Universal York

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Central Market–Treasure of Downtown York, PA

I love Central Market. I rarely missed walking to market at lunchtime on the days they were open during all those years I was Librarian/Archivist at York County Heritage Trust. Now that I’m Librarian Emerita and volunteer every Saturday, it’s a given that I walk to market for lettuce, lunch and whatever else I need. If I need to go to YCHT another day to do research, I try to make it a Tuesday or Thursday so I can get in another market trip (and lunch).
It is heartening that development consultant Roger Brooks recognizes the untapped potential of Central Market. In his presentation the other evening he envisioned the market as a centerpiece of a revitalized downtown.
I certainly agree with Brooks that one thing keeping shoppers away from downtown, including Central Market, is the parking situation. Even though the produce, meats, baked goods and other items are usually fresher and cheaper than that found in supermarkets, most people just aren’t going to pay 25 cents for 15 minutes at a meter or pay to park in a garage to get that good fresh food.

There are cars and trucks in the photos above and below, but in those days many of the people walked. A good many of them have baskets to carry home their purchases, and one photo shows some of the young boys with their wagons ready to help out for a tip.

Some people still can walk to market–those who live or work downtown. But it’s not the 1940s anymore. What about those who aren’t quite so close but still appreciate good fresh food? I’d wager that many of those people aren’t aware that market parking is free on Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Philadelphia & Beaver Street garage. That’s as close as most people can park to the store in those big supermarket lots. Perhaps advertising Saturday parking on big signs at the market and outside the garage would get the word out?
See you at market.

Click here for another of York’s longstanding markets, Farmers Market.
Click here for old Eastern Market.
Click here for New Eastern Market.