Downtown – York, Pennsylvania
Old Town Historic District
The Gear Garden & Foundry Park
Foundry Park sits on the site of the Eyster Weiser Co. foundary, established in 1904, whose buildings flanked Philadelphia Street. The main foundry was destroyed by fire in 1975. Brick structure that held other foundry functions are still on site, overlooking the park. When the park was built in 1981, it was called “Codorus Boat Basin & Foundary Plaza.” It was re-worked in 2007-08 as “Foundry Park,” with the Gear Garden as a gateway.
The Gear Garden is a collaborative public art installation conceived first in 2007 as a live garden by urban designer Bob Brown. A local design team led by sculptor Bob Machovec, with blacksmith Tom Moore and site planner Genevieve Ray, “morphed” the idea into the metal Gear Garden. Their inspiration came from sprockets, gears and other industrial artifacts donated by the W.S. Frey Co. and other York firms. The first handful of flowers was designed and fabricated by Machovec and Moore. All the rest were done solely by Machovec.
- Two steel vent stacks that once sat on the roof of Pfaltzgraff Pottery’s Thomasville plant
- A blue bench made of storm water inlets cast at the Eyster, Weiser foundry and bearing its name
- In the centers of several gear flowers, mini-propellers that once stirred glaze for Pfaltzgraff pottery.
- The red “Hot Spill” sculpture installed in 1984, design by Lancaster artist Ike Hay (1944-2014)
- Giant concrete gears and foundry pattern castings on the curved floodwalls (1880, design by Genevieve Ray working with local engineers and pattern-makers)
- A yellow dragonfly made from snow guards once on someone’s roof
- At water’s edge: industrial-grade u-bolts to tie up your kayak.
Old Court House
The Old Court House at York is where the French Alliance was ratified by the Continental Congress on May 4, 1778. When the Revolutionary War was at a low point and all hope seemed to be lost, the alliance brought hope to General Washington and the Continental Army then quartered at Valley Forge. The aid made possible American Independence culminating in the Treaty of Paris of 1783.
Golden Plough Tavern
A rare example of early Germanic, half-timber architecture, the building was constructed by Martin Eichelberger during the earliest days of Yorktown settlement, (c. 1741). It served as a tavern during colonial times and long thereafter.