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Hurry to See York County “Then and Now”

I like to take an old photo, a postcard or even a drawing and go out and take a current photo of the same site to compare how much has, or hasn’t, changed. I’ve been known to dodge traffic and almost freeze body parts to do that.
You can make the same comparisons in a nice warm museum, but you only have two more weeks to see the current exhibit Then and Now: A Historic and Modern Visual Tour of York County, Pennsylvania at York County Heritage Trust’s Historical Society Museum, 250 East Market Street. The galleries are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Then and Now exhibit will be up just through Saturday, January 29, 2011.
The images in the exhibit are professionally done, much better than my amateur shots above, and enlarged to show detail. Descriptive labels give even more information. Historic photographs, maps and prints are displayed alongside present day images from throughout the county showing the same views. How much has the main street of Jefferson changed? How about the Red Lion square? See how your town looked in your childhood, or when your grandparents were young; show your children how the streets and roads looked in horse and buggy days.
The images above that I photographed?


The postcard, from the late 1800s or early 1900s shows 120 East Market Street, then the home of the YWCA. It last housed an antique mall a few years ago and is now for sale. The fa├žade of the building was “modernized” at some time, with the removal of the wonderful old brownstone trim and a new facing of brick. It could have been worse, from a preservation standpoint–I found a newspaper article indicating that the Y was thinking of tearing down the building at one point. (The YWCA is presently in a newer, much larger building two blocks east on Market Street).
There is a glimpse of the buildings on both sides. The one on the left hasn’t changed much, but the house on the right was taken down and replaced with the art deco building many of us remember as the York AAA office. It is also currently vacant.
Click here for my recent York Sunday News column on YWCA York’s Camp Cann-Edi-On, currently being preserved in conjunction with the Farm and Natural Lands Trust of York County.