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What are the boundaries of “downtown York”?

A view of downtown York from Think Loud Development's rooftop patio. (Kate Penn — Daily Record/Sunday News)
A view of downtown York from Think Loud Development’s rooftop patio. (Kate Penn — Daily Record/Sunday News)

From time to time, this question comes up in the newsroom: What is “downtown York”?

Most people who have lived in this area for some time have a similar view of where downtown is — Continental Square, and some blocks from there in each direction.

But, people who are new to the area sometimes think of much more of the city as “downtown” — this might be an effect of the city as a whole being surrounded by populated areas (North York, West York, Spring Garden Township). And sometimes we slip in our coverage and use “downtown” for a location that should not be described that way.

So, we put together a rough guide to help make sure everyone’s on the same page on what to refer to as downtown. In addition, our best practice would be to simply be more specific about a location than just saying downtown. Check out the rough downtown boundaries below, and share any reaction or your own idea of downtown in the comments.

  • Continental Square is the heart of downtown, and it extends from there for several blocks in each direction.
  • North: To Santander Stadium (just past North Street/just before the Codorus Creek)
  • South: To about Princess Street.
  • East: To Martin Library (Queen Street)
  • West: To the Codorus Creek (middle of the 200 block of West Market/Philadelphia streets)

This area is shaded below, though some streets toward the edges of the box might not be considered “downtown” by everybody.

It’s interesting to see that it’s not a perfect box. The stadium pushed “downtown” farther north than any direction. Also, some might take exception to the western boundary being the Codorus Creek — should parts of the “Weco” neighborhood be considered downtown? It’s an interesting discussion.

The boundaries above are pretty close to Downtown Inc’s map of downtown and especially the Central Business District, though that district is slightly bigger — crossing the Codorus to the west, for instance, and extending another block past Princess Street.

Update: Reader feedback

Here’s some feedback on this question from the York Daily Record page and Fixing York group on Facebook:

Myrna Barnes: Growing up in York, we referred to downtown as the area within Princess St. to Philadelphia St. and Pershing Ave. to Queen St., which was where the main shopping district was.

Scott Herman: I think the mayor refers to downtown from Beaver to George .. That square block since that’s where alot of tax payer money goes…

Rory Kraft: I always prefer to have an intersection listed. When we lived in Michigan the paper routinely put a little map in with such articles showing not just the cross-streets but other streets nearby. Loved it.

Crystal Ganong: To me, the ‘York City’ area goes from Richland to Belmont (west to east), but ‘Downtown York’ I consider to be a few blocks out on all sides from the Market and George intersection.

Heather Sloat: I think up until you hit Penn street should be included in Downtown. Otherwise you’re excluding Market and Penn Street Farmer’s Market. It should be included as part of the business district. There are many store fronts in that area as well.

Greg Halpin: I was born and raised in what is now known as “Royal Square” and I never considered myself as living downtown. Downtown was essentially Market and George Streets, a block or two each way from the square. I’m not sure what I personally consider downtown now.

Also of interest

Explore York’s Royal Square in interactive map

Check out our York neighborhoods project

Join the discussion about the City of York at Fixing York on Facebook

Finding perfect parking in downtown York