York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Scraping the York sky in the 1800s

The news that Futer Bros. Jewelers is closing its downtown York store casts a spotlight on one of York’s most historic buildings.
Futer Bros., at the southeast corner of Continental Square, has been located in what has been known as the Hartman Building since the 1930s.
John Hartman built his six-story building on the southeast corner of Continental Square in 1850.
Three years earlier, former slave William C. Goodridge had built his five-story emporium — York’s first “skyscraper” — at the northwest corner of the square.
An often-told story suggests that a competitive Hartman intentionally built his structure a story higher to trump Goodridge … .

The Goodridge building is long gone, and the Hartman building barely scrapes the sky. Some years ago, contractors lopped off a couple of its top stories.
So there it is, overlooked county landmark No. 16, the Hartman Building. (See earlier York Town Square posts on the Little Courthouse, Prospect Hill Cemetery, War Mothers Memorial, USO at York County Academy’s former gymnasium, York’s Salem Square soldiers monument, the Cookes House, York’s rowhouses, Wrightsville’s monuments, the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, memorial trees along highways, the Inches, Camp Stewartstown, the Wrightsville Bridge supports, New York Wire Co.’s factory whistle and Mary Ann Furnace.)