News

Hershey Company unveils new office -- 19 East

Written by Danielle Francisco, Lebanon Daily News | Aug 7, 2015 2:00 PM
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Photo by Jeremy Long, Lebanon Daily News

The Hershey Company officially opened up its 19 East office building in downtown Hershey on Thursday. The site was Milton Hershey's original chocolate factory.

(Hershey) -- The Hershey Company unveiled its new corporate offices -- 19 East office building -- Thursday afternoon.

Occupying 19 E. Chocolate Ave., the space is the site of Milton S. Hershey's first chocolate factory, where Hershey's Kisses were produced more than 100 years ago. The building will now house 1,200 employees.

The project was designed with keeping the heritage of the building in mind, Terrence O'Day, senior vice president of Global Operations said at the grand opening ceremony.

"The building has been a cornerstone of the community and an iconic symbol of our company for more than a century," O'Day said.

The renovation project took two years and used close to 95 percent of the existing building structure.

"It is an amazing space. I've been here a number of times throughout construction and to see it in its entirety today, it is really just a remarkable job," said John P. Bilbrey, Hershey Company chairman, president and CEO. "The renovation and restoration of the old 19 East factory and office facility is not just a milestone for the Hershey Company, it is a milestone for the entire community. This site is the heart of Hershey, Pennsylvania."

Employees gathered for a video and presentation to mark the event. Many employees are still in the process of moving into the new office space.

To preserve the Hershey Company heritage while creating the modern office space, 20 historic manufacturing pieces are on display throughout the building, including a 12-pot conch. A conch uses heavy rollers to knead the chocolate to help bring out flavor and texture.

Original detailing from the outside of the building to the doors and floor boards were also incorporated into parts of the design.

"In doing renovations, they kept four factory buildings and used them to create 19 East," said Pam Whitenack of the Hershey Community Archives. Signs of the original building can still be seen on the label beams throughout the building.

The new building has 114 windows. When the building was originally converted into offices in 1935, Milton Hershey contracted for a windowless office space to conserve energy.

The new 19 East has been recognized for its reduced environmental impact and was rated as LEED Gold under the Green Building Rating System established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The new location will create a more collaborative workspace for years to come, according to Bilbrey, ensuring "that this iconic company remains here in Hershey where it belongs."

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Photo by Jeremy Long, Lebanon Daily News

People take self-guided tours Thursday of The Hershey Company new office building -- 19 East -- in downtown Hershey. The company held a grand opening ceremony to mark the completion of the two-year project.


This article comes to us through a partnership between the Lebanon Daily News and WITF. 

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