York, Pennsylvania

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This article is about the Pennsylvania city. For other uses, see York, Pennsylvania (disambiguation).

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York, Pennsylvania

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YorkPaStrandCapital.jpg Wm Goodridge House.JPG

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YorkPaTwinsSign.jpg York Meeting WSW.JPG
Clockwise from top left: York Strand Performing Arts Center, William Goodbridge house, (4)(6)York Friends Meeting House, and welcome sign.
Nickname(s): The White Rose City
Location in York County and the state of Pennsylvania.
Location in York County and the state of (10)Pennsylvania.
Coordinates: (12)39°57′46″N 76°43′41″WCoordinates: 39°57′46″N 76°43′41″W
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County York
Laid out 1741
– Borough September 24, 1787
– City January 11, 1887
Government
Mayor Kim Bracey (D)
Area
• City 5.26 sq mi (13.62 km2)
• Land 5.20 sq mi (13.48 km2)
• Water 0.06 sq mi (0.14 km2)
Population (2012)
• City 43,550
• Density 8,311.41/sq mi (3,031.75/km2)
Urban 232,045
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
• Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Website www.yorkcity.org

York (Deitsch: Yarrick), known as the White Rose City (after the symbol of the House of York), is the city serving as the county seat of York County, Pennsylvania, United States, both being located in the south-central region of the state. The population within York’s city limits was 43,718 at the 2010 census, a 7.0% increase from the 2000 count of 40,862. When combined with the adjacent boroughs of West York and North York and surrounding Spring Garden, West Manchester, and Springettsbury townships, the population of Greater York was 108,386. York is the county seat of York County[1] and is located at 39°58′00″N 76°45′00″W. York is currently the 11th largest city in Pennsylvania.[2]

Contents

History

Architecture

York Friends Meeting House

The city has been called an “architectural museum,”[3] because the downtown features numerous well-preserved historic structures, such as the 1741 Golden Plough Tavern,[4] the 1751 General Horatio Gates House,[5] the 1766 York Meetinghouse,[6] the 1863 Billmeyer House,[7] the 1888 York Central Market,[8] and the 1907 Moorish Revival Temple Beth Israel. Other notable buildings are the Laurel-Rex Fire Company House, Forry House, Farmers Market, Barnett Bobb House, Cookes House, United Cigar Manufacturing Company building, Stevens School, York Dispatch Newspaper Offices, and York Armory.[9]

The city is home to four national historic districts: Fairmount Historic District, Northwest York Historic District, Springdale Historic District, and York Historic District.[9]

18th century

York, also known as Yorktown in the mid 18th to early 19th centuries, was founded in 1741 by settlers from the Philadelphia region and named for the English city of the same name. By 1777, most of the area residents were of either German or Scots-Irish descent.[10] York was incorporated as a borough on September 24, 1787, and as a city on January 11, 1887. During the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), York served as the temporary capital of the Continental Congress. The Articles of Confederation were drafted and adopted in York, though they were not ratified until March 1781.

York styles itself the first Capital of the United States, although historians generally consider it to be the fourth capital, after Philadelphia, Baltimore and Lancaster.[11] The claim arises from the assertion that the Articles of Confederation was the first legal document to refer to the colonies as “the United States of America”.[12] The argument depends on whether the Declaration of Independence, which also uses the term, would be considered a true legal document of the United States, being drafted under and in opposition to British rule. This does not, however, prevent modern businesses and organizations in the York area, such as the First Capital Dispensing Co., First Capital Engineering and First Capital Federal Credit Union from using the name.

The Conway Cabal, a political intrigue against General George Washington, had its origins in the Golden Plough Tavern in York.[13]

19th century

According to U.S. census reports from 1800 through 1840, York ranked within the nation’s top 100 most populous urban areas.

Home of William C. Goodridge, a successful black businessman who ran an Underground Railway station

During the American Civil War (1861–1865), York became the largest Northern town to be occupied by the Confederate army when the division of Major General Jubal Anderson Early spent June 28–30, 1863, in and around the town while the brigade of John B. Gordon marched to the Susquehanna River at Wrightsville and back. Early laid York under tribute and collected food, supplies, clothing, shoes, and $28,000 in cash from citizens and merchants before departing westward obeying the revised orders of Robert E. Lee. The sprawling York U.S. Army Hospital on Penn Commons served thousands of Union soldiers wounded at the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg.[14]

In the Postbellum era (1865–1877), York remained a regional center for local agriculture, but increasingly became an important industrial center, with such industries as steam engines, railroad manufacturing, and papermaking coming to the forefront. York also features some unique architecture ranging from colonial era buildings to large gothic churches.

20th century

Six-wheeled Pullman Automobile

The York Motor Car Co. built Pullman automobiles on North George St. from 1905 thorough 1917. An early and unique six-wheeled prototype was involved in one of the city’s first known automobile accidents.[15] Another model was driven to San Francisco and back over about one month to prove its reliability several years before the creation of the Lincoln Highway which ran through town, connecting New York and San Francisco.

