Still another York square building was threatened in the 1950s
Downtown York could look much different, and not in a good way, if 1950s and 1960s demolition plans had been carried through.
In a previous post I wrote about the proposal to do away with the southeast quadrant buildings, including the now nicely restored Newswanger and Hartman buildings.
I also recently shared the very serious proposal to replace the iconic domed courthouse building (now the York County Administrative Center) with a monolithic structure.
York County History Center Director of Library and Archives, Lila Fourhman-Shaull, just found the Gazette and Daily clipping transcribed below. This one, dated April 23, 1953 says that the top three floors of the Schmidt building(also known as the Rupp building) on the Market Street side of the southwest quadrant of the square might be lopped off. The roof could then have been rented for billboards.
Here is the story:
Schmidt Building Change Discussed
Plans for a change in the Schmidt building in Continental square are being discussed, it was learned here yesterday.
Mrs. Hilda Schmidt, owner of the building, reached in Columbus, O. last night by The Gazette and Daily, said there are no definite plans for eventual disposition of the building. It was learned however, that all leases in the five-story building expire in December, 1954.
A local representative for Mrs. Schmidt hinted that the upper floors of the structure are of little economic value because tenants balk at renting office space above the second floor. He also cited costs of maintaining elevator service.
A report that the top three floors may be dismantled and that the roof may be rented out for billboard space was neither confirmed nor denied. Primary “upstairs” tenant is the York Chamber of Commerce, which occupies the third floor.”
Mrs. Schmidt was the widow of Herbert S. Schmidt; besides owning the building, he had operated a men’s clothing and hat store on the first floor. Eugene Jacobs Menswear later occupied that space.
Happily for us, the Dempwolf designed building still stands today with all its floors, looking much as it did when it was built in 1892.