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Billmeyer House

York City, York County, PA

The Billmeyer House (225 East Market Street) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1]


The Billmeyer House, also known as the York House, is a fine example of the Victorian style of architecture in masonry construction. The Billmeyer House (York House) consists of a "head house" with a wing added to the left rear of the house. The head house part of the structure is approximately thirty feet across the front by forty feet deep and standing about forty-five feet to the top of the cornice. Above the cornice the roof is hipped to a ten foot square by eight foot high cupola. The overall height of the building would be approximately fifty-five feet from the bottom of the first floor joists to the top of the cupola. The Billmeyer House (York House) has double stacked bay windows, constructed in wood, located in the center of both side walls, and being part of the first and second floors. These windows extend about five feet beyond the walls of the main house and make the overall dimension across the front, forty feet. The exterior walls are brick averaging about 16" thick. The windows and the front door are framed with cast stone trim. The first floor has one interior masonry support wall 12" thick. Two large fireplaces are located in the front room of the first floor with full stacks to out of roof. The framing and their covering's are of wood with the additional partition walls of wood and plaster construction.

The Billmeyer House's rear wing seems to have been added after the completion of the original house. It's overall length is sixty-four feet and rises to a maximum height of thirty-four feet. It is made of three widths, with the major portion being forty feet long by eighteen feet wide and two smaller parts of fourteen foot and ten foot widths. This wing extends from the left rear of the main house with the right side elevation being a two story front with covered porch on the second floor running the full length of the structure. A shed roof, with three dormers, slopes up to house a third floor attic. There are three fireplaces on the first floor with full chimneys.

The exterior walls of the Billmeyer House (York House) are brick and masonry with plastered interiors. Wood framing and partition walls with plastered finish make up the remaining construction.


This most impressive Victorian "Italian Villa" style house was built in 1860 by Charles Billmeyer, probably one of the most prominent and affluent individuals living in York. He was in his time a large industrialist providing jobs for some 600 local people, and the end result was the ornamental railroad car so typical of that period.

The artist who decorated the quite handsome parlor ceiling and wall in the Billmeyer House (York House) was F. Costagini, who also worked on the dome of the National Capitol in Washington. The walnut carving of the interior woodwork is of a high order, as is the original elaborate cast ironwork of the exterior fence.


Architecture in York County, Booklet by the Historical Society of York County, Trimmer Printing Inc., York, page 24 (Text by Joe King III)

  1. National Register of Historic Places nomination document, 1970, prepared by Donald Rohrbaugh, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Billmeyer House, National Park Service, Wasington, D.C.

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