Downtown York has grabbed the attention of a popular travel magazine, which recently included the city on a list of "America's Greatest Main Streets."
Travel & Leisure's online article cheers 15 small towns for being places "where you can admire architecture, sample the local flavor, and find a lost America."
York has overcome a "period of decay" that followed the closing of anchor businesses downtown, the magazine says. Market Street offers "striking" examples of late Victorian and Classical Revival architecture, according to the article.
While in York, the magazine recommends making a stop at Central Market.
Recognition: "It's so nice to have some national recognition that what we're doing is right," said Sonia Huntzinger, director of Downtown Inc.
Travel & Leisure is simply pointing out what many locals already know, she said.
"Anybody I've talked to can say that there's a definite, palpable change in the energy down here," she said. "It's really turning around."
Kevin Schreiber, York City's director of economic and community development, said he found the article "reassuring."
"It's the occasional pat on the back. I think it's all-around good
news," he said.
Marketing: Practically speaking, national recognition like this makes for a great marketing tool, Schreiber said.
On a deeper level, he said, it's also vindication of generations of Yorkers who fought to preserve the city's potential throughout decades of suburban sprawl when urban areas hemorrhaged residents.
For example, Schreiber said, proposals to convert parts of the city into warehouses were shot down. Millions of dollars have been invested in façade improvements and bringing destinations such as Sovereign Bank Stadium to the city.
Thanks to people who planned for the future, the city is ready to capitalize on urban renewal trends, he said.
"It's testament to generations of hard work," he said. "They didn't take the easy way out. They chose the hard way, and they had attention to detail. And they made it work. All of that compounds to something like this."
-- Reach Erin James at 505-5439 or ejame firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ydcity.