Another Continental Square building in York, Pa., to go dark. When will the light come back on?

Citizens Bank is closing its landmark building, originally First National Bank, on the northeast corner of Continental Square in February. The building with the notable address of 1 North George St., is a casualty of Web banking, among other factors. A restaurant on the corner across George just went out of business earlier this year. Also of interest: To see a portrayal of what was on the northeastern corner of Continental Square before the bank took over, see M.B. Spahr.

The pending closure of Citizens Bank on York’s Continental Square is an opportunity, downtown York officials says.

Banks close at 5 p.m., and other uses for such buildings will light up the square after hours.

That’s certainly optimistic thinking, but one supposes the ornate building will at least remain standing, in contrast to the endangered Trinity United Methodist Church. A hole or parking lot on that site just wouldn’t work.

The building is a product of the heady days of the 1920s, when a construction boom was in play in York City and sidewalks were crowded. The Strand Theatre went up at about that time.

That’s a contrast to today when nightlife has shifted to the arts district to the west, and the square is no longer the busiest place in York County.

Indeed, York County’s “square” – where north and south meet east and west – has shifted to the Route 83/Route 30 intersection. But everyone is driving through that square, and the service industry – restaurants and convenience stores – is in full view.

It’s a metaphor for change in York County, as I outline more fully in this post.

As for the Citizens Bank Building, here are some factoids, courtesy of architectural historian’s Scott Butcher‘s “York’s Historic Architecture.”

Built: 1924, constructed of Indiana limestone.

Style: Beaux-Arts Classicism

Description: “The balustraded roof, paired and fluted pilasters and eagle ornamentation help establish the building as Beaux-Arts, thought the eagle with spread wings is also reminiscent of Egyptian Revival architecture that sometimes featured a vulture and sun disk with spread wings.”

Early occupant: That site was the home of Archibald McClean, whose house was used as the U.S. Treasury during the Continental Congress’ visit in 1777-78.

Also of interest:

What are some uses for building if York post office moves out?

 

 

 

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.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Books & reading, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Nostalgia & memories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Another Continental Square building in York, Pa., to go dark. When will the light come back on?

  1. Matthew Simmons says:

    Lower the price of parking and maybe more people would come in to town. Also parking should not cost on Saturday.

    • Jim McClure says:

      Matthew, Thanks for comment. Many people would agree with you. One bit of info: For those who can walk, there are places on the downtown’s fringes that are within easy walking distance of central business district that are unmetered. Broad Street is one example./Jim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>