The York area had also been home for more than 100 years to the Pfaltzgraff company, which built its first pottery factory in the area in 1895 and continued manufacturing in York until 2005.[16] Though now produced by The Hershey Company, the York Peppermint Pattie was created in York in 1940.[17]

Throughout the middle 20th Century, the black residents of the city were subject to hostile racial prejudice and social injustices.[18] Between 1955 and 1970, the people of York experienced racial discrimination leading to riots, most notably the 1969 York Race Riot, which resulted in the death of Lily Allen and Henry C. Schaad. These murders were largely left ignored until 31 years later, when allegations of murder and racial prejudice were raised against the mayor at the time, Charlie Robertson.[19] Additionally, throughout the entire century, the city commonly held unopposed Ku Klux Klan rallies and public meetings, despite continuous racial tensions.[20] Though the murders of Allen and Schaad were solved and the perpetrators were apprehended, the actions, which originate back to the beginnings of the hate group, continue to present day.[21]

21st century

In 2002, the city faced a budget shortfall of $1,000,000. Mayor John S. Brenner‘s plan to raise the money by asking York County’s 302,000 adult residents to donate $3.32 to the city received national attention.[22] The plan, referred to by some as the “Big Mac” Plan, did not raise all the monies sought.

After many years of attempting to secure funding for a stadium and a baseball team to play in it, the first decade of the century saw York realize both goals. In 2007, Santander Stadium, home of the York Revolution, opened in the Arch Street neighborhood. The stadium, along with other large projects such as the York County Judicial Center and the Codo 241 luxury apartment lofts, symbolizes York’s extensive redevelopment efforts.[citation needed]

York was featured during the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, when National Public Radio‘s Michele Norris and Steve Inskeep chose to showcase the city in “The York Project: Race & the ’08 Vote.” The program was aired as a 7-part series and featured different York citizens discussing race relations, racial perceptions, and the emotions inspired by the 2008 election. Norris stated that York was chosen due to its central location in a battleground state, its rich history (including its strained race relations), and demographics.[23] On June 19, 2009, Norris announced on the air that she was taking time off to write a book inspired by her conversations “with a diverse group of voters” in York,[24] and The Grace of Silence: A Memoir was published in September 2010.[25]

In 2009, Kim Bracey won the Democratic primary and became the favored candidate for mayor. She won the general election in November against Republican opponent Wendell Banks and took office on the first Monday in 2010 as the city’s first African-American and second woman mayor.[26] Bracey won reelection in November 2013 against Libertarian challenger Dave Moser.

Major roads

Local corporations and industry

York Barbell is a reseller of barbells and other equipment for weight training and bodybuilding, and is the home of the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame.[27] A large Harley-Davidson motorcycle factory, which employs roughly half of Harley’s production workforce, is located just northeast of York.

York is home to two major manufacturers of modern hydro-power water turbines, Voith Hydro[28] and American Hydro,[29] both of which manufacture enormous parts in their plants.

York is headquarters to York International, a Johnson Controls Company and one of the largest suppliers of HVAC systems in the United States. On February 2, 1998, a massive explosion occurred at the York International plant. A spark had set off a leak in the nearby propane storage house. The blast was felt up to 25 miles away, and blew out windows nearby as well as knocking down doors. About 20 people were injured in the blast but only one person was killed, as the explosion fortunately occurred during a shift change.[30][31]

The Stauffer Biscuit Company (owned by Meiji Seika of Japan since February 2004) is rooted in York and has produced animal crackers since 1871.[32] A major regional department store, The Bon-Ton, is headquartered in York.[33] Just north of York is one of only four Starbucks roasting facilities in the world.[34] York also boasts a BAE Systems facility which assembles various military tanks and equipment.[35]

York is also home to dental equipment and false teeth giant, Dentsply Sirona. Though originally founded in New York by four men, the company moved its headquarters to the site of its factory in the 1900s, where it was run by one of the four founders, George H. Whiteley. Whiteley was an experienced ceramist who was familiar with the process of making artificial teeth. Whiteley was sent by the group to oversee the factory and his family presided over the factory for multiple generations. Dentsply Sirona is a NASDAQ listed company, and internationally known throughout the dentistry business.[36][37][38]

Geography and climate

York is located at 39°57′46″N 76°43′41″W (39.962692, −76.728043).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.3 square miles (14 km2), of which, 5.2 square miles (13 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.14%) is water.

Like most of Pennsylvania, York has a humid continental climate, it is characterized by warm to hot, humid summers and moderately cold winters. The mean annual precipitation total of 41.1 in (1,040 mm) is fairly evenly spread throughout the year, and falls on an average of 126.6 days per annum. Record temperatures from the York COOP range from 107 °F (42 °C), set on July 2, 1901, down to −21 °F (−29 °C), recorded on January 28, 1925 and January 21, 1994; at York Airport, with a considerably shorter period of record, the range is 100 °F (38 °C), set on July 22, 2011, down to −12 °F (−24 °C) as recently as March 7, 2015.[39]