‘Teapot Dome’ back in York’s Continental Square: ‘It’s the historical significance of it’
This renovated trolley kiosk gained an official unveiling on a recent rainy day, appropriate because of the shelter it has provided against the elements for years in York’s (Pa.) Continental Square. (See photo of the kiosk during its trolley-era days below.) Interestingly, the red RabbitTransit bus in the background is the successor to a bus system that helped put the countywide trolley system out of business. Background posts:The ‘Little Courthouse,’ like longtime York square neighbor ‘Teapot Dome,’ still stands tall and Copper top of York Square’s ‘Teapot Dome’ needs to be recharged and Great Depression not only pinched in York County, it punched.
The trolley kiosk, so familiar to York countians in York’s Continental Square, is back after months of rehab.
“Teapot Dome,” as it’s been called for years, will have no particular function. City officials say it perhaps will give police officers shelter from the rain… .
The kiosk, seen here in this York County Heritage Trust photo, oversaw the end of York County’s trolley system in 1939. Donations are still being accepted to offset the cost of restoring the kiosk. Checks made payable to the City of York, with a notation that they are for the conductors kiosk, can be sent to City of York, 50 W. King St., York PA 17405.
It’s a reminder of York’s past, the years between the mid-1880s and 1939 when trolleys provided the primary means for thousands to get around. It serves as a reminder that the earth did turn without automobiles, which along with motorized buses forced trolley service to end in Depression-era York County.
Here is a York Daily Record/Sunday News story (5/15/09) on its unveiling:
A reminder of York’s past was placed back in Continental Square Thursday morning.
The conductors kiosk, a dome-topped building used when a trolley service ran through the city, was returned to the northeast corner of the square with its 1880s appearance restored.
The kiosk was put into storage years ago with a broken base, rotting sides and a water-damaged roof. More than a year ago, the city contacted the Kinsley Education Center for help in restoring it.
Apprentices at the center worked to rehabilitate the building to its original appearance. The door, windows and some of the framing were saved, but most of the materials had to be replaced.
“It turned out really well,” Dave Herman, director of education for Kinsley, said after the kiosk was unveiled downtown in front of city officials and community members.
The copper roof and finial, a round ornament on top of the dome, were both damaged beyond repair and were replaced by Heidler Roofing.
Ron Wenger, of Heidler, said the company likes to get involved with historic restorations and community projects.
“Hopefully it won’t be the last,” he said.
In addition to restoring the kiosk’s look, the Kinsley students improved the building by making the base forklift-accessible and adding a better drainage system.
Kinsley and Heidler donated much of the work, but Jim Gross, the city’s public works director, said the city is still working to raise about $3,400 for materials used for the roof.
The kiosk won’t be used for anything, except maybe for police officers to get out of the elements, Gross said.
“It’s the historical significance of it,” he said.
Betty Jane Newport, a woman who donated $500 toward its restoration, remembered it from her childhood, he said.
“A lot still remember it,” Gross said.