York Town Square

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York Market House No. 5 – Carlisle Avenue Market, revisited

A rendering of the new Dreamwrights playhouse.

The turn-of-the-century Carlisle Avenue Market represents the last of the great indoor market houses to be built.
And it’s the most recent one to make the news, as the soon-to-be-renovated home of Dreamwrights, a local theater group.
So, the scorecard for the five market houses: two still in use, one demolished, and two used for different purposes.
One wonders about the future of the two still in operation: Central Market and Penn Street Farmers Market… .

The crowds in the Central Market appear well below the 20,000 that entered its doors in its prime.
York County continues to welcome the market house concept as suburbanites are trying to catch a piece of the past. Brown’s, the Brown Cow, Whitecomb’s and Morningstar are a few of winsome, 2006-vintage market houses.
The rise and fall of York’s covered markets reflect the decades-long decline of York as the county’s market center. And it reflects the decline in county agriculture.
For years, the county ranked in the top 50 in the nation in different agricultural categories.
A benchmark year came on or about 1983, when the percent of county land used for non-agricutural purposes passed the 50 percent mark for the first time.
This was the logical step spawned from an earlier pivotal moment.
The demolition of the market sheds in York’s square in 1887 marked the beginning of agriculture’s decline. (See Market House No. 4 post in York Town Square archives.)
With McMansions popping up on former agricultural land everywhere, one wonders where it will end.
It will be interesting to see if history remembers the Lauxmont Farm, Camp Security and other great contemporary county land controversies with the same gravity as that night in June 1887 when the market sheds came down.
A sampling of other York market posts:
York County farm vs. factory tension relieved in overnight raid .
Going to market a longtime York County pastime.
York’s Central Market sells steak … and sizzle.
The forgotten fifth York market house.
York Market House No. 1 – Penn Street Farmers Market.
York Market House No. 2 – The architecturally striking City Market.
York Market House No. 3 – The first Eastern Market.
Market House No. 4 – Central Market, York’s most popular.
York Market House No. 5 – Carlisle Avenue Market, revisited.