York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Industrialist Thomas Shipley’s ‘enduring monument’ in York did not ‘endure’

Former U.S. President William Howard Taft spent some time with Thomas Shipley in his home in “the Avenues” part of York during his 1915 visit to York. Background posts: During York visit, former President Taft glad to be in ‘this great hive of industry’ and Washington Township, Jefferson Borough, Madison Avenue. How about an Obama Street in York County? and Teddy Roosevelt in York: ‘I know York county farmers are prosperous. Their barns are bigger than their houses’
Fellow blogger June Lloyd provides a wonderful postcard view of a William Howard Taft visit to York in her post: President Taft Addresses York Crowd from Back of Train.

Information with the post card suggests he made his address in 1909. It must have been the stop Taft referred to in his 1915 visit when he said in a speech to the York Manufacturers’ Association that he had previously given a short speech from the back of a train to a local audience.

But the 1915 visit was of longer duration, and it included time at Thomas Shipley’s house at Linden and West York (now Roosevelt) avenues… .
The Shipley home was fit for an ex-president… .

The booklet “Northwest York, 1884-1984” quotes an earlier report: “His home on Linden Avenue is one of the handsomest in West York. In fact, it is one of the finest in all York, and an interesting fact is connected with it.”
The booklet explains that Shipley wanted to show off the array of skills at his York Manufacturing Co. (now Johnson Controls).
So skilled mechanics at his company built the house, all the way down to gas and electrical fittings.
The report quoted in the booklet said the home was an “enduring monument” to the skilled workers of York Manufacturing, but the home did not endure.
By the mid-1970s, it had fallen into disrepair and was razed in the mid-1970s.
At least, this home that housed a former president survived the 1950s and 1960s when so many of York’s architecturally significant structures came down.
Photo courtesy, “Northwest York, 1884-1984, 100th Anniversary Celebration”