GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 26

in your community

hamburg:

Our Town Foundation
on the move
By Deena Kershner, Executive Director, Our Town Foundation

Nov. 2 was a day of celebration for Our Town Foundation,
Hamburg's non-profit community revitalization corporation. Their move into a new location, a place they
could call their own, was complete and it was the day
of their grand opening festivities.
The Foundation purchased the former Dietrich's Men's Shop
located at 320 State St. The June 28 move marks a big step for the
foundation and its members."
"We were looking for a property for a few years because it is financially the right thing to do. After paying rent for 17 years, we are
now paying a mortgage," said Kershner, Director of the foundation.
Purchasing a property was a long journey for the foundation,
which has been a force behind the revitalization of Hamburg for
nearly two decades. It was difficult trying to find that perfect
property that could fill their needs. It needed to be located in the
downtown business district and large enough to house the offices
of the foundation, as well as the Art and Craft Gallery of Hamburg.
The Gallery is managed by the Hamburg Area Arts Alliance, which
was formed in 2006 by Our Town Foundation and remains a subsidiary of the organization. Artwork is displayed and sold by more
than 35 local artists. The selling space and offices are about the same
square footage as their previous location, but the layout is different
and features a rectangular store front that houses the gallery with
the offices in the rear.
The building is a contributing property for the downtown's national
historic district designation. The art deco façade is covered in vitrolite
glass panels, which were popular during the 1920s - 1930s. Inside,
patrons will find wooden floors, vintage trim work, and decorative
tin ceilings in the office area. Deeds have been found that show a
house was built on the lot in 1856. It changed hands several times
before the Empire Restaurant was established in the front part of the

26  COMMERCE QUARTERLY FALL 2019

building around 1905. Movies were shown in the rear portion
until about 1922. The Empire Restaurant kept going until
around 1930. In 1932, the local American Legion post bought
the property and did extensive renovations, including adding a
canteen in the basement. The American Legion moved to the
ffirst block of S. 4th after World War II, and that is when the
property was bought by Warren Dietrich to open a clothing store.
This is the third property the foundation has purchased.
The first was the Hamburg Strand Movie Theater, purchased
in 2013 to save it from its demise. In 2015, they purchased
the State Street Square, a one-acre, grass lot located within the
downtown business district, with a goal of creating a downtown
community park and entertainment/activity area.
For additional information on downtown Hamburg, please
visit www.hamburgpa.org .


http://www.hamburgpa.org

GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019

GRCA Commerce Quarterly Fall 2019 - 1
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly/GreaterReadingChamber_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2017
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