5 more things that you might not know about the old York City Hall
York’s old City Hall is depicted in this old postcard from sometime after its construction in 1942. That’s its longtime companion, the even older Central School by its east side. (See present-day photo below.) Also of interest: Did you know these 5 things about the old York City Hall?
The dedication program for York’s old City Hall along West King Street is full of fun facts.
So here are five more, courtesy of the booklet purchased for $1 at last week’s Book Blast:
1. The building and site were designed so a vehicle could be driven around the structure for emergency service. This design also guaranteed ample light and air. City Hall was outfitted for, but not initially equipped with, air conditioning. The booklet didn’t say, but one could conjecture that the city did not want to go to that apparent extravagance in wartime.
2. The building was erected with Georgian marble in the Ionic style. Those four marble columns on its main, West King Street side measure 2 feet, 9 inches in diameter and stand 26 feet tall.
3. The central lobby in the building was designed after the main lobby in Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
4. The furniture followed the Colonial theme. “The furnishings and equipment are carried out to match the Colonial design so that the building and its contents properly reflect the Colonial spirit,” the booklet stated
5. Subtracting the cost of furnishings and land, the cost of the building, constructed by I. Reindollar & Son, came to $225,000, a princely sum for the West King Street building in wartime.
The booklet contained some confusing info about city hall’s octagonal cupola. It was designed after the original York County Court House that stood in Centre Square, site of Continental Congress’ visit. But the publication called the building the State House.
The State House was the courthouse’s next-door neighbor, built in the 1790s to accommodate a growing government. And the cupola designed for City Hall was modeled after the structure atop the old courthouse after it was remodeled in the 1810s. The original courthouse cupola, there when Continental Congress visited York in 1777-78, is a plainer type. To gain an idea of its look, view the cupola atop today’s Colonial Courthouse replica next to the Codorus Creek.
But the cupola was more than a cupola. It also served as a tower for the police radio system.
Also of interest:
When it was still city hall, York’s West King Street building served many ceremonial functions. Here, setup is under way for Mayor-elect Kim Bracey’s inauguration in 2010. Today, the old City Hall houses York’s police department, and the new city hall is located a short distance away in the former York Federal building.
*Top photo courtesy of Boston Public Library, print department; Originally published by York News Agency. Bottom photo, YDR file.