Gallery 30 was named in honor of its address at 30 York Street, and a large numeral "30" tilted at a 30-degree angle adorned the new storefront. The historic building that Gallery 30 would call home had been operating as Reddings Hardware Store since the early 1900s, so renovations were undertaken in order to create a more light-filled space prior to Gallery 30’s opening. Several 6-feet tall by 8-inches wide windows were added to the east side of the brick building, and the interior space was opened up to make way for gallery display panels to be installed throughout the center of the shop. A miniature house was also constructed inside the new space to serve as Gallery 30’s children’s book department. The charming wooden house was designed by a Gettysburg College English professor and built by a local craftsman. From its inception, Gallery 30 emphasized quality children’s literature, and for years the shop held a weekly children’s story hour inside the little house.
Opening with a selection of about 4,000 titles, Gallery 30 was quickly applauded by local media for the “level of taste” reflected in its book collection, and the small bookseller became a favorite among avid readers in Gettysburg. Most importantly, Gallery 30 became a place where “local artists could show their art locally.” Before the opening of Gallery 30, Gettysburg artists typically showed their work in metropolitan areas, such as Washington, DC and Philadelphia. Gallery 30 now allowed these local artists to show and sell their art to a local audience. In return, Gettysburg residents as well as tourists were given the opportunity to support local artists with the purchase of a beautiful piece of fine art, fiber art, blown glass or pottery.
Throughout the 1980s Gallery 30 continued to experience steady business and gradual growth, due in part to its deep roots in the community. Gallery 30 regularly hosted group art shows for local artists, provided meeting and reception space for civic organizations and partnered with community organizations to host fundraisers and events.
In 1988, Gallery 30 was acquired by former music teacher Rod Gisick. Although founding owner Betty Martin continued to be involved with the bookstore in an advisory capacity, the gallery entered a season of transition. The new owner added fine jewelry to Gallery 30’s collection and focused on growing the book selection. In 1989, Gallery 30 hosted several large-scale artistic events, including the Loretta C. Fick Memorial Art Show Reception in memory of artist and previous Gallery 30 owner Chris Fick and the First Annual Pennsylvania Artisans Show.
In May 1993 Gallery 30 and its building were purchased by Lois Starkey and Bill Gilmartin. The couple was deeply invested in Gettysburg’s artistic community and had a clear concept for “leading Gallery 30 through its third phase of growth.” During this time several architectural renovations were made to Gallery 30’s interior in order to make it “more user friendly for customers,” including adding windows and square footage by enclosing the building’s back porch.
With the dawn of the internet age and the rise of online booksellers in the 1990s, Gallery 30 diversified its selection and placed its primary focus back on local and regional art. More artisan crafts and fine art were incorporated into the gallery’s collection, and the new owners also worked toward making Gallery 30 a gathering place for Gettysburg locals with family-friendly events such as Gallery 30’s annual Christmas Eve party.
Throughout the 1990s, Gallery 30 was an integral part of fledgling community organizations such as Main Street Gettysburg and Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association. Gallery 30’s ownership was instrumental in the formation of the Adams County Arts Council and the History Meets the Arts Exhibition, a multi-faceted cultural event held annually in Gettysburg to showcase our nation’s prominent historical artists in an up-close, personal setting. Gallery 30 was also involved in Downtown Gettysburg’s inaugural First Friday event in 2002 and continues to celebrate First Friday to this day with extended hours, featured artists, book signings and refreshments on the first Friday of each month.
In 2007, Pennsylvania native Linda Atiyeh purchased Gallery 30 and its historic building. Linda renovated Gallery 30’s interior by removing a wall and several dividers to open up the space to accommodate a drastic expansion in the gallery’s collection of Pennsylvania-made artisan crafts. Linda refined Gallery 30’s selection of local and regional fine art, placing a greater emphasis on Pennsylvania and Gettysburg-related subject matter, and hand picked a diverse collection of handcrafted jewelry by both local and international artisans. Gallery 30 celebrated this exciting rebirth with a Grand Re-Opening on September 7, 2007.
Over the years Gallery 30 has continued to grow with Linda at the helm. In spring 2013, Gallery 30 moved from its original location of 3,000 square feet to a beautiful 9,100-square-foot home next door at 26 York Street. The historic building started life as the E.L. Weikert Motor Car Company, an early 1900s Hudson Essex car dealership. Linda Atiyeh, already a recipient of several Historic Preservation Awards for her restoration of historic properties in Gettysburg, spent much of 2012 lovingly revitalizing 26 York Street in preparation for Gallery 30’s relocation. The extensive renovation process included removing a drop ceiling to uncover original skylights, un-bricking original windows, installing new electrical, heating/cooling and lighting systems, painting and restoring the exterior storefront, and uncovering and restoring the original wood floor using vintage floor planks reclaimed from a historic building in Kentucky.
Through all of its many transformations, Gallery 30 has remained an artistic and literary landmark for over 36 years--a feat that is nearly unheard of in today’s marketplace! Gallery 30’s founders were dedicated to bringing exposure to local artists, and owner Linda Atiyeh has exponentially expanded upon that mission. Today Gallery 30 represents a myriad of local and regional artists, authors and artisans while striving to enrich Gettysburg’s vibrant artistic community. Recently Linda took the next step in Gallery 30’s exhilarating journey by launching a spectacular website and e-commerce web store to introduce Gallery 30 to a worldwide audience. Linda Atiyeh’s creative vision has allowed Gallery 30 to adapt and evolve while still staying true to the passion and principles that are at the heart of Gallery 30’s amazing longevity and success.