the Historic Society's plans.
For more information, see the related article in this
newsletter.