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Final Days of York City Market

Just a few more photos to share of the York City Market House. These show the poignant end of the story of one of architect J.A. Dempwolf’s most impressive buildings.
The Gazette and Daily ran a full page story with six photos on October 5, 1963, the last day of operation before the building was torn down. They included the two photos above and the one in my previous post on the interior. That one shows the striking beams of light from the high windows.
Those distinctive triangle windows would soon be gone, along with the stunning arches and hammer beams and the tower that once invoked Florentine grandeur. The tower did not go quietly. The two photos below were taken about a month later by a Gazette and Daily photographer.

MARKET CRASH–The top of the 80-foot-high tower of the old City market accidently fell into Duke Street at 11 a.m. yesterday during demolition of the building. The brick section fell with a crash causing a big cloud of brown dust. It knocked out electric lines, broke a utility and light pole, bent two parking meter standards and disrupted traffic signals at Duke Street intersections with College Avenue and South Street. No one was injured. It was not determined how the workman standing near the tower in the photo at left managed to escape. Rodney Staub, foreman for York Wrecking Company, said the plan had been for a clam bucket on the end of an 87-foot crane to nibble away at the tower gradually dropping the pieces inside. Instead, Staub said, the bucket caught a wooden beam which tilted the entire top section into the street. The crane was operated by Harris E. Strickhouser, York New Salem.

These two current photos show the site today. Most of the half-block has never been built over. The former service station, which was built soon after the market house was torn down, is now a car repair garage. The close-up shows the steps, which fellow blogger Jim McClure reminded me are still there, the last remnants of a magnificent building.

Junior Achievement’s BizTown, a great educational program, now operates out of the renovated building above. Most of the remaining City Market vendors banded together and bought this building in the 600 block of South George Street when the old market closed, calling it the New City Market, but it only lasted as a market for about six years.
Click here for exterior photos of City Market.
Click here for more on York City Market.