Young Center Addition and Renovation


The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies is located adjacent to Lake Placida on the main campus in Elizabethtown, PA. The Center was created to interpret the cultural and religious heritage of the Anabaptist and Pietist communities. The building was designed and constructed in 1988 in a style reminiscent of the local Mennonite meetinghouses and included spaces for research staff, a display of artifacts, and a dedicated Meetinghouse.

MCA was engaged by the College to assist in investigating ways to increase the capacity of the facility. Beginning in 2010, MCA developed multiple scenarios for reorganization as well as expansion of the existing facility. In 2016, the College selected an expansion approach, and a final design was developed to enhance the entry façade, add a 2,600 GSF addition, and renovate the existing 6,000 GSF building. The design for this project included the expansion of spaces for residents and visiting researchers, artifact display, and the introduction of a seminar room shared with the main campus. To achieve the additional building area, the footprint was increased in two different directions, effectively extending one existing wing and creating a new wing and new building entrance. This separated expansion approach allowed the additional building footprint to fit within the existing site constraints of driveways, trees, and lakefront. This strategy also kept the scale of the building additions in keeping with the existing building mass and gabled roof geometries.

Materials and details for both the interior and exterior were designed to match the existing building. This included using local stone quarried in the same area as the original building. While the appearance of the interior, in particular, was kept “plain” consistent with the nature of the communities being studied, the building incorporates the latest audiovisual and campus network electronics. This careful attention to detail in both the design and the construction allowed the new additions to blend seamlessly into the existing building.

Project Highlights

  • Increased the capacity of the facility with a 2,600 GSF Addition
  • Renovated the interior to include a new seminar room, artifact displays, and spaces for resident and visiting researchers
  • Used locally sourced materials on the exterior to match original building

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Project Details

Professional Expertise

Cultural + Civic

Professional Services

Architecture | Planning + Programming | Interior Design

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