Like many of our great Pennsylvania Cities, the City of York had quite the bustling downtown where business owners worked, lived and played. This was the norm in the early 20th Century before it became the popular phrase it is today. The economy was fueled by local merchants and businesses who were part of the community and who by virtue gave back to the community. You might not notice it now, but York’s urban core and economy took a downturn as large scale development and sprawl occurred on the outskirts of the City forcing many shop owners and residents to search for opportunities elsewhere. It’s the same story we hear time and time again in our cities across the US. Abandoned and vacant properties began to overrun the City, until a few key stakeholders, who take pride in their City decided to turn the time around.
A walk down George and Market Streets, York’s main drags tells that story. Brownfields and vacant buildings have been restored on almost every corner. Residents are walking their children to school, business men and woman are out for lunch or running errands and residents are enjoying the many community oriented events in the evening. York has undergone a transformation that was led by the community. People who live, work and play there and are passionate about the place they call home. York has a thriving downtown that keeps growing as stakeholders and developers turn the city around one property at a time.
On this field day Friday, we are ending the week in the City of York to visit some of the properties that have been vital to its redevelopment. The USGBC Central PA Chapter is hosting a Revitalization Tour of York where we’ll see firsthand many of the great redevelopment efforts that have returned York to the city it once was and more. Its great way to end a week, visiting sites some of us have had the opportunity to work on in the past and to see firsthand how York is revitalizing their urban core. We look forward to seeing what the community of York has in store for us next.