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York College of Pennsylvania book provides insight into school, community

Arcadia Publishing has produced an interesting book, largely filled with pictures, about York College of Pennsylvania. Carol McCleary Innerst authored the 128-page book, available at www.arcadiapublishing.com. The cover shows the York Collegiate Institute building, demolished in the 1960s. Background posts: Striking architecture lined York’s South Duke Street, York USO column attracts WW II-era memories, and The things you learn from reading York County (Pa.) history.

Arcadia’s “York College of Pennsylvania” promises to be a well-referenced history of the college since its founding in 1787.
It has the important information on founding and expansion date, photos of presidents, and names of some of the community leaders who had been educated in its halls.
And it has interesting tidbits: … .

York County Academy first accepted girls in 1798. A street car used to stop at its main building. Its current campus was built on the former Outdoor Country Club golf course that had, in turn, replaced the Country Club of York. “Old Spart,” a rock that students wrote messages on and then repainted every year, was replaced in 1996 after it was smashed into pieces during its move to a new location.
And the book tells about changing the York Narrow Fabrics Company into an engineering building. It notes that the company was the manufacturer of the famous red tape – making the quarter-inch tape that the federal government used to bind its printed documents.
But the interesting point about the book is that it reminds the reader about the unfortunate demise of the two historical buildings that housed the college. York County Academy, North Beaver Street, and Dempwolf-designed York Collegiate Institute, South Duke Street, were knocked down in the 1960s. (The college no longer owned or occupied either building.) The Dempwolf-designed York City Market, located next to the institute, was also demolished in those years.
Add those three buildings to York’s skyline today, and the city would be much richer heritage-wise. The frayed South Duke Street area might be a far different neighborhood today.
Those demolitions took place during the mayorship of John Snyder, further evidence of how his administration set back the city for years. Race rioting in the summers of 1968 and 1969 is another example.
But back to the York College book, which does a good job of showing how a school can grow from a single building with a handful of students to a campus that today covers more than 155 acres and schools about 5,000 full-time students. Packed with info and photos, It deserves to be on bookshelves around the region.