One of the most noteworthy historical features to visit in Lancaster, Pa., is the William Montgomery house. Incorporated into the brand new architecture of the Lancaster County Convention Center and Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square on South Queen Street, this home sets this convention center apart from others.
Renovation of this facility, which started with the exterior in 2009 and finished with the interior in 2013, is on the National Historic Registry. Not only does this add a unique attraction, but it also helps preserve a piece of the city’s history. Once home to William Montgomery, a prominent local attorney, this mansion was built in 1804 by architect Stephen Hills, who also designed the first Capitol building in Harrisburg.
The mansion remained in the Montgomery family until 1844. It then served as the city’s first YWCA, a hardware store, an apartment house, a barber shop and was finally bought by the Watt & Shand department store. Although the building had been altered over time due to its varied uses, this $2.5 million renovation brought its interior back to its initial grandeur. Restoration included reusing the original door openings and recreating the custom-milled woodwork, mahogany wainscoting and marble floors. The distinctive oval back wall, which was destroyed during the department store’s ownership, was rebuilt as part of the $177.6 million center and hotel construction.
Three floors at this venue can be used for a variety of gatherings. Each floor can accommodate a 32-person dinner or cocktails for 42. It is a perfect venue for catering to more intimate events associated with the larger conferences taking place outside the walls of the home within the convention center. Brides will also be able to take advantage of the third floor’s salon dressed with elegant mirrors and marble bathroom just steps away from the Heritage Ballroom. As the scene of cocktail parties, receptions, lunches and rehearsal dinners, the Montgomery House can accommodate an array of intimate functions. Each floor rents for $300-$400 per event, with additional charges for food, beverages and labor.