York County to light Administrative Center domes

York County will culminate a full day of 270th birthday celebrations on Monday, Aug. 19, by lighting the York County Administrative Center’s three Florentine domes, adding another striking feature to the city skyline.

“Known to many as the Old Courthouse, the county’s Administrative Center remains one of the most impressive and historic architectural gems in the region,” York County President Commissioner Susan Byrnes said. “The building’s domes command attention during the day, yet they fade into near invisibility once the sun sets. We’re thrilled that we can celebrate our latest anniversary by ensuring that these magnificent structures receive the treatment they deserve.”

admin night

According to “York’s Historic Buildings,” the York County Administrative Center’s East and West Wings were added in 1957, and the building was extensively remodeled between 2004 and 2006.

The day’s activities will include free, self-guided tours for the public inside the York County Administrative Center, which was built in 1898 and served as the county courthouse until the York County Judicial Center opened in 2004. Pamphlets for these tours will tell the story of a building designed by famed architect J.A. Dempwolf. Its halls and former courtrooms have been privy to Civil War history and even an infamous witch-craft trial.

The self-guided public tours will run between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The lighting ceremony will begin at 8:30 p.m.

No public funds were used in the $70,000 lighting project. Downtown Inc, an affiliate of the York County Economic Alliance, collaborated with Phil Briddell, a Consultant with Susquehanna Real Estate, to secure private funding for the initiative.

Funders include the Warehime Foundation, the Powder Mill Foundation, the York County Bar Association, the George and Josephine Schmidt Memorial Fund of the York County Community Foundation and the York County Community Foundation. ASCOM Electric installed the dome lighting. abSketches, a York-based visual marketing agency, created the renderings of the project.

Lighting improvements have been a focus for Downtown Inc over the past two years. Downtown Inc has collaborated with community partners to light two historic facades on Continental Square, as well as facilitated pedestrian-level LED lighting improvements.

“Lighting projects often have a utilitarian purpose: to foster public safety by creating a better sense of security at night. But in this case, we are also completing one of the most impactful beautification projects in recent memory simply by shining a light on an incredible architectural attraction,” said Elaine Bonneau, Director of Downtown Inc. “We encourage our entire community to tour the Administrative Center to learn more about our amazing local history.”

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