Placemaking and Anchors for Community Building

Placemaking is about creating a destination spot as much as it about designing a physical space. Anchor spots are businesses that have enough pull to attract people to a place as a destination. Restaurants and cafes are typically great anchors in any community. People are willing to go out of way to try a new [...]

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Placemaking for Small Towns and Forgotten Cities

  While the urban renaissance sweeps the country, real estate prices skyrocket in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. A phenomenon driven in part by economic booms in major cities, but also by a widespread cultural trend that now favors an urban lifestyle over suburban, in smaller places as well. Even [...]

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For Rent: Life of the Independent Shopkeeper in Creating Place and Economy

There was a time when every single storefront in America was owned and operated by a cottage industry that hung its shingle to do business and offered a specialty service. Most shopkeepers were artisans – makers, not suppliers. They specialized in a trade. Often making their products by hand, they took great pride and care [...]

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Are Tradespeople the Canary in the Cultural Coal Mine?

Thanks to Rudy Christian, Christian and Son, Inc. for these thoughts. Since my last blog I have had quite a few conversations with friends and acquaintances about the economics of trades education. As you might expect, it sent me on a bit of a wild goose chase trying to figure out just what the source of [...]

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A Return to Public Markets as The Heart of Community

The public market is a direct producer-consumer center dating back thousands of years that still plays a vital role in community development. Resurgence in market places is driven by culture, demand for quality, economics and localism. In part, reactions to the overexpansion of globalism combined with a tightening of resources and a shift towards sustainability [...]

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Community Heritage Partners is now “SEED” Certified

Our principal and director of design and operations, Eugene Aleci, RA, AIA, is now certified as a “SEED” Architect and Planner, having completed professional training earlier this year through the Public Interest Design Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University, in Social, Economic, and Environmental Design (SEED).  We posted this briefly several months ago, but here’s a little [...]

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Old City Hall = New City Promise

A few years ago, we helped the City of Bradford stabilize, re-evaluate, and then rebuild their landmark Old City Hall for new active business and community uses. Abandoned for more than half a century (at a point when it was only about 50 years old), portions of this building were falling into the street by [...]

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West King: Past and FUTURE – Adding Value

Our community-supported improvement planning and development efforts for the area surrounding Lancaster’s West King Street have struck a chord of interest with Central Penn Business Journal as well as others. See this week’s CPBJ front page story: http://www.cpbj.com/article/20131025/CPBJ01/310249999/Study%27s-goal-is-to-have-West-King-Street-join-Lancaster%27s-boom-area Tell us what you think about this. Send us your comments, suggestions, advice on: 1) WK’s pros [...]

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Working with the Past, Building Our Future through Design

Because our planning and design work frequently involves historic sites, traditional communities, older buildings and towns, we constantly have to remind folks that we’re actually working on the FUTURE, not the past.   Sure, we work with the past and we care a lot about history and heritage, but our real agenda is helping our [...]

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Central Market Project Wins National Award

Recently the American Planning Association awarded our work with the Lancaster Central Market their prestigious National Planning Excellence Award for Urban Design. Central Market is a landmark institution in Lancaster City, both historically and in the present day. Community Heritage Partners was privileged to work with Linda Aleci of the Local Economy Center of Franklin [...]

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SEED Certification

Recently I had the chance to participate in a training on SEED principles through the Public Interest Design Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University. SEED stands for Social, Economic, and Environmental Design and the principles center on the goal that, “every person should be able to live in a socially, economically, and environmentally healthy community.” This is [...]

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Urban Design for Lancaster: Keeping Our Place Special

Without some basic design and development parameters in place, we will not influence “the market” to produce anything more or different than the safe, the short-term, and the predictable.

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Design Matters

For two and a half decades now, Community Heritage Partners has been distinguished as a firm that advocates for better design and better environmental decision-making.  This year, we’ve been pleased to see that our Lancaster County Planning Commission and quite a few other professional colleagues of ours have picked up the cause !   They’re calling [...]

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On “Sustainability”

Recently, we’ve been thinking about tackling this word “sustainability”  — which is everywhere these days –  to try and clarify what it means, and what WE mean when we use it.  CHP has been pleased to be a founding member of the Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network, www.susquehannasbn.org and we hope all local, independent businesses will [...]

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Preservation Trades Training

Some great new news from the PA Historical and Museum Commission and Thaddeus Stevens Technical College, right here in the city of  Lancaster: 1772 Foundation awards $40,000 grant to program The 1772 Foundation, based in Connecticut, has awarded a $40,000 grant to the Preservation Trades Technology Program. The grant provides funding for the development of [...]

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Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network

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Partnerships

Community Heritage Partners has had long associations with many community-based organizations in the Lancaster region, across the state, and beyond. These connections are a natural outgrowth of firm principal Gene Aleci’s continuing investment in support of strong local economies. Over the years, Community Heritage Partners has served as much more than an architecture and planning [...]

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Grand Opening: Expressly Local Food !

An essential ingredient in city livability for all people is conveniently available, good quality, modestly-priced, fresh and local foods, within walking distance. Expressly Local Food is open every day, weekdays and weekends, throughout the year, at 213 West King Street, Lancaster, PA.  You can get in touch at:  expresslylocal@gmail.com –  or call them at 717-295-1850. [...]

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Downtown Development: Why a Grocery Store ?

Our firm associates, staffers, and I have all been committed downtowners over the 25 years of our business existence.  We’ve contributed to the start and development of many good things in many places, wherever our projects have taken us, but especially in our home base of Lancaster. Some highlights:  the 1977 Lancaster Design Guide was [...]

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CHP’s New Space in an Old Place

If you’re looking for us beyond the web these days — that is, for our physical-geographic location –, we’re no longer where we were for the last 24 years……Come and visit us now at our NEW LOCATION:  214 West Grant Street, Lancaster, PA. Yes, we’ve finally moved !  Our phone and fax numbers remain the [...]

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