REHABILITATION OF THE EXISTING FARM SHOW COMPLEXMcCLAY & CAMERON STREETS, HARRISBURG PAThe Pennsylvania Farm Show is an extensive Agricultural Exhibition Complex Location: Harrisburg, Pacomprised of connected exhibit halls, arenas and meeting rooms. The ﬁrst hall was Category: Historic Restorationcompleted in 1931 and was followed by numerous expansion programs. Completion: Winter 2011 Client: Pennsylvania Department of General ServicesToday the facility has over twenty-one acres under roof, and it is the largest Construction Cost: 9.9 MillionAgricultural Exhibition Complex in the United States. The goal of this renovation was Program: Renovation of existing entrances, lobbies, conferenceto bring the older portions of the complex up to a standard close to that of the last rooms, exhibit halls, door and window replacement, newexpansion completed in 2001. Improvements include renovated lobbies, conference audio visual system,and toilet rooms.rooms, repainting the exhibit halls, a new connecting stair, a new elevator, restroomrenovations, new wayﬁnding signage, and a new zoned sound system.The project focused on the McClay Street Lobby and Conference Rooms aboveit but there is additional work throughout the complex in selected locations. TheMcClay Street Lobby was originally the main entrance to the Farm Show, but sincethe 2001 construction of the Cameron Street Lobby, had become secondary. Ourproject brings life back to this entrance using the Art Deco Ornament gracing theexterior of the orginal Main Hall and Large Arena as an inspiration.
THE HISTORY OF THE FARM SHOW COMPLEX1931-PRESENT1929 State Legislature authorizes the design and construction of a new facility to house the yearly Original Farm Show Hall, built 1931State Farm Show, in the teeth of the Great Depression. The highly popular Art Deco Style was selectedfor the design style. The Farm Show was built and it opened for the Farm Show on Jan. 19, 1931. Large Arena, built 1937In 1937, Legislature authorized the design and construction of an expansion of the Farm Show with a North Hall, built during World War II tonew 7000 Seat Arena, now called the Large Arena, continuing with the design in Art Deco style. connect original Hall to the Large Arena Additional Halls built between 1950-1970During World War II the Farm Show was used to train civilian personnel in the repair and assemblyof airplane motors. During this time, the Army Air Corps Built North Hall which connected Main Hall The Most recent expansion,to the Large Arena. completed in 2001Between 1950 and 1970 additional halls were constructed to meet the growing needs of thecomplex.In 2001 the Farm Show Complex increased the it’s size with a 40% expansion, which included theCameron Street Lobby, Exposition Hall, the Equine Arena, the Equine Barn, and the Connector Link.It also included a modern AV System, and internet technology. The entire Farm Show Complex is nowone million square feet under roof.
BRINGING THE ART DECO STYLE INSIDETHE DESIGN INTENTOne of the great strengths of the historic Farm Show Structure is the wonderful art deco ornament on its exterior. Our design concept was to use this artdeco style as a thematic element both to create visual interest in the interior, and to create an identity for the Farm Show, that would make it memorableand a thematic destination. The Art Deco theme is reﬂected in the Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete Frames around the major entry points, in the Signageand Graphics, and in the decorative railings at the new Grand Stairway.
USING THE ART DECO STYLE AS A THEMEMACLAY STREET LOBBYThe Maclay Street Lobby is transformed with the addition of Art Deco ThemedElements: • Art Deco doubly articulated frames around major entry points and exhibit cases • Art Deco inspired color palette, deep rich colors, strong contrasts. • New lighting grid and bulkheads beneath structural beams establish a visual plane that masks the existing exposed piping above. Exposed structure and piping painted out grey. • The historic exhibit halls are given a new identity branded as “Heritage Halls”. • A new connecting grand stairway with art deco custom railings and an art deco GFRC frame draws people up to the renovated meeting rooms
USING THE ART DECO STYLE AS A THEMEMACLAY STREET LOBBYMore features of the Maclay Street Lobby • The existing concrete ﬂoor is cleaned and a clear resinous sealant is appled.. • The transoms over the entry doors which had been closed off with plywood were reglazed. • The transoms over the doors into the Main Hall which also had been closed off with plywood were reglazed.. • Decorative sconces reiterating the historic theme were added.
ART DECO ORNAMENT AT THE PENNSYLVANIA FARM SHOW AN INSPIRATION FOR THE RENOVATION DESIGNThe Art Deco Ornament on the exterior of the historic portions of the Farm Show Complex is atreasure. On Main Hall, the ﬁrst building constructed, we have a whimsical parade of animalsprocessing toward the Pennsylvania State Coat of Arms.On the Large Arena, we have a tableaux celebrating the Pennsylvania Dutch Heritage on thenorth and south facades and another tableaux depicting the history of Pennsylvania Agricultureon the East Facade which faces Cameron Street. This tableaux is a timeline going left to right. The History of Pennsylvania AgricultureOn the left you see William Penn and the Indians, to the right are the colonists and PennsylvaniaDutch, a wonderful turkey with the art deco sunburst pattern occupies the center while on theright side we see the industrialization of agriculture with the far right showing the wise men ofthe modern agricultural leaders addressing the youth of the day. The Pennsylvania Dutch Tableaux on the North and South Facades of the Large Arena The Maclay Street Facade the Parade of Animals
ART DECO INSPIRED SIGNAGE AND WAYFINDINGLOCATED THROUGHOUT THE COMPLEX The Art Deco Theme is continued in the wayﬁnding sign system. Prior to our renovation there was a real problem with orientation and ﬁnding your way. We used art deco style graphic images and colors in the sign system. You are here maps are placed at entry points and decision points throughout the complex. The way ﬁnding works on three levels: (1) Color, the exposition halls are color coded with a accent color up to wainscot height and on the columns. The hall identiﬁcation signs have matching colors; (2) Name, each hall has a prominent room identiﬁcation sign centrally placed; and (3) Image, each exhibition hall has an animal on its identiﬁcation sign. • I’m in the red hall • I’m in the East Hall • I’m by the Horse
GFRC FRAMES REINFORCE THE ART DECO THEMEMACLAY STREET LOBBY, KEYSTONE CONFERENCE CENTER, AND NORTH HALL LOBBYIn order to create a memorable sense ofplace and to have the Farm Show havea brand identity we named the majordestinations and entries an incorporatedthis name into colorful glass ﬁberreinforced frames. The named areas: • MaClay Street Lobby; • The Keystone Conference Center; • The Heritage Halls • The Farm Show Crossroads • The North Hall LobbyThe arched frame at the Grand Stairthat leads to the Keystone ConferenceCenter.Other frame locations: • At the new elevator leading to the Keystone Conference Center • At the seating alcoves and display cases in the Maclay Street Lobby • Along the corridor in the Keystone Conference Center • At the snack bar in the North Hall Lobby
THE NEW GRAND STAIRKEYSTONE CONFERENCE CENTER The tired underutilized meeting rooms on the second ﬂoor were transformed into the Keystone Conference Center. New lighting, ceilings, carpet , and AV system. A new grand stair invites people from the Maclay Street Lobby up to the Conference center. The art deco animal images and the sunburst decorative painting create a festive inviting atmoshpere. The decorative GFRC arch and the railings with the sunburst pattern further reinforce this theme. The Keystone Conference Center Center has been very popular. A number of people have used it for wedding receptions with the departure down the Grand Stair as the crowning event.
THE KEYSTONE CONFERENCE CENTERABOVE THE MACLAY STREET LOBBY
THE LARGE ARENASEAT RESTORATION AND NEW SOUND SYSTEM Improvements to the large arena include: • The existing wood seats were removed and refurbished with new wood slats and repainted. Broken seat frames were repaired or replaced. The historic color coding was restored. • An entirely new sound system was installed complete with four input locations on the arena ﬂoor where a portable sound board can be placed so that shows can be run from multiple locations. • Roof repair; • Repainting; • Electrical upgrades at the food booths.
THE FARM SHOW CROSSROADS CONFERENCE ROOMA RESTORED MEETING ROOM AT THE HEART OF THE FARM SHOWThe Farm Show Crossroads is another named destination that we developed as part of our branding strategy. This connector between theNorth Hall and Main Hall is literally at the heart of the Complex, truly a crossroads. On the second ﬂoor a former meeting room was beingused as a sign shop, the clerestory windows hidden by a dropped ceiling. We restored the clerestory windows and provided a beautifulnew meeting room with a state of the art AV system, internet and phone connections.When we restored the clerestories, it was amazing what a beautiful space was revealed.
NORTH HALL LOBBYANOTHER MAJOR ENTRY POINT TO THE HERITAGE HALLS ZONEIThe North Hall Lobby is one of the major entries to the facility. Prior to our renovation it was poorly markedand somewhat obsured by a new chiller building. We replaced the entry doors and added an exterior sigh toincrease the visibility. Art deco style panels on the Chiller Building help lead visitors to this entry and give apreview of the wonders inside.