York Town Square

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York County, Pa.: 10 leads to get to know it – or to get to know it better

This photo says more than 1,000 words. It shows York City’s best hope as defined by districts – the Stadium District (center), Northwest Triangle (at top right marked by the railroad bridges) and the Market/Arts District, top left. Recently, two developments have emerged not seen in this frame: the Royal Square District (a couple of blocks south on North Duke Street from the stadium) and Think Loud enterprises, just east of the stadium area. Notice that the stadium serves as a kind of hinge point for these Codorus Creek-hugging projects. These districts represent initiatives that could lead to a renaissance in York City, in the heart of York County. That’s today, and maybe the future. To understand York County’s story better, check out the 10 links below. Also of interest: Aerial photos from around York County, Pa.

Maybe you just came to York County, and you’re trying to understand this place. Or perhaps you’re with a company looking to relocate here.

Where do you go to make sense of things?

Well, I’ve collected 10 lists designed to orient you to this fifth-oldest county in Pennsylvania – the first county west of the Susquehanna River.

Here goes:

submitted city for jim's blog

As I wrote in the post, The art and soul of York, Pa. this 1960s photo captures Central Market, left center, at the Philadelphia and Beaver street intersection. That is the heart of York’s Arts/Market District today, and the strongest retail and nightlife in the city resides in and around that intersection. The center of town, in effect, has moved north and west by a couple of blocks in four decades. The Northwest Triangle area, seen in the top photo, is seen at lower left.


1. Want a timeline of York County’s history? Check out this year-by-year look.

2. Here’s a three-fer: You’re looking for picture that kind of sums up York County. Pictures that tell thousands of words about York County’s 250-plus years of history. So, here are three lists that reflect the thinking of others who have taken on the task:

– Metro Bank has chosen large murals to create a sense of place for its many offices around the county. Some of those Murals of Metro.

– This is my own pictures list – about 31 ‘snapshots’ that tell a story about York County: Iconic photographs.

– And this collection is the gold standard, the Murals of York. Twenty years ago, a committee chose scenes about York County and painted the choices on the sides of buildings around the city. If done today, this list would be updated – stories about baseball and Sovereign Bank Stadium, American Indian history, and the Civil War – would be added.  But it’s a big and colorful list. Here’s a new walking tour of the murals.



This is one – or two – of those patches of sunlight that are shining in the development districts in York’s downtown. These recently renovated townhouses along the Market District’s North Beaver Street stand out in a block of old buildings that has faded but still has integrity – and a future. These buildings also represent an interesting nexus for several projects: They’re owned by Royal Square developers and stand across from the Northwest Triangle project in the Market/Arts district. Also of interest: York’s Arts District all lit up: Surely this is York County, Pa., at its best.


3. Curious about some of the big stories around York, Pa.? Here is a summary of the major news in the 21st century’s first decade: Top stories.

4. Who are York County’s famous people and celebrities – past and present. Check out: Famous Faces of York County.

5. Let’s say you driving around, and you see a park named after someone or an unfamiliar name on the side of a building. Who are those folks? Here’s a pretty good list: Names of York.



This image illustrates change in York, Pa. For a discussion about how the epicenter of York County has seemed to move from Continental Square to the Route 30/Interstate 83 intersection (seen here), see: How one spot in York County, Pa., tells much about what is going on around here. The hope of York City is to move that county center back into the downtown.


6. We’ve collected your questions from over the years and several of them in one place. So, check out: FAQs about York County.

7. If you want to do research on your own about, say, York or Dallastown or, heck, all the way down in Delta, many towns around here have historical groups. Here’s a good list of such groups, museums and historic places: Gobs of history sites.

8. OK, sports.

– The top sports stars of the 20th century: York Barbell’s Bob Hoffman is No. 1. The other 9? Check out sports heroes.

– And high school stars? The top high school athletes through 2005, with Scott Fitzkee in the lead. Check out this Greatest Athletes series.

– York countians recently have been in sports news nationally. Lincoln Kennedy was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Bruce Arians was NFL Coach of the Year, Green Bay’s Ron Wolf recently followed last year’s pick Chris Doleman into the Hall of Fame. And John Kuhn scored a touchdown in the Pro Bowl. Check out: National Honors.

9. Notice those wonderful buildings around York County. One reason they’re wonderful is because they’ve changed while keeping their architecturally significant features. Check out these before-and-after photographs: Picturing History.

10. Oral histories – listening to the people tell the story – always add to the picture of a county. Check out a host of such voices: ‘Remember.’

– And for a look at York countians going about their everyday lives, check out: Faces of York County.

Plus 1
Of course, any list orienting you to York County should include the fact that we’re the home county of Pennsylvania’s Gov. Tom Wolf. So here is background on Tom Wolf, going way back, and his namesake hometown.

This image, an aerial view of a sort, shows the retail might of York, Pa.,  post World War II. When people think of the city, they remember these days before retailers fled to suburbs. A number of initiatives (back to the photo at the very top) are in place to replace a retail and red-brick factory past with a future emphasizing arts, recreation and leisure. Foodstruck event offers insight about direction York, Pa., is heading.