CHAMBERSBURG- In 2023, Franklin County Visitors Bureau welcomed 15,000 people to the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center on the southwest quadrant of Chambersburg’s Memorial Square. About half these visitors were learning about Franklin County for the first time, so first impressions count. With a $29,500 County of Franklin IMPACT grant, the Franklin County Visitors Bureau engaged Remington Builders & Partners to repair and clean the marble steps and Antietam Iron Works to restore, paint and clean the brass-topped iron hand rails. Work was complete by the end of the year, ensuring a better first impression for visitors in 2024.
The Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center is a 10,000-sq. ft. former bank property, constructed in 1865 as the National Bank of Chambersburg. Its predecessor was burned on July 30, 1864 when Confederate troops ransomed Chambersburg for $100,000 in gold, and the town was unable to pay. The core of the 1865 National Bank was erected on the site of the earlier bank at a cost of $26,628.
In 1959, the National Bank of Chambersburg celebrated 150 years as a bank. As part of the anniversary celebration, the National Bank wanted to update the façade of the old National Bank building at 15 South Main—today’s Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center. Harrisburg architects Lawrie & Green created a façade design to convey stability and contribute to the architectural beauty of the square.
The 1959 façade alterations to the National Bank were done by Earl L. Cump. The project tied in full-thickness walls to the original walls, using colonial pink brick and added specially-quarried, white Vermont marble. More than 85 tons of marble went into the transformation of the property’s façade. The Impact Grant funds were used to clean and repair the marble steps and landing that were part of the 1959 updates to the property.
The Franklin County IMPACT Grants provided $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. “After a rocky 2020, Franklin County Visitors Bureau is pleased to be better than ever and thankful to receive the IMPACT Grant. said Janet Pollard, executive director of Franklin County Visitors Bureau.