Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pennsylvania Capitol Building, Harrisburg

Harrisburg has been an important transportation center since the days of riverboat traffic. Its western boundary is formed by the Susquehanna River. This location played an important part in its 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.

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 handsomest building I ever saw". The capitol dome rises 272 feet. This vaulted dome weighs 52 million pounds, and was modeled after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. It's beautiful staircase looks like one from the Paris Opera. Over 100,000 people per year enjoy a free tour of Harrisburg's Capitol building.


Brian Bastinelli said...

Nice shots Brad. And lots of good information as well.

Makes that hour and a half worth while now, though towards the end I was starting t think otherwise.

Don't forget that little gem of a building to the south. The annex building a really somthing to see.

Bradley Myers said...

Brian I don't know what little jem to the south you are referring to. Using these is just a case of struggling to find photos to post.