Gallery ONE is downtown Lancaster’s newest, trendy gallery nestled inside the historic Swisher Tobacco Warehouse complex on North Prince Street. Once the Brickyard Restaurant, the first floor of the Buckwalter building houses the Gallery, just inside the public office space of Realty ONE Group Unlimited. Stop in to view our feature artist and enjoy refreshment from our cafe. Open Monday-Friday 10-4, Saturday 10-1 and First Fridays 5-8:30.


Location, location, location…a tobacco warehouse

Gallery ONE is located in the Buckwalter Building which is part of the Swisher Tobacco Warehouse complex built in the mid 1800’s. The complex was a tobacco drying and rolling operation, creating the popular Swisher Sweet Cigar from Lancaster farmed tobacco.

LANCASTER COUNTY TOBACCO . Lancaster county has a long history in the tobacco business. For generations, tobacco has been the lifeblood for the tightly knit Amish community, and a leading industry for the county. In the 1800 and early to mid 1900’s, every small central Pennsylvania town seemed to have its own cigar factory. These factories benefited from the high quality tobacco grown in the area. By 1889, Lancaster County produced more than 66 percent of the tobacco grown in Pennsylvania. With this enormous increase in production, the industry required large warehouses for packing and storing leaf tobacco. While tobacco was not produced within the City, companies based within the City processed, stored and shipped the majority of the crop grown in the county. A 1989 study undertaken by the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County identified 131 buildings in the city that were once associated with the tobacco industry.

Tobacco acreage in Lancaster County decreased to less than 8,000 acres from a high of 35,000 in the late 1950s. However, Pennsylvania tobacco was a top choice until the 1970s for many of the country's premier cigar companies--the Amish serving as the primary growers. Tobacco buyers from American Cigar, Swisher and Bayuk Cigar would come to Lancaster County to scour the Amish farms for the highest quality leaf.

Today there’s just a few local cigar operations remaining, with most of the county's tobacco being sold for cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Amish and Mennonite farmers still do the bulk of the tobacco farming. There are around 960 tobacco operations in Lancaster County and Lancaster is ranked in the top 10 in the country in tobacco production. Tobacco remains Lancaster County's largest cash crop--worth about $24 million a year.

SWISHER TOBACCO WAREHOUSE COMPLEX. In 1989 a number of surviving tobacco warehouses were listed in the National Register of Historic Places as multiple property districts. Two examples include our home, the Buckwalter building, and Swisher buildings next door.

The Buckwalter building, first floor home of Gallery ONE and Realty ONE Group Unlimited, is a four story brick warehouse at 415 North Prince Street. It was built circa 1907 for Otto Eisenlohr & Brothers, a Philadelphia tobacco company. The building was later used by the A.K. Mann & Son leaf tobacco company. The warehouse sat vacant for years and then was listed in the National Register in 1989 as part of the North Prince Street Historic District of buildings related to Lancaster’s tobacco industry. The building was redeveloped from 2002-2003, creating a condo association to manage the building, condos, office space and the Brickyard Restaurant sports bar which occupied the entire first floor. Recently, Greg Bardell, Mid Atlantic Regional Director and Broker-of-record for Realty ONE Group Unlimited, entered into an agreement to purchase the Brickyard Restaurant and the space it occupied. From the outset, he had a vision of honoring the buildings historic past while creating a new, dynamic real estate office unlike any other in the United States. Retained historic features include high ceilings with exposed joists, exposed brick walls (some with the remnants of old warehouse numbering), structural columns, wooden beams and refinished old forest hard pine and maple floors once used to accommodate drying the transportation of tobacco. Once inside the beautifully renovated space, you’ll find Gallery ONE.

GALLERY ONE. Gallery ONE is a public gallery, located within the offices of Realty ONE Group Unlimited. The space is utilized to feature local Pennsylvania artist, with First Friday events and regular business hours. The integration of the real estate business and an art gallery is unique and obvious. Realty ONE Group Unlimited sells people walls, and now Gallery ONE sells art for those walls. It’s also a purposeful integration of the company space to serve as public space for downtown Lancaster. Visit the Gallery, enjoy refreshments from our Cafe and see the many art works against the backdrop of a beautifully preserved historical building.

Credits:

ADAPTIVE REUSE PROJECTS in the City of Lancaster Preserving Old Places, Creating New Spaces City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Published by the City of Lancaster.

* Cigar Aficionado: Tobacco In Amish Country By Tom Lowry From Wayne Gretzky