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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pennslyvania State Capitol ~ Harrisburg

It was a rainy day when we went to visit Pennsylvania's State Capitol and Historic District but we didn't let that slow us down one bit.  Of course we couldn't get out and walk around like we love to do but we still managed to have fun seeing all the Gothic, Renaissance and Italian style buildings and churches.  We love visiting State Capitals and Historic Districts and this did not let us down.

Churches of Harrisburg
Harrisburg has been an important transportation center since the days of riverboat traffic.  It's western boundary is formed by the Susquehanna River.  This location played an important part in it's selection as the capital of Pennsylvania in 1812.  Because of its location Harrisburg played a large part in the early development of the Pennsylvania canal system and the subsequent development of the railroads, highways and airlines.  Today Harrisburg is one of the most important commercial centers and distribution points in the East.
Harrisburg Capitol ~ Front ~ Dome ~ Side ~ Back
In colonial days, John Harris operated a ferry at Harrisburg.  His son, John Jr., laid out the town of Harrisburg in 1785, and gave land to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that was later used for the Capitol grounds.  The capitol building is an Italian Renaissance-style statehouse.  It is an example of outstanding architecture, with collections of art and sculpture, including large murals.  On the floor of the main hallway, tiles show Pennsylvania's history, symbols, insects and animals.

At the dedication of the Capitol Building in 1906, President Teddy Roosevelt described this structure as "the hamsomest building I have ever seen".  The capitol dome rises 272 feet.  The vaulted dome weighs 52 million pounds, and was modeled after St Peter's Basilica in Rome.  It's beautiful staircase looks like one from Paris Opera.

Harrisburg Historic District
The capitol is often referred to as a "palace of art" because of its many sculptures, murals and stained-glass windows, most of which use Pennsylvania themes or were made by Pennsylvanians. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006. Starting in 1982, the restoration of the capitol has been ongoing.

Bridges of Harrisburg
Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!


Jim and Sandie said...

Love the tiles in the floor. The renovations must be pretty extensive is they've been on going for 30 years.

Carole Burant said...

Hi Donna:-)

Don't faint, it's really me! lol It feels so good to be back to blogging and visiting, I've truly missed all of you.

How I'd love to be traveling with you!! You know how much I love these type of places and learning the history behind them. I've been to Pennsylvania but it wasn't in the Harrisburg area. I just love the buildings, the architecture is amazing. You truly are blessed to be able to travel like this and see so many wonderful sights:-)

Hope your day has been a great one so far!! xoxo

Kevin Read said...

Harrisburg looks like a beautiful place to visit. We have never stopped by there before and after seeing your pictures if we are ever in that area again we will definitely take the time to visit and explore the area.

Kevin and Ruth

Diana said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I was born and raised in Harrisburg, and I hate to say it, but you saw and learned a lot more about it than I ever did!


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