The Warehouse District contains the original Champion Forge warehouse featuring:
- Checkers Bistro, Freinschaft Market, SukhoThai, Taupe Fashions, Farmacy Health, Nails, Beiler’s Donuts, Fern.ish Home, and Mean Cup
along with the recently available JC Snavely Lumber complex comprised of multiple buildings totaling over 50,000SF.
From its humble, hard-working beginnings as a blacksmith forge to the lively, urban hub it is today, the Warehouse District has seen a lot of change over the past 150 years.
At the age of 17, Henry B. Keiper founded the Champion Blower & Forge Company in our main building along Harrisburg Avenue. He registered a patent for a fire stoking blower that revolutionized the blacksmithing industry. At the height of activity prior to the mass production of the automobile, the company distributed blowers around the country and world and provided reliable jobs to hundreds of Lancastrians.
Keiper’s headquarters were located in the main corner of the building, where Farmacy Health is opening it's new health and wellness location. Adjacent to the building was the main Lancaster City rail line that headed into the Downtown station, which is why the building structure is at an angle to Harrisburg Ave. Known as Champion Forge, this main building is surrounded by a variety of other buildings and spaces—comprising the Warehouse District.
In Checkers Bistro, the Warehouse District’s fine dining restaurant, a photo of Keiper’s employees as well as a portrait of Keiper himself hang on the wall. These serve as a visual reminder of the fascinating history.
In 2003, the current owners acquired the Champion Blower & Forge Company building and adjacent property, and began to revitalize them into what they are today—an ever-growing district with places to eat, shop, collaborate and have fun.