Springettsbury Township’s new firehall began the way all good projects do. With a concept and a felt need to modernize. That idea turned into an architectural drawing for a site – about a mile east of the township’s longtime firehall along the Lincoln Highway. On one level, the need to modernize considering the regional nature of Springettsbury fire and emergency medical services made for a compelling project. Still, York County lost a bit more green space. It cost tax dollars. And you have to look at what’s left behind … (More below).
One more thing about the completed place that emerged from the original concept. When the new fire hall went up, so did the energy of the public, fire and emergency medical technical personnel. New is good, in that regard. (Check out this photo gallery about the new building).
But then you think about what is left behind, bottom photo. That condemned firehall is a late-1950s building with character – a coming together place in Springettsbury Township for years. An antique maybe, but not a fire hall of profound historical significance. But it’s been a community friend for about 60 years. Plans call for it to come down to make way for a shopping center, top. We have a few of these. Over the years, the new often comes at the expense of green space and demolition of community friendly structures or architecturally significant buildings. A better solution is to upgrade or reuse existing commercial space – some of which goes back to the beginning of suburban sprawl when the York County Shopping Center opened in the mid-1950s. What is done is done in the sad story of the old Springetts firehall. But when groups are looking at the new, they should consider what will become of what they leave behind. Quality of life in our communities depends on that.
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