Collier Residence

2013 Preservation Award - The Collier Residence

(MAP) 366 East Chocolate Ave., Hershey, PA

*** 2013 Preservation Award Winner *** 


D. Paul Witmer started his career with Mr. Hershey on April 15, 1924 as a draftsman and project estimator. He quickly earned his certification as a professional engineer and registered architect and was soon promoted to Manager. He is well-known for his dedication to building landmarks such


as the Hershey Community Building, The Hotel Hershey, The Hershey Sports Stadium, the Hershey Chocolate Corporation Headquarters and much more.


While Witmer was known for his commercial success, he also designed his own home based on an English Tudor-style cottage, with brick and stucco cladding. His family moved into the home in 1929 and they resided there until the late 1960s when the Suhrings purchased the property.


According to his son Skip, the home was originally designed to be slightly larger, but Witmer scaled it back to three bedrooms due to the Depression. Unique features include the Clinker bricks, which add a distinctive element to the brick texture, and the concept of having all of the services run underground, which was virtually unheard of at the time.


When the building crew dug the foundation for the home they uncovered an Indian grinding stone, approximately the size of a loaf of bread, which was displayed on the mantle of the fireplace in the finished basement.


The property had originally been part of the old Imboden farm, and the garage is built on the foundation of one of the barns.