Three Historic Harrisburg Walking Tours with HHA and AIA Central PA


September 28    
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


William Penn Association
1206 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA, 17102

Event Type

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Join HHA and members of AIA Central PA for THREE separate detailed historical walking tours… or join us for the afternoon and enjoy all three tours!

  1. Art and Architecture of the Pennsylvania Capitol Complex

The Pennsylvania Capitol, designed by Joseph W. Huston and completed in 1906 at the height of Pennsylvania’s economic and political might, is so exuberant, it is often called “a Palace of Art.” Exterior highlights include the Barnard Sculpture Groups flanking the main entrance and Perry’s gilded “Commonwealth” statue atop the dome.  The older buildings of the Capitol Complex follow a symmetrical master plan by Arnold Brunner, following “City Beautiful” principles. Other highlights of the tour include statues of Civil War and Gilded Age personages, as well as prominent 19th-century African Americans.  The Carl Milles “Agriculture Doors” on the Finance Building and the bronze doors of the Education Building (currently undergoing total restoration) also will be examined.  2 – 3 PM.  Meet at Main Capitol West Entrance.

  1. Brew Pubs, Bistros, and Murals of the Midtown Market District

Departing the classical architecture of the Capitol Complex and passing through the iconic Mid Century Modern campus of the PA State Museum and Archives, this tour explores a variety of architectural styles and public artworks in the Midtown National Register Historic District.  Highlights include the Northwest Office Building (home of the PA Liquor Control Board), historic and infill housing of Old Fox Ridge, Zeroday Brewing Co., funky Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center (HMAC), Broad Street Market (oldest continuously operated farmers’ market in the U.S.) and Millworks restaurant, brewery, and art gallery in a brilliantly adapted former lumber mill. 3 – 4 PM. Meet at Main Capitol West Entrance.

  1. “A Rage to Live!” – Riverfront Mansions of the Roaring Twenties

Life on Harrisburg’s legendary Front Street, chronicled in novelist John O’Hara’s “A Rage to Live,” boasted ballrooms, indoor swimming pools, and a rich array of the architectural “revival” styles popular in the 1920s.  This tour takes in some of the grandest mansions of all, including several reconverted back into single family homes after decades as offices.  We also see the Georgian-revival Governor’s Residence, completed in 1968 after decades of indecision and famously flooded less than four years later.  Two blocks east of Front Street is the quaint, recently-thriving Olde Uptown Historic District, with renovated row homes, coffee shops, apartments in a repurposed school, all transformed from drug-infested slum to hipster heaven by visionary urban developers.  4 – 5 PM.  Meet on King Mansion front terrace, 2201 N. Front Street.


Members of the public pay $15 per 1-hour tour, or a discounted price of $35 for all 3 tours!

HHA Members and AIA Members pay $10 for each tour, or a discount of $25 for all 3 tours!


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