Domes atop York County admin building no longer dark at night

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

Cheers erupted from the top level of the Market Street Parking Garage in York City on Monday when the three Florentine domes on the old ceremonial courthouse were illuminated against the night sky.

To celebrate the 270th anniversary of York County's founding, the old courthouse was open for tours during the day, concluding with a ceremony in the evening to turn on the new light installation for the first time.

"It was really an easy project to pull together because everybody thought it was a good idea," said Phil Briddell of Susquehanna Real Estate, who spearheaded the fundraising effort for the permanent fixtures.

Around 100 people attended, mostly county and York City employees and representatives of the York County Economic Alliance and Downtown Inc. The Central York Middle School Fife and Drum Corps performed.

Private contributions funded the entire $70,000 installation, Briddell said, so no taxpayer dollars were used.

Briddell said the idea to light the domes originated with the renovation of the Yorktowne Hotel, which sits adjacent to the old courthouse — now the county administrative center — on East Market Street.

"One of the important elements of the renovation of the Yorktowne Hotel is to have a roof deck," he said. "When you're up on the roof of the Yorktowne, they (the domes) are right in your face, and to have them dark was just more than anybody could bear."

But the project isn't complete yet.

Briddell said the next phase is to illuminate the front facade of the building, and he expects those lights to be installed sometime in October.

York City Mayor Michael Helfrich toasts York County's 270th birthday while dignitaries and guests await the lighting of the Administrative Center's dome's Monday, August 19, 2019. The lighting of the domes concluded a day of tours of the center and the ringing of the bells.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Seeing the lights turn on for the first time was like receiving a Christmas present, said York County Commissioner Susan Byrnes.

"These domes used to be a hidden gem, and now they will be lit every night," she said.

Downtown Inc, the York County Economic Alliance and the County of York collaborated on the lighting project.

Financial supporters included the Warehime Foundation, the Powder Mill Foundation, the York County Bar Foundation, the George and Josephine Schmidt Memorial Fund of the York County Community Foundation and the York County Community Foundation.

ASCOM Electric installed the lighting, and York-based visual marketing agency abSketches created the renderings of the project.

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