Dempwolf Architectural Drawings
John Augustus (J.A.) Dempwolf and his brother Reinhardt Dempwolf ran one of the most successful architectural practices ever located in South Central Pennsylvania. J.A. Dempwolf established the firm in 1874 in York, Pennsylvania and was later joined by Reinhardt Dempwolf in 1884. J.A.'s son, Frederick, eventually joined the firm as well. The firm designed residential, commercial and public buildings, most of them located in southern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, although they did many projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Many of the Victorian and Edwardian buildings of York were designed by the Dempwolfs, most notably the Central Market House, which still serves as a farmers market and eatery today. They had a great influence on York's architecture from the 1880s through the 1930s, which was spread by seven of their students. all of whom went on to become architects in or near York, PA.*
Below is a searchable database of the Dempwolf drawings in the York County Heritage Trust's collection. Please note that most projects were identified by the name of the individual or organization the building was designed for, not by the location of the building. It may be necessary to find the original owner of the building. For further information on conducting property research, please see our property research page
The Dempwolf Architectural Drawings were photographed through a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). The Library & Archives arranged for the photographing of nearly 2,000 original architectural drawings from the 1880s through the 1930s from two York County architectural firms, J.A. Dempwolf and Charles A. Williams. Johnson Imaging Systems, Inc. of Camp Hill, PA used an Opti-Copy camera system to photograph the collection, and a macromaster negative was created from which a print was made. In addition to the original drawings, the Library & Archives has a set of negatives and a set of prints of these photographs, which have also been digitized. The photographs increase public accessibility to the drawings, while preserving the original drawings.
*Source: The Dempwolf Public Schools by Mark D. Shermeyer, 1982, York, PA
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