Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects was commissioned by the YMCA of York and York County to redesign the main entrance to their York City branch.

The entrance, along Newberry Street in downtown York, was a grand and dignified entryway when the building was constructed in 1925, but over time became an unattractive assemblage of steep, cracked, gray granite steps and a patchwork of unsafe sidewalks and broken or missing curbing. The Newberry Street entrance has been the access point for the Y’s childcare program - where children are dropped off and conveyed to the care of the YMCA on a daily basis.

The improvement project replaces this unsafe and unsightly construction with a new set of precast/poured-in-place concrete steps with a new mid-level stair landing, gently-curved radius step profile, and flanking brick planters. Streetscape improvements also include a new checkerboard-patterned sidewalk landing area at the curb and new lighting.

“The new entrance is more user-friendly - certainly more child-friendly,” says Frank Dittenhafer. “the new, visually attractive composition restores an element of dignity to the Newberry Street facade and conveys a new identity that correlates with the quality of child care services provided within the YMCA.”

The improvements to the York City branch are an effort by the YMCA to further contribute to the City’s renaissance.

“The plan is to diminish the institutional presence while preserving the historical significance of the building,” says YMCA President/CEO Larry Richardson, “securing the Y’s place in the community and securing access, inclusion, and engagement.”

The $250,000 entrance and streetscape improvement project began in June 2015 and was completed in December 2015.