Fairmount fit for Roger, Anita and Pongo, Perdita

Fairmount is a once-grand part of York City that still has some grandness, particularly after renovation of several units. Also of interest: All unsung York Town Square posts from the start.

Red Lion’s Fairmount Park is not the only overlooked part of York County known by that lofty name.
But York’s recovering Fairmount section, an early city suburb of Victorian mansions, has been deteriorating for so long that it’s understandable why many people don’t know about it.
Few venture to that north section of York.

To orient you: North Beaver Street passes through the heart of this neighborhood just before it intersects with Parkway Boulevard.
Historian George Prowell dates the neighborhood to 1884, when attorney E.W. Spangler bought 17 acres of undeveloped land north of the Codorus. Before long, workers constructed the North Beaver Street bridge. Writing in 1906, Prowell viewed the neighborhood as one of the most “interesting” parts of the city.
He meant it was one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods.
One can squint and almost see a neighborhood right out of “101 Dalmatians,” with Roger and Anita walking Pongo and Perdita.
Actually, some of the neighborhood’s beauty has returned. Some of the decaying Victorians have been renovated into 38 apartments.
The rehab cost was about $170,000 per unit.
But that’s a small cost to reclaim the neighborhood from Cruella DeVil wannabes.
So there it is, overlooked York County landmark No. 25, York’s Fairmount neighborhood. Other overlooked county sites and landmarks:

Other overlooked York County sites and landmarks:
The JCC’s Holocaust sculpture
The Little Courthouse
Aldersgate United Methodist Church’s Copper Beach carving.
— Prospect Hill Cemetery
War Mothers Memorial

— Work War II USO at former York County Academy gymnasium
— York’s Salem Square soldiers monument
York’s Cookes House
York’s rowhouses
— Wrightsville’s monuments
— The Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge
Memorial trees along highways Route 30 & Susquehanna Trail
The Inches
— Camp Stewartstown
— The Wrightsville Bridge supports
— New York Wire Co.’s factory whistle
— Mary Ann Furnace
— York’s Hartman Building
— Hanover’s Iron Mike and The Picket
York’s Eberts Lane
Helen Reeves Thackston Memorial Park
— WW II defense worker housing
— Shiloh’s former town square
Loucks one-room school
Red Lion’s Fairmount Park— Carlisle Avenue Market House
York’s Fairmount Neighborhood — Ma & Pa Railroad, Muddy Creek Forks draw fans
Delta’s slate clock and Mainline Museum Spring Grove’s top-of-class museum
York’s Reservoir Hill
Forgotten York Valley Inn
Wallace-Cross Mill
Jefferson town square
James Buchanan’s home “Wheatland”
Columbia’s Clock and Watch Museum.

Groundbreaking to renovate the once-grand Fairmount neighborhood.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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4 Responses to Fairmount fit for Roger, Anita and Pongo, Perdita

  1. Sue Myers says:

    I grew up in that neighborhood in the 50’s & 60’s. My grandmother who raised me lived on Jefferson Avenue, and a lot of my childhood friends lived in that stretch of North Beaver Street as well. Yes, the homes were huge and beautiful, but aside from the exterior part of the neighborhood, there were good hard working people who lived in those houses, who welcomed their childrens playmates into their homes as if they were theirs. We all played together, we looked out for each other. Our families knew each other, and we were a family oriented community. Today, that sense of being safe and secure has long gone, and those beautiful homes have fallen into ruin. Rehab the houses, and make them beautiful again. That’s all fine and well, but that safety net that we all fell under as children has been replaced with drugs, shooting deaths, and crime. It’s gonna take more than a coat of paint and new windows to fix that neighborhood. A lot more. God help you and that neighborhood, he’s the only one that can.

    • Jim McClure says:

      Sue, thanks for the memories, and your well wishes to that neighborhood./Jim

      • Craig Wolf says:

        The Y Community Development Corporation renovated 18 properties on this block in 2005 as a part of a neighborhood revitalization project. The house you see on the corner was the home of former York Mayor Felix Bentzel from the 1920’s until around 1950. After the renovation, I toured the home with his son, Dr. George Bentzel. Dr. Bentzel was born on the 2nd floor of the home.

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