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Sears, York County Shopping Center in the middle of things – 11/31 iconic images

This photo, courtesy of J. David Allen & Son, of York, Pa., was taken in the late 1950s. It shows Springettsbury Township’s York County Shopping Center in full operation. The shopping center was the first of its type in the York area, and Sears, Roebuck & Co., the large building at right, was the first major retail business to move from York’s downtown. PACE Resources Inc./Buchart Horn Inc. used the photo as part of an exhibit at the York Business Expo in 2005. Background posts: Just try to resist studying this memory-tugging photograph, Bury’s burger memories far from buried, From top dog and hot dogs to dogfight and dog days in York County, Pa.
Continuing the series of telling York County, Pa.’s, history through images: … .

In plain view: The new York County Shopping Center, which opened in 1956, sprawls along the old Lincoln Highway, running horizontally across this photo, east of the Old East York neighborhood. Before long, it was surrounded by Caterpillar, Haines Acres and Gino’s, Bury’s and other service businesses benefiting from the crowds it attracted.
Behind the scene: As the years passed and the York Mall joined the shopping center in the late 1960s, York’s downtown businesses felt a decline in their cash registers. Several formulated plans to follow the customers to the suburbs, eventually closing up their stores in the downtown. Then, the race riots of the late 1960s deterred people from coming downtown, and some never returned, even by 2008. Meanwhile, the new Wright’s Ferry Bridge, carrying a four-lane Route 30 by-pass over the Susquehanna River in the early-1970s, opened shopping opportunities for York County residents at the Park City Mall and elsewhere in Lancaster County.
Further details: “Greater York in Action,” a book published by the York Area Chamber of Commerce in 1968, tells about the pivotal decisions made by local retailers to locate stores in the suburbs in the mid- to late-1960s.

galleria1Sears, in the York County Shopping Center, from ground level.
Posts in this series:
400 years ago, John Smith explored Chesapeake Bay – 1/31 iconic images
Declaration signer James Smith tops York County patriot list – 2/31 iconic images
Going to market a longtime York County pastime – 3/31 iconic images
William C. Goodridge: From slavery to success story – 4/31 iconic images

Rebs’ short York visit creates long memories – 5/31 iconic images
Artist Horace Bonham captured everyday life – 6/31 iconic images
York County farm vs. factory tension relieved in overnight raid – 7/31 iconic images
York County stood firmly behind Allies on all fronts in WW II – 8/31 iconic images
Downtown thrived in post-WW II York – 9/31 iconic images
After WWII success, Farquhar sells assets to out-of-town outfit – 10/31 iconic images.
Sears, York County Shopping Center in the middle of things – 11/31 iconic images
Three Mile Island emergency indelibly written into memories – 12/2 iconic images.
People of varying religious groups founded York County – 13/31 iconic images
President Reagan: ‘Harley is back and standing tall’ – 14/31 iconic images
York’s mayor: ‘We are no longer unprotected’ – 15/31 iconic images
Grange Hall represented past way of York County life – 16/31 iconic images.
York County Honors Choir product of proud moment – 17/31 iconic images.
Meeting of riot victims brought hope for racial accord – 18/31 iconic images.
Property rights foundational factor in Lauxmont dispute – 19/31 iconic images.
New baseball diamond serves as York cornerstone – 20/31 iconic images
Season 2 of York’s campaign to come back – 21-23 of 31 iconic images
York on knees as its men storm Normandy beaches – 24-25 of 31 iconic images
One image illustrates two long-neglected subjects in York area – 26-27 of 31 iconic images
Images explain changes in York County factories, farms – 28-29 of 31 iconic images
York County still home to unvarnished beauty – 30/31 iconic images
Latinos most recent migrant group to call York County home – 31/31 iconic images

To see the full series of iconic photos in a special York Daily Record/Sunday News publication, click here.