York Town Square

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Lorann Jacobs Archives

People call this green area that greets motorists heading into York City from the south many things. But grassy knoll seems to be a common name. Whatever its name, this WellSpan-owned property will be landscaped to the tune of $35,000 to become a major “Welcome to York” sign. This is York, Pa.’s, busiest entrance – the way taken by York Expo Center goers, York College students and thousands of others each day. The Rotary Club of York is erecting this big sign – “Gateway to York Garden” – as part of its 100th birthday in 2016.

York countians love to talk about the wonderful architecture around here. And they also are eager to engage when significant architecture is found in houses of worship. In fact, church buildings are among York County, Pa.’s, most best-known and admired architectural prizes. This one, for example. The way the congregation lights it up – a beacon to motorists driving along Interstate 83 and the old Lincoln Highway.

You could say they don’t make bridges like they used to. Spans like the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, built in 1930 and christened the Veterans Memorial Bridge, are architectural showpieces. Their replacement spans often are, well, just boring. Consider this photo of the Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River, for example. The York, Pa., Daily Record’s Chris Dunn gathered in this scene, and look at the engagement: 350 plus likes. It’s now atop the YDR’s Facebook page. How often do you see the Wright’s Ferry Bridge, constructed 40 years later, in photos? OK, it’s just a one-bridge sample, but quality-of-life advocates would say that infrastructure should add to experience, not detract from it.

Journalists at the York, Pa., Daily Record occasionally hear stories about people who have accomplished much on the national stage residing in York County retirement communities. We pursue those stories. Sometimes, the reports are true; sometimes not. Other times, the achievers do not want the spotlight. The case of noted writer Zora Neale Hurston comes to mind, although the spotlight would have helped this financially beleaguered Harlem Renaissance author. Hurston’s accomplishments were unknown in her later years in Florida, and in fact, her burial site has not been located. The YDR – and most of the rest of the world – did not know about the fame of the late diarist Mary Berg when she lived for many years in York County. But thanks to Mike Argento’s profile, we know her now.