The Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, PA, recently opened a separate orthopedic center to improve upon its patient care. The new facility shares a grand entrance with the hospital, including architectural elements fabricated from Carnelian granite - supplied by Cold Spring Granite Co. of Cold Spring, MN.


With the desire to maximize the care given to its orthopedic patients, Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, PA, recently opened a separate facility specializing in this treatment. This renovation also presented the hospital with an opportunity to improve its aesthetic appeal. The design team for the project created a grand entrance for both the hospital and new orthopedic center by utilizing high-end materials such as granite and limestone - further establishing the facility as a state-of-the-art healthcare institution.

A motor court entrance features limestone-clad columns as well as limestone on the semi-circle forming the drive court. Additionally, Carnelian granite was used for planters in front of the building.
“Predominantly, it is a new addition,” said Project Designer Michael McDonnell, AIA, of IKM Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA. “One of the objectives was to have this new orthopedic center and also a relocation of the main entrance. The hospital wanted the architectural language to form the exterior - or public face - of the institution.”

The project comprises 340,000 square feet of new construction - including a four-story building and front entry atrium - as well as a 5 ½-story vertical addition to an existing building. The exterior of the new orthopedic center is a combination of granite, limestone and brick.

“Specifically at the entrance, the hospital wanted a more elaborate element,” said the architect. “In that instance, we began to develop a motor court entrance with limestone-clad columns and limestone on the semi-circle forming the drive court.”

The architect explained that 3-inch sections of Indiana limestone were used to clad the round columns, which are stationed in the front of the building.

In addition to the limestone, Carnelian granite - quarried by Cold Spring Granite Co. of Cold Spring, MN - was utilized for planters, base panels along the entrance and 6-inch-deep windowsills. “It's very robust in manner,” said McDonnell. “It sets off the hospital's new front door.”

“We basically had a palette of building materials pulled in the beginning,” said McDonnell. “Limestone and granite were always in that.”

Further adding to the dramatic entrance is a large circular fountain, which is capped with Carnelian granite.

Moving indoors

Inside the orthopedic center, Carnelian granite with a flamed finish was employed for the floor in the revolving door entrance. The floor in the main atrium lobby then transitions into Dark Emperador and Crema Marfil marble. Both materials were employed in 18- x 18-inch tiles with a ½-inch thickness.

McDonnell explained that the marble floor pattern has the same radius as the drive court, with alternating sections of Crema Marfil and Dark Emperador. Ultimately, the Dark Emperador - which McDonnell described as being “root beer-colored” - becomes the predominant field tile. Additionally, granite was used for the base of the interior columns.

“The hospital was really looking for a hospitality expression for this main entrance,” explained the architect. “It's the main atrium lobby. There is a series of Cherry paneling, aluminum detailing and fine metal work. Marble was more in tune with the depth of finish than other stones - and certainly ceramic tile.”

According to McDonnell, selecting the marble was a long process. “We had the owner's input,” he said. “We looked at a wide variety of both granite and marble tiles. A local supplier brought us samples. We probably considered a dozen sample tiles. We went back and forth for a couple of months before making a final decision.”

The floor in the main atrium lobby of the orthopedic center consists of 18- x 18-inch Dark Emperador and Crema Marfil marble tiles with a ½-inch thickness.

Installing the marble

In addition to the floor tiles, slabs of Dark Emperador and Crema Marfil marble formed the stairs in the orthopedic center's atrium. Amen & Gaydos Flooring Inc. of Downingtown, PA, the installer for the project, fabricated the stairs by hand.

“We set up tables and cut the slabs with a saw and then polished them with grinders,” said Bob Smith, Amen & Gaydos' Senior Estimator, who worked with owners Tim Gaydos and Robert Amen on the project. The installer explained that originally the stairs were only going to be made of Dark Emperador marble, but it was later decided to use Crema Marfil at the edge as a safety precaution. “People with less than perfect vision were missing the edge of the tread,” said Smith.

According to Smith, installation of the interior stonework was completed in about two months. There were between five to seven crews, which each included a mechanic and helper on the jobsite.

“The hospital was really looking for a hospitality expression for this main entrance,” said Project Designer Michael McDonnell, AIA, of IKM Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA. “Marble was more in tune with the depth of finish than other stones - and certainly ceramic tile.”
“The installation did not take that long because of the crew size, but because of the restriction of other trades,” said the installer. “We could only go so far; then we would have to stop and wait for the other trades to catch up - then we would do some more.”

All in all, it took approximately 18 months to complete the new addition at Lancaster General Hospital, Orthopedic Center. “The exterior, people walk by and appreciate it,” said the architect. “But, the depth and reflective qualities of the interior space make it glow. It's terrific.”

Lancaster Orthopedic Center Lancaster, PA

Architect: IKM Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

General Contractor: Benchmark Construction Co. Inc., Brownstown, PA

Stone Quarrier: Cold Spring Granite Co., Cold Spring, MN (Carnelian granite)

Stone Installers: Witmer & McCoy, Inc., Mt. Joy, PA (exterior main entrance); Weaver Masonry, Inc., Ephrata, PA (exterior orthopedic center); Amen & Gaydos Flooring Inc., Downingtown, PA (interior stonework)