Often forgotten: Achievements of people named on building facades


Nowadays, libraries contain videos, audio books, music and, yes, books. And artwork. This piece by Dee Brua has been on display at the Paul Smith Library of Southern York County. Commissions from the sale of artwork benefitted the library. Paul Smith’s name has just been added to the official moniker of the library. Background posts: ‘I really like these old pictures of Glen Rock’ and Martin Library leaves microfilm behind.

Paul Smith’s name has been added to the Shrewsbury-area library, formerly known as the Southern York County Library.
Smith donated six acres for construction of the wonderful new library south of Shrewsbury.
Many buildings in York County and elsewhere have names of prominent donors and community contributors on their side… .


Often, the person behind the name is forgotten, so we’re posting a Weekly Record story below as a permanent reminder of Smith, a prominent York County builder.
In fact, many York Town Square posts preserves the accomplishments of achievers whose names are on the sides of buildings.
For example:
– The names Alexander Goode, one of four chaplains who sacrificed his life in World War II, and Jacob L. Devers, four-star general in WWII, are attached to schools in York.
— The names of Susan Byrnes, health educator, and Loretta Claiborne, Special Olympian, are on nearby buildings in the 600 block of South George Street, York.
Charles E. Williams, one of six brothers to serve and the only one to die in World War II, is on the side of an America Legion on East Princess Street in York.
— The name of longtime community banker Bob Pullo and his family are associated with a performing arts center on Penn State York’s campus.
The Weekly Record (2/5/08) story on Paul Smith’s honors follows:

The Southern York County Library has been renamed the Paul Smith Library of Southern York County.
The change was made in recognition of Smith’s contribution of six acres of saleable land to the library’s capital campaign, a move that resulted in a gift of more than $500,000 for the construction of the new facility.
The library was renamed during a dedication ceremony Jan. 5, which was hosted by George Lavery and other members of the library’s board of directors.
Smith, a York County native, started Paul L. Smith Builders in 1946 and was one of the first to recognize the potential for growth and development in the southern area of the county especially with the opening of Interstate 83 and easy access to Maryland and areas farther south.
Smith built the Southern Farms Development, Oakwood Manor, Eastwood Townhomes, a portion of Forest Lakes, Market Square Shopping Center, Freedom Hills, Slyder Estates and Boundary Road Apartments as well as many private homes.
The library, now entering its fifth year of service to the community, resulted from a merger between the New Freedom Public Library and the Shrewsbury Public Library. The new facility’s collection includes books, movies, music, magazines and audio books.
Call 235-4313 or e-mail sycstaff@yorklibraries.org for details about weekly adult and family programming.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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