Downtown York, PA

Downtown York is another great example of a well-built historic PA mid-sized Downtown. For a long time York lived under the shadow of Lancaster 40 minutes to the east. Lancaster was the sought out and revitalized downtown with great vibrancy, shops, and tourism. York was the beat down, poverty stricken old and dying Pennsylvania city. Fortunately that dynamic is changing thanks to Hispanic immigration, which has stabilized and even grown the city’s population since 2000. And the revitalization efforts of a wealthy civic leader who has begun renovating historic buildings and filling them with local artists and local businesses.

I would categorize George Street as York’s Main Street. It’s lined with the City’s tallest buildings, many significant institutions & office towers, the Capitol & Valencia theater, and the City’s central Market Square. Market St is the Downtown’s second main street. The western half functions as a traditional main street, which is nicely streetscaped and hosts several historic sites. The eastern half is regal 3-5 story buildings from the 19th century with mixed-uses. The Western half of Philadelphia St and Queen St. are also pretty important streets hosting significant Downtown buildings and quality historic fabric.

My hope is the Downtown York can continue its positive revitalization trajectory and begin to fill in its dead spaces and add more retail and cultural amenities.

Click here to view my York Album on Flickr


* Very compact and intact Dwtn area.
* Great historic architecture.
* In tact and active historic market.
* Lots of rowhouse, residential fabric within the Dtwn area.
* Good cultural amenities including plenty of restaurants, bars & cafes, several art galleries, a couple local theaters, several breweries and a couple live music venues.
* Pretty good retail amenities including the Central Market, plenty of boutiques & gift shops, some small grocerias, dwtn post office & library, a couple of drug stores, etc.


 * So  density and dwtn population. Could be better.
* There is one dedicated bike lanes cutting down King St. but bike infrastructure could certainly be better.
* No supermarket are other retail amenities found is very vibrant districts.
* Some underutilization, grit, and vacancy on the edges of Downtown.