A 1920’s barn that currently houses some functions of the Hershey Historical Society was looking for alternate uses for the mostly vacant building. The historic central PA barn building has low bays on either side of a double height central work space complete with a monitor with beautiful clerestory windows.
Part of the existing function is the restoration of historic trolly that used to run down the streets of Hershey in the early to mid 20th century. We took these trolly as inspiration for what we coined as the Hershey Heritage Center, a mixed use building with children’s museum, presentation theater, cafe and patio.
The entry to the building was designed to be integrated into restored overhead doors that lead into a large lobby flanked by a restaurant, gift shop and presentation / conference space. The back half of the building was designed to be a children’s museum relating to the history of Hershey and its development by Milton Hershey.
The museum designed included glass floors over what was below grade repair bays, an “exploded” trolly jungle gym and a “pick-up-stick” configuration of iterative exhibits that guide the user in, out and around the sides of the structure. This highly active and interactive space would work well with not only adults, but allowing the children to experience the museum in their own unique way.