The Harnish Farmhouse, built in 1858, shown below in it’s original location, on the original Harnish Farmstead Tract at Willow Valley Communities in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. During the pre-construction and design development phase of the Providence Park Community which includes 42 villas, 12 townhomes, a 30,000 square foot clubhouse building, tennis courts and outdoor pool and spa, Willow Valley Communities expressed their desire to CCS Building Group to re-purpose the Farmhouse for current use.
Previously, the Farmhouse had been vacant for 30 years and was simply a landmark on the campus. CCS Building Group brought on Bernardon Haber Holloway (Architects) and Gensler Architects (Interior Designer) to provide input on how best to utilize the Farmhouse interior space to provide bathroom and locker facilities for the outdoor pool and two new tennis courts that were planned as part of Providence Park.
In July 2012, after much preparation, the 400 ton Farmhouse was relocated nearly 300 feet and strategically placed in a location that would eventually allow it to be re-purposed as an amenity space for the pool and tennis facilities. At this new location, it was set on a new foundation with a full basement, designated for mechanical and pool equipment and providing general storage for maintenance and facilities.
In addition to the amenity space planned in the Farmhouse, the design intent was also to provide a laundry room, pool storage and an office area to support the outdoor amenities. The layout of these spaces was designed utilizing the Farmhouse’s existing floor plan. Access doors, historic stairs and existing windows were kept in their original state to highlight the period of the building.
CCS Building Group renovated the exterior as well. The exterior restoration included repairs to existing wood windows and doors, along with preserving the porches at both the front and rear of the Farmhouse. CCS Building Group installed cedar fences and walls around the pool and Farmhouse locker rooms, providing a rich enhancement to the entrance off the pool deck. The roof structure was stabilized and repairs were made to the existing Peach Bottom slate shingles. The integrity of the exterior was maintained with limited repoint of the existing brick, and landscaping enrichments highlighting the historic building within the new development. The 1858 date stone from David and Barbara Harnish on the side of the Farmhouse continues to be viewable for residents and their guests to appreciate.
The summer of 2014 was an exciting time with the official opening of The Clubhouse building, tennis courts and outdoor pool for Willow Valley residents to enjoy. The Harnish Farmhouse is now used daily since the re-purpose renovations are complete and is an integral part of the amenities at Providence Park.
This project is a wonderful example of how a special, historic building can be integrated among new construction. The goal in the preservation of this historic structure was to maintain a sense of the past while integrating the stable and longstanding building into the day to day enrichment of Willow Valley’s thriving communities.
Doug Groff, CCS Building Group