New Year. New Exhibit. I’ve just mounted a new display in the Archives’ exhibit case in the Grand Lobby of The Hershey Story. This time the exhibit takes a look at building a new building for Hershey Trust Company.
Once Milton Hershey set his mind to something, he moved quickly and decisively. And building a town for his new chocolate factory was no exception. During the town’s first thirteen years, construction was constant as buildings went up, were enlarged and even replaced as the town grew. The reason, of course, was because Hershey’s chocolate business was booming and the town needed to grow to accommodate the growing numbers of workers being hired for the chocolate factory.
Hershey, of course, was much more than the chocolate factory. Milton Hershey established a wide variety of businesses to serve the town. Hershey Trust Company, the town’s first bank, opened in 1905. By 1910, the trust company’s business was outgrowing its original home. Milton Hershey asked noted Lancaster architect, C. Emlen Urban, to design a building appropriate for the town’s financial institution. His design for the new building incorporated classical elements to reflect the importance of its primary occupant.
On August 20, 1912, workers broke ground for a new bank building at the intersection of Cocoa and Chocolate Avenues. Various construction setbacks delayed the completion of the building for almost a year. The building finally opened in the summer of 1914.
Archival collections hold many documents that trace the path and delays of construction. If you’re in town, stop in and check out the new exhibit.