Harrisburg

Harrisburg

[har-is-burg]
Harrisburg, city (1990 pop. 52,376), state capital and seat of Dauphin co., SE Pa., on the Susquehanna River; settled c.1710 by John Harris, who established a trading post and operated a ferry there; inc. 1791. It is a commercial, wholesale, administrative, and transportation center. Manufactures include metal products, transportation equipment, processed foods, machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, building materials, and steel. Harrisburg became the state capital in 1812 and grew as an inland transportation center with the opening of the Pennsylvania Canal in 1827 and the arrival of the railroad in 1836.

The sprawling Italian Renaissance state capitol (completed 1906) has a 272-ft (83-m) dome modeled after St. Peter's in Rome. Other notable structures are the education building, which contains the state library; the State Museum of Pennsylvania; the National Civil War Museum; the William Penn Memorial Museum; the John Harris Mansion (1766), headquarters of the county historical society; and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Bridge. A medical center and the Pennsylvania State Univ. Center are in Harrisburg. The city has numerous parks. To the south is the large Three Mile Island facility, site of a nuclear accident in 1979. The New Cumberland Army Depot, the U.S. Army War College, and the U.S. Naval Supply Depot are also nearby.

City (pop., 2000: 48,950), capital of Pennsylvania, U.S. Located in southeastern Pennsylvania on the Susquehanna River, the site was first established circa 1718 as a trading post and ferry service by John Harris, who named it Harris' Ferry. Laid out in 1785, it became known as Harrisburg and was made the state capital in 1812. In 1839 it was the scene of the first national Whig Party convention, which nominated William H. Harrison. After completion of the Pennsylvania Railroad's main line from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh in 1847, it developed as a transportation centre. The state capitol, with a dome patterned after St. Peter's in Rome, was completed in 1906.

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Harrisburg is the capital of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 48,950, making it the tenth largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, Scranton, Bethlehem, Lancaster and Altoona.

The Harrisburg metropolitan area population was estimated in 2006 at 652,263,making it the fourth most populous metropolitan area in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton (the Lehigh Valley). Harrisburg is the county seat of Dauphin County and lies on the east bank of the Susquehanna River, 105 miles (169 km) west-northwest of Philadelphia.

Harrisburg played a notable role in American history during the Westward Migration, the American Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution. During part of the 19th century, the building of the Pennsylvania Canal and later the Pennsylvania Railroad allowed Harrisburg to become one of the most industrialized cities in the Northeastern United States.

Contrasted with its 1981 status as the second most distressed city in the nation, Harrisburg has undergone a dramatic economic change, with nearly $3 billion in new investment now realized. The U.S. Navy ship USS Harrisburg, which served from 1918-19 at the end of World War I, is named in honor of the city.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest indoor agriculture exposition in the United States, was first held in Harrisburg in 1917 and has been held there every January since then. Harrisburg also hosts the annual "Auto Show," a large static display of new as well as classic cars, which is renowned nation-wide. Harrisburg is also known for the infamous Three Mile Island incident, which occurred in nearby Middletown.

History

The site along the Susquehanna River where Harrisburg is located is thought to have been inhabited by Native Americans as early as 3000 BC. Known to the Native Americans as "Peixtin," or "Paxtang," the area was an important resting place and crossroads for Native American traders, as the trails leading from the Delaware to the Ohio rivers, and from the Potomac to the Upper Susquehanna intersected there. The first European contact with Native Americans in Pennsylvania was made by the Englishman, Captain John Smith, who journeyed from Virginia up the Susquehanna River in 1608 and visited with the Susquehanna tribe. In 1719, John Harris, Sr., an English trader, settled here and 14 years later secured grants of 800 acres (3.2 km²) in this vicinity. In 1785, John Harris, Jr. made plans to lay out a town on his father's land, which he named Harrisburg. In the spring of 1785, the town was formally surveyed by William Maclay, who was a son-in-law of John Harris, Sr. In 1791, Harrisburg became incorporated and was named the Pennsylvania state capital in October 1812.

During the first part of the 19th century, Harrisburg was a notable stopping place along the Underground Railroad, as escaped slaves would be transported across the Susquehanna River and were often fed and given supplies before heading north towards Canada. The assembling here of the Harrisburg Convention in 1827 led to the passage of the high protective-tariff bill of 1828. In 1839, Harrison and Tyler were nominated for President of the United States at Harrisburg. By the 1830s Harrisburg was part of the Pennsylvania canal system and an important railroad center as well. Steel and iron became dominant industries. Steel and other industries continued to play a major role in the local economy throughout the latter part of the nineteenth century. The city was the center of enormous railroad traffic and supported large furnaces, rolling mills, and machine shops. The Pennsylvania Steel Company plant, which opened in