Farmhouse on grounds of York County Prison makes list of endangered historic properties

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

A 280-year-old farmhouse on the grounds of York County Prison made it on a list of endangered historic properties in Pennsylvania. 

The Strickler Farmhouse, 1205 Williams Road in Springettsbury Township, needs $500,000 in repairs. It could face demolition if officials cannot figure out a way to renovate or rehabilitate it, county officials have said.

Strickler Farm House Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. Bill Kalina photo

“Its proximity to the prison has presented a challenge, but we hope that listing on Pennsylvania at Risk will create new awareness and prevent demolition," said Julia Chain, the associate director of Preservation Pennsylvania.

Preservation Pennsylvania publishes Pennsylvania at Risk annually to bring attention to the plight of Pennsylvania’s historic resources. Five additional properties in Allegheny, Lehigh, Northampton and Philadelphia counties also made the list, according to a news release.

The Strickler Farmhouse was built in 1740 by Pennsylvania German settlers and stands as one of the few surviving homes of its time.

In 2016, the York County Board of Commissioners considered renovating the building and moving the York County Coroner's Office there, but they decided it would be too expensive.

The historic Strickler Farmhouse in Springettsbury Township, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, will be photographed and thoroughly documented, the first step in a process that could end with the home's demolition. Bill Kalina photo

The house doesn't generate any annual costs to the county. But if the building continues to deteriorate, it could eventually collapse in on itself, county spokesman Mark Walters said.

The property sits in a flood plain; there's mold and water damage in the basement; and the farmhouse needs a new roof, as previously reported by The York Dispatch.

More:York County inches toward Strickler Farmhouse demolition

In October, the commissioners approved a $14,632 contract with A.D. Marble and Co. Inc. to make an official record of the property and its history.

If the building were demolished, York County would install a panel on the property with photos and historic information about the house, said Scott Cassel, facilities director for York County.

The family cemetery is visible from a second floor window of the Strickler House, built in 1740 and now part of the York County Prison  property. Friday, June 24, 2016.
John A. Pavoncello photo

While plans for the record-keeping process are anticipated to be finished this summer, there are no plans for the county to refurbish the farmhouse, Walters said Tuesday.

There is still an opportunity for a preservation group to take ownership of the building through an easement, he added.

Preservation Pennsylvania aims to do just that, according to a news release.

“(We) will work to find potential new tenants or owners for this historic property,” Chain said.

— Reach Tina Locurto at or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.