Borough delays Hoke House meeting as community races to save it from demolition
Spring Grove officials postponed a meeting on the fate of the Hoke House as the clock ticks down for those hoping to save the historic site targeted for a Rutter's gas station.
Borough Manager Zach Gulden said the Planning Commission meeting originally scheduled for Thursday has been postponed until July 6. Borough planning officials have just over a month to make a decision on Rutter's land development plans, which were submitted in April.
The Hoke House dates to about 1750, when it opened as Wilson Tavern, and the building has played a variety of roles since then, including as a public library and a farmhouse, the Friends of Hoke House, a historic preservation group trying to save the building, say.
In 2019, the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Office indicated that the Hoke House could qualify for a spot on the National Register of Historic Places if an application were made.
Local activists are still campaigning for Rutter's to incorporate the house into the land development plan or allow activists to raise money and move it off the lot for preservation.
MORE:Dallastown student claims this year's Distinguished Young Woman title
MORE:York-Adams track, tennis stars shoot for state gold in season's final weekend
MORE:Lake Williams utterly transformed as dam rehabilitation project eyes November completion
However, there's no guarantee either solution would work.
The borough could reject the preliminary development plan, but that doesn't mean Rutter's will save the house. And while Gulden did propose an agreement in which the public, the borough and Rutter's would donate $300,000 total to match a grant to relocate the house off the lot, Rutter's never agreed to the deal, Gulden said.
According to The Friends of Hoke House, the preservation group has so far raised $17,000.
"We will continue to [raise funds] as long as there is, you know, any hope for the building to stand, or moved or salvaged," said Paul Nevin, one of the organizers of the Friends of Hoke House group. "It's a preliminary plan. Changes can be made."
Rutter's has not responded to requests for comment about plans for the site.
>> Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.
The preliminary plan has a sketch of the existing property and the structures on it. The Hoke House is labeled as "stone building" and is pictured on the lower left in the image. The next page shows a sketch of what the new convenience store and gas station will look like.
No "stone building" is featured there.
The borough's Hoke House meeting will be held at 7 p.m. July 6 at VFW Post 5265, 199 Veterans Way, Spring Grove.
— Reach Noel Miller at NMiller3@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @TheNoelM.