Boarded-up windows may be deceiving as renovations reveal a strong building for a future neighborhood anchor Photos by Deborah Lynch
Anyone driving N. 6th or Maclay streets regularly might have noticed that the former Hudson Building on the corner of those two streets is looking gutted with fancy posters covering many windows and offering a glimpse to the future for the building. Now aptly known as the Atlas Building to represent how this building can anchor the Camp Curtin neighborhood from the thoroughfares that connect it to nearly everything in Harrisburg, renovations continue with plans to reopen the building around this time next year.
Adam Maust, owner of a creative and marketing agency called A Mighty Group located in Harrisburg, purchased the long dormant building in 2020 from Philadelphia Suburban Development Corp., which had owned the property since 2004 and allowed it to go to seed. Before that, the building had a storied history — if not as many stories as originally planned (pun intended). Originally designed in 1923 to stand 15 stories, the building was completed at just two stories in 1932. Harrisburg’s prominent Hudson family bought the building in 1979 when Tri-County Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) moved in. Other small businesses filled offices until the late 1990s. Since then, it’s been an empty possibility.
Enter Maust, who Historic Harrisburg Association executive director David Morrison describes as “the most enthusiastic developer I’ve talked to in a long time. His ideas are great. He has a sense of a positive outcome.” Maust says he has been driving by that building since he moved to the Harrisburg area in 2005. “I never understood why it was empty,” he said, and Morrison noted, “Adam sees the possibilities.”
Maust’s vision includes a grocery store tenant, a coffee shop, maybe a brewery or a distillery, and businesses — including his own A Mighty Group — located inside the cavernous 60,000-square-foot building. He’s also cognizant of the location and plans to dedicate some space for entrepreneurs and businesses from the Camp Curtin neighborhood, noting that his creative firm could help these businesses with logos and advertising, too.
“The building has the potential to ripple out a lot of positive development. Let’s find the right partners that are really going to help that area flourish,” he said. The building sits beside a large empty lot that separates it from the nearby Camp Curtin YMCA, who Maust is working together with as a partner in the neighborhood. Maust hopes to use the lot to invite the community in.
“The building has an opportunity to really spark some positive things in that neighborhood, and he’s sensitive to that,” Morrison said.
Maust was pleased to discover that despite water damage that led to a total gutting of the building, it otherwise “is in great shape really — a fortress.” It could hold more floors in the future. “Part of the reason the bones are so strong is that it was intended to hold a lot more floors,” Morrison said. “It’s solid as a rock.”
With a location just blocks from Midtown and Downtown, Maust sees the building as a bridge to Harrisburg. “For me, the idea here is to become this kind of fountainhead for development,” he said. He will continue to work with community partners and welcomes community input, saying he was excited by the depth of community and individual support for the project.
For more information about the project, check out the website at https://www.theatlas1923.com/