Central Market should be used for all kinds of things: Linked in with neat York County history stuff, April 19, 2012

York Mayor Kim Bracey addresses a large audience in giving her State of the City Address last week. She spoke at Central Market, its food court turned into an auditorium. This isn’t the first time the late 1800s market was used as an assembly hall. (Click on image to enlarge; catch a glimpse behind the curtain below.) Also of interest: Central Market, part of the art and soul of York County, from the air.

Organizations looking for an assembly hall for medium to large events should notice York City’s use of Central Market as an auditorium.

That came last week when Mayor Kim Bracey stood on a stage in the markethouse’s food court.

History honors this use.

Central and other city markethouses served as sites for conventions and religious services.

Those assembling there will naturally draw larger audiences. People like going to market, even if it’s in the evening when the stands are closed.

But here’s another point: The stands don’t have to be closed for the evening.

Keep those stands in and around the food court open and create a place that people can go to dine – or just hang out with a cup of coffee and laptop in a third-place atmosphere, as they do a BAM, Panera Bread and other suburban sites.

Have you ever tried to find such a hangout on Saturday or Sunday afternoons downtown? So far, Central Market has missed this opportunity. Maybe Penn Street Farmers Market could steal the march on Central as a third place.

Other creative uses for our markethouses?

Please comment below.

More neat stuff from all over … .

Like York’s Market Street? – Well so does the national magazine Travel and Leisure, placing York’s main street on a short list of the nation’s top main streets.

Forum of the day: Weigh in on the Exchange about the proposal to shut down two city middle schools bearing the names of historic figures icons: Edgar Fahs Smith and Hannah Penn.

Looking for help: Yorkblogger Joan Concilio has posted queries about:
1. Home of an insurance agent
2. Voting for Best of York
3. Princess Street crab cake memories.

Maybe you can help on a couple of these.

Looking behind the curtain. Central Market is still Central Market, awaiting future business. (Click to enlarge.)


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 Central Market should be used for all kinds of things: Linked in with neat York County history stuff, April 19, 2012

  1. Terrence Downs says:

    The theory of a longer open market is a good one, Jim – provided the mix of vendors allows for the market operated farmer to return to their place to do farming – for many of these farms are yet family run & operated. This is a dialog box we will open at Farmers’ Market – where people see it as an entertaiment venue and misinterpret the premise of its operation. At Farmers’ we are willing to open our minds to change but it won’t be immediate, but when a mixture of vendors (provided it eventually happens) enables the Market House to keep later hours. One advantage Central House has is its proximety to nightlife & entertainment as it’s emerging on the center of York scene. Thanks for your thoughts on this matter, Jim – always ready to talk ‘Market’ for the sake of the market system in York.

    • Jim McClure says:

      Terry, to be clear, I’m thinking at Central Market – and possibly at Penn Street Farmers, they wouldn’t have to open the whole market in the evenings. Just the food court and one or two vendors surrounding it. Also, a pathway to the bathrooms.

  2. There have been some amazing improvements at York’s Central Market, so I’d be interested in seeing how such a nighttime concept would go over – not just where summer baseball is concerned, but maybe around the holidays, too, where the warmth, smells and other senses could really be tripped with an evening supper. York’s own organic-homegrown fare, pay what you think is fair “Healthy World Cafe” would be in quite a position to attract and capitalize on this type of set-up.

    I’d hope that traditional market vendors would be willing to participate, as dining with only the eateries open for business would trip the “gentrification” breaker in me, of which I can only handle so much.

    • Jim McClure says:

      Scott, interesting insights and I like the way you said them … ‘where the warmth, smells and other senses could be really tripped with an evening supper.’ Nice./Jim

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