July 2024 Progress Update

It feels like time has flown since my last update in April! We were delighted to host so many history lovers at the Ceremonial Groundbreaking for the Thaddeus Stevens & Lydia Hamilton Smith Center for History and Democracy nearly two months ago. With more than 300 friends, neighbors, and community members in attendance, we officially ushered in the next phase of the project. Our event on May 13 kicked off eight months of construction to complete the interior of the Center.

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And since then, progress has been swift! The Center’s floors, walls, and ceilings are all poured, framed, and reinforced, ready to host the next round of work. In the next two months, the Center’s rooms will begin to take shape, developing into the future exhibition galleries they’ll soon become! Benchmark Construction and its team of subcontractors are doing a marvelous job, tending to the tiniest details with professional care. In the months ahead, we’ll begin to see the installation of electrical and plumbing components, drywall, and flooring, and by the end of September, the all-important heating and cooling systems will be installed.

Photographs taken by Emily Miller on June 21, 2024.

Our next milestone is to issue a request for proposal (RFP) to exhibition fabrication firms who can bring the Center’s exhibitions to life, creating and installing all exhibition components, from media productions to the recreation of historic spaces, such as Mr. Stevens’ law office. By the end of summer, we hope to have identified this final key partner, who will spend the final 12 months of the project putting everything in place.

And, as with all projects such as this, our fundraising activities are ongoing all the time! We’ve reached 79% of our construction goal and 23% of our programmatic endowment goal, with a total of $16.6 Million raised to date. We’re incredibly grateful to the individuals, businesses, foundations, and government agencies that have supported the Stevens & Smith Center through their financial contributions. And, we couldn’t spread the word without so many wonderful friends who have hosted us in their homes and businesses over the last few months as we’ve been sharing the story and details about the Stevens & Smith Center with as many people as possible. If you’re interested in hosting a session for your friends or colleagues, let us know! We’d love your help in making this Center a reality for the Lancaster community. And, if you want to become a founding supporter of the Stevens & Smith Center, click here for more information on how you can join the movement!

As always, for more information, you can find all the latest and greatest news at stevensandsmithcenter.org, including the Center’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, which will be bringing you new content in the upcoming weeks! Thank you for helping Lancaster make history!

Written by Robin Sarratt, Vice President