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York County Government Center (Bon-Ton Department Store)

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Bon-Ton Department Store
1911–1912, John A. Dempwolf; 1990–1992 rehabilitated, NuTec Design. 100 W. Market St.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (© George E. Thomas)

The Bon-Ton Store was founded in downtown York in 1898 and maintains its corporate headquarters in the region. Following the lead of its midstate rivals that had shifted from dry goods to the more upscale department store, this elegant modern building served as the flagship store, giving York a metropolitan retail anchor. Dempwolf's striking glazed terracotta facade with its abstract chevrons looks ahead to Art Deco, while the oversized store windows are an obvious nod to the modern architecture developing in Chicago. The building contained the first “moving stairway” or escalator in York. Closed when retail moved to shopping centers on the periphery, it was imaginatively restored and adapted to house county offices.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "York County Government Center (Bon-Ton Department Store)", [York, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 355-355.

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