Proposed Extension of Elmwood Boulevard
While volunteering at the York County Heritage Trust, Loann Clark showed me this 1954 sketch of the Elmwood area of East York. It fits in nicely with a post I did some time ago; Melvin’s Drive-In, Lincoln Highway Ice Cream Bar; I-83 Opens. I’ve enlarged the building numbers in the 1954 sketch, for easier viewing. The full article that goes with this 1954 sketch is included after the following Then & Now of the same area from my previous post.
An aerial photo taken September 5, 1957, shown in the left half of the Then & Now split-screen, was taken within three months of Melvin’s Drive-In (numbered 24 on 1954 sketch) being torn down. In November 1957, buildings in the path of the York Bypass part of I-83 were removed and massive earthmoving equipment immediately commenced their work. The ultimate result is the right half of the Then & Now split-screen we have today.
Early on, with the 4-Lane Interstate envisioned as going directly through Downtown York and not bypassing around York, plans for an Elmwood Shopping District proceeded without concern about an expressway in the area. In the December 15, 1954 article, it is noted that the Weis Market (numbered 16 in 1954 sketch) will soon be built; as it was in 1955. However almost immediately after the Weis Market was completed, talk of a bypass in the area surfaced.
This December 15, 1954, newspaper article provides an interesting look at the area, less than a year before the initial plans hit for putting a 4-Lane Interstate at this point along East Market Street. The full article that accompanied the 1954 sketch follows:
The  sketch above drawn by architect George S. Flickinger shows proposed plans for further development of a shopping district in Elmwood and proposed extension of Elmwood Boulevard east to Eastern Boulevard.
Bertram R. Moore, who is developing the key business center adjacent to Elmwood Theatre, which he operates, told The Gazette and Daily that he will begin circulating petitions soon on behalf of the Elmwood Boulevard extension.
Recently constructed north of the Theater (10 on map) were two store sites occupied by Brandt, Inc., (8) and Belmont Pharmacy (9).
Moore said he plans soon to construct additional store space in the same block of Belmont Avenue for the following proposed businesses: food market (1), men’s wear shop (2), record shop (3), beauty salon (4), ladies dress shop (5), pastry shop (6) and florist shop (7).
The proposed new shopping district will necessitate putting in a proposed new street east of and parallel to Belmont between Market Street and Elmwood Boulevard.
Moore noted that extension of Elmwood Boulevard will mean a new east-west access road for some 3,000 families in growing East York area developments. He said he has received favorable reaction on the proposal from several Spring Garden Township officials contacted to date.
Almost two years ago, Engineering Society of York urged a similar plan of extending the boulevard.
The sketch also numbers other established businesses in what Moore has designated the Elmwood Shopping District. They are: Prudential Life Insurance Company (11), Flamingo Restaurant (12), A. C. Bentz Furniture (13), Sunoco Service Station (14), Texaco Service Station (15), Weis Food Market, soon to be built, (16), York Trust Company Branch Bank (17), Village Finance Company (18), Jet Cleaners (19), Advent Lutheran Church (20), Dr. Milton Langer’s office (21), Wantz Garage (22), Melvin’s Amusement House (23) and Melvin’s Ice Cream Bar (24).
Moore’s property extends generally between Market and Elmwood east of Belmont Avenue to a property line designated on the sketch. The shaded winding strip shown through his property represents the Little Codorus Creek and a race.
The last paragraph in the article is not consistent with the deed where Melvin Kauffman added to his Ice Cream Bar property in 1950 with the purchase of much of the property between the “Proposed Street” and the “property line.” Of that area, the only property Melvin Kauffman does not purchase is where Bertram Moore proposes to locate a food store (1) and where Wantz Garrage (22) would be located. It is possible Kauffman sold most of this property to Moore prior to 1954, however I’ve not seen such a deed.
Most people know the creek through this area as Mill Creek; the original name was Little Codorus Creek. In fact there were many Little Codorus Creeks, as tributaries of the Codorus Creek, all over York County; most were changed to unique names in the mid to late 1950s.
The race noted in the article and shown on the sketch was the remains of a Head Race for a Grist Mill located on the west side of North Hills Road, just south of the railroad. The Head Race can be seen situated on the west side of North Hills Road on Beach Nichols 1876 Atlas of York County. On the 1876 plate of Spring Garden Township, this mill is identified as “Fahs Smith & Co. Grist Mill.”
Related posts include:
- Identify these five girls at Melvin’s drive-in
- Melvin’s Drive-In, Lincoln Highway Ice Cream Bar; I-83 Opens
- 4-Lane Interstate planned through Downtown York?
- Memories leading up to I-83 opening exactly 54-years ago on October 28th 1959