Harrisburg Landmarks and Monuments
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - PA, USA)
There are a series of historic sites, important memorials and imposing landmarks spread around Harrisburg and the Fort Hunter Historic District.
The ultimate structure for any capital city is its grand Capitol building and in Harrisburg, this is certainly no exception. However, this wasn't always the case. When an earlier version suffered fire damage in 1897, its replacement was generally considered rather lackluster and not grand enough. Therefore, an altogether more imposing and impressive third incarnation was subsequently designed by renowned Philadelphia architect Joseph Miller Huston and duly constructed.
The eye-catching dome dominating the Pennsylvania State Capitol rises to more than 82 meters / 270 feet and was inspired by the dome of Rome's world-famous Basilica of Saint Peter. Each year, in excess of 100,000 visitors now explore the Capitol as part of a free guided tour, admiring its enormous staircase and cavernous interior.
A number of additional buildings and landmarks come together to form Harrisburg's expansive Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex. These include the Commonwealth Keystone, the Forum Building, the Governor's Residence, the Matthew Ryan Legislative Office Building, the Pennsylvania Judicial Center, the Pennsylvania State Archives, the Rachel Carson State Office Building, the State Museum of Pennsylvania
and the Strawberry Square commercial building.
Pennsylvania State Capitol Building
Address: North 3rd Street / State Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PA), 17101, USA
Tel: +1 717 772 9130
Large stone columns, a huge dome topped with the gilded Commonwealth statue and bold architecture were all deemed a success when the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building was completed and inaugurated in the year 1906. Today's striking State House boasts strong Renaissance-Revival and Beaux Arts influences, adding a noticeable elegance amidst the huge proportions of this giant. Guided tours generally last in the region of 30 minutes and take in some of the most important of the 600+ rooms, such as the Governor's Reception Room, the House Chamber and the Senate Chamber.
Open hours: Welcome Center, Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 16:00; guided tours, Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 16:00 every half hour, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00
Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick
Address: 212 State Street / Church Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PA), 17101, USA
Tel: +1 717 232 2169
Situated on State Street and just down the road from Capitol Park is the stately Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick, which plays a central role in the local Roman Catholic community. Even if you are not of a religious nature, you will likely appreciate the fine architecture, with its Romanesque elements and twin bell towers, crowned by crucifixes. Step inside and you will find some beautifully crafted stained-glass windows.
Open hours: daily masses available
Harvey Taylor Bridge
Address: Crossing Susquehanna River / between Forster Street and the Taylor Bridge Bypass, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PA), 17043, USA
This steel-girder bridge spans the Susquehanna River between City Island and Independence Island, linking Riverfront Park and the western banks. The bridge was officially opened in 1952 and is named after local Republican politician Maris Harvey Taylor (1876 to 1982). Much reconstruction work was carried out between the summers of 2001 and 2004, which saw the bridge being widened to allow pedestrian access. Close to 40,000 motorists now use this bridge on a daily basis, making this one of Pennsylvania's principal river crossings.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Dauphin County Veteran's Memorial Obelisk
Address: North 3rd Street / Division Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PA), 17110, USA
The Veteran's Memorial Obelisk of Dauphin County stands on the corner of North 3rd Street and Division Street, in Uptown Harrisburg. Measuring in at more than 33 meters / 108 feet in height, the monument was erected in a small park along North Second Street in the late 1860s, to honour those soldiers from the county who sadly lost their lives fighting in the American Civil War (1861 to 1865). It was relocated to its present setting roughly a century later, when it was repaired and renovated. The obelisk has noticeable Egyptian characteristics and was actually carved from stone quarried from the banks of the Susquehanna River.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Dauphin Narrows Statue of Liberty
Address: Dauphin Narrows, Dauphin, Pennsylvania (PA), USA
A rather unusual and unexpected local landmark is the bright white Dauphin Narrows Statue of Liberty, which occupies a small piece within the Susquehanna River. This is a simplified replica of New York's most famous lady and was first built in 1986 by a local artist and activist, on a much smaller scale than the original, measuring some 5.5 meters / 18 feet high. However, just a few years later it suffered severe storm damage and was subsequently rebuilt a little taller, to just over 7.5 meters / 25 feet in height.
Open hours: daily - view from the riverbank only
Fort Hunter Mansion and Park
Address: 5300 North Front Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PA), 17110, USA
Tel: +1 717 599 5751
Sited on the northern side of downtown Harrisburg and enjoying superb views of the Susquehanna River is the Fort Hunter Mansion, which was previously named the Archibald McAllister House. The mansion was built in 1814 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in the year 1976. Upon arrival you will be greeted by a grand entrance, complete with Tuscan-style square columns supporting a large balcony with balustrading. Visitors should be sure to leave plenty of time to properly explore the spacious surrounding parkland, which covers 16 hectares / 40 acres in total.
Open hours: park and grounds, daily - 08:00 to dusk; mansion, May to early December, Tuesday to Saturday - 10:00 to 16:30, Sunday - 12:00 to 16:30
Admission: charge, discounts available for children and seniors
John Harris Mansion / Simon Cameron House
Address: 219 South Front Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PA), 17104, USA
Tel: +1 717 233 3462
A National Historic Landmark since the year 1975, the John Harris Mansion is also often referred to as the Simon Cameron House, being named after two of its most prominent residents. It was built in 1766 and is one of the city's oldest buildings. The house stands in downtown Harrisburg and right alongside the Susquehanna River. In the early 1940s, the estate was gifted to the Historical Society of Dauphin County, along with many of the antiques and furnishings, and is today open to members of the general public during the summer months.
Open hours: guided tours, April to December, Monday to Thursday - 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00; second Sunday of the month - 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children and seniors, children five years old and under are free