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The 2017 Preservation Award from the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society -- awarded to Milton Hershey School's Kinderhaus

Milton Hershey School’s Kinderhaus Receives Historic Preservation Award

The oldest building on Milton Hershey School’s campus, Kinderhaus, recently received a 2017 Preservation Award from the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society.  The award recognizes excellence in adaptive reuse of historical structures.

Originally constructed in the early nineteenth-century, Kinderhaus—German for children’s home—was a stone farmhouse built by Isaac Hershey, Milton Hershey’s great-grandfather. Milton Hershey purchased the home and surrounding farm in 1909 and used the property to house students beginning in 1912.

“Kinderhaus is a landmark on our campus,” said MHS President Pete Gurt ’85. “As one of the first student homes, it provided a safe and caring learning environment in which students could live, learn and grow. That legacy continues in our current Home Life Program. Every MHS student lives in a home that is supportive, nurturing and community-oriented.”

In 2006, the farmhouse underwent a full interior renovation by Arthur Funk & Son Construction. Since opening in 2007, the renovated property houses the Milton Hershey School Heritage Center at Kinderhaus and the Department of School History.

A few years later, in 2015, the farmhouse underwent a full exterior renovation also by Arthur Funk & Son Construction and was completed in 2016.

“By preserving Kinderhaus, we are saving a piece of our founder’s history and our school’s history for generations to come,” said Gurt.

As a recipient of the award, Milton Hershey School received a plaque and will be listed on the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society’s website on its registry of historic buildings.

First students at Kinderhaus in 1912.

The first students at Kinderhaus in 1912.

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