York County History Center begins work on new site after seven years of planning

After seven years of work, officials at the York County History Center are finally happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

A groundbreaking ceremony last week celebrated the $28 million project to consolidate the organization’s many buildings into one space, said Joan Mummert, president and CEO.

“We were located in five different areas of the city. And for visitors, it was very difficult to make sense of the history of York County because it was not a cohesive way to experience the history of York County. York,” Mummert said. “It was mainly because we wanted to scale the organization.”

Construction of the former Met-Ed Steam Plant, 57 N. Pershing Ave., began earlier this year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

After:Whispering Wind Bear Spirit: two trips cut short in one night in York

After:Fact Check: Will middle-class taxpayers really face an “army” of tax officials?

After:Ex of man accused of mass stabbing says he raped her in 2016: Court records

The new face of York County History Center is expected to open in the spring of 2024, Mummert added.

This history center venture began with a survey in 2015 of community members – who said they wanted to see the new building along Codorus Creek. That year, the history center decided to purchase the building, Mummert said.

And although the purchase of the steam plant took place seven years ago, it took the officials just as long to get there. Selecting an architect, hiring a construction company, conducting an economic study and organizing a fundraising campaign—among other tasks—were essential in the long duration of the project.

Currently, the York County History Center operates two museums in the City of York: the Museum of Agriculture and Industry, 217 W. Princess St., and the Historical Society Museum, Library and Archive, 250 E. Market St. The association also owns the Colonial Complex. , Bonham House and the Fire Museum, all of which are open seasonally.

After:‘Labor of Love’: How Detectives Followed the Trail of York County’s Missing Artifacts

After:New Civil War records tell of York County militia unit’s exploits

President and CEO Joan Mummert of the York County History Center addresses a $7 million grant to the York County History Center, announced at a press conference outside the center at 147 W. Philadelphia St. in York on Friday, December 22, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“It takes the best of these museums and brings them together in a way that people understand the history of York County,” Mummert said. “Call it a comprehensive story of York County that we’ve never been able to offer before.”

As well as consolidating the museum’s exhibits, Mummert said she hopes that by placing the museum in the heart of York city center it will help improve visitation and tourism for the city as a whole.

The building, located at the intersection of West Philadelphia Street and North Pershing Avenue, is 82,000 square feet and 12,000 square feet will be available for exhibit space, Mummert said.

Construction of the former Met-Ed Steam Generating Station on West Philadelphia Street began earlier this year, with an expected completion date of late 2023. The $28 million project will house the York County History Center.  Photo credit: York County History Center.

>> Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.

With an interestingly shaped building and a tall steam chimney rising skyward, York County residents might wonder: why choose this location?

“We’ve seen other power plants go through adaptive reuse in museums, and we thought it would be a great use of a cavernous space that had good bones and didn’t present itself well to the community,” said Mummert said.

— Contact Tina Locurto at [email protected] or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.

Comments are closed.