Opening of the Imperial Terrace at the Holiday Inn Lancaster; The 2nd floor event space overlooks Ewell Plaza | Local News


A new little piece of the $34 million renovation of the old Lancaster Square by the Lancaster Parking Authority will be in place today with the official launch of Imperial Terrace, a 5,000 square foot partially covered patio on the second floor connected to the Holiday Inn Lancaster.

Overlooking the walkways and patios that loom below at Ewell Plaza, the Imperial Terrace joins Christian Street Garage on the list of “completed” elements of the downtown revitalization project which began in September 2019 and will eventually include a new retail space and a new home for the Lancaster Public Library. The library is expected to open next spring.

At the north end of Ewell Plaza, Imperial Terrace can accommodate up to 160 people. Half of the open-air terrace is covered by a green roof, and the area features a mix of planters, benches, sofas, and dining tables.

Although the Imperial Terrace is occasionally open to hotel guests, it will mainly be used for private events. This is not an extension of the Imperial restaurant on the first floor of the hotel at 26 E. Chestnut St.

The Imperial Terrace was developed by John Meeder and Sam Wilsker, majority owners of the Holiday Inn Lancaster on the corner of North Queen and East Chestnut streets.

“With so many delays and shortages due to COVID, it’s been a real challenge to finally see it all fall into place in such a beautiful and positive way,” Meeder said.

In conjunction with Celebrate Lancaster, an open house will be held today from 4pm to 10pm at the Imperial Terrace where picnic items and drinks will be sold.

Several elements will be added to the Imperial Terrace later this year. These include a 25-foot bar to be built along the back wall, a pergola with a grill and pizza oven, and a water fountain large enough to be seen from the street.

Imperial Terrace was built on part of a concrete superstructure to which Meeder and Wilsker retained the rights after selling the property in 2019 to the parking authority for its new Christian Street Garage. Meeder estimated that it cost $2 million to construct the section of the buildings that contains the terrace, which includes the terrace itself as well as the retail spaces below and the green roof above.

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