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First United Methodist Church

Lancaster, PA

First United Methodist Church

​Although the worship areas of this church remained adequate for the congregation, there was a need for additional classroom space. Being located at the intersection of two busy city streets limited the options for expansion, so we started with a planning study. We uncovered an opportunity for them to repurpose a small adjacent property, which allowed us to reorganize the interior, improve functionality, enhance main entrances for their diverse range of worship services, and preserve the character of the original architecture.

Preserving the distinctive architectural style during the renovations and expansion was of foremost importance. The familiar facade remains an unchanged focal point at this busy city intersection.


Early planning starts with an architectural rendering of how we can do an expansion that complements and enhances the existing building.

a blend of new and old

Architectural features and consistent facade materials are used to blend the new expansion with the original building.

preserving history

The expansion blends with the streetscape, preserving the historic integrity of the neighborhood.


An Octagonal opening to the second level of the new expansion echoes the shape of the corner pillars along the roofline. It creates a skylight effect that adds brightness and spaciousness to the lobby area.