Downtown – York, Pennsylvania

Isaac Kremer/ April 28, 2019/ architecture, beer, downtown, placemaking, preservation, public art/ 0 comments

Old Town Historic District

Colonial Garden

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.

Since its inception the park has blended new uses with art, industry and local history. Features to look for include:

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.

Holy Hound Taproom

Custom Planters

History Wall

A single wall on Cherry Lane shows the outlines of roofs, chimneys, windows, and rafters which mark the structures that once stood on this site.

A. Unfinished brickwork indicates the shadow of a steep roofed log house built by a prosperous tavernkeeper before 1760.

B. Shortly after 1764, another inkeeper added a two story brick extension onto the rear. As part of the sales agreement, the former owner’s widow resided in a chamber above the first floor kitchen.

C. An 1820’s Federal style house with a typically broad chimney was erected on the adjoining lot by a tanner and county sheriff.

D. A three floor clothing store replaced the residence of a shopkeeper and local candy manufacturer in the late 19th century. The structure was removed in 1978 to extend Cherry Lane to Market St.

E. The existing three by, four story office building was constructed after the turn of the century by a prominent businessman.

Old Forge Brewing Company

Beaver St

General Wayne Headquarters

Building erected in Colonial Period was headquarters of General Anthony Wayne while his command was in York, Feb-May 1781, awaiting orders to join Lafayette in the Yorktown Campaign.

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About Isaac Kremer

Isaac Kremer is a transformational leader with a track record of success revitalizing downtowns in the United States. He has written and spoken extensively. He's always on the lookout for new and innovative ideas to unlock the potential of downtown areas.

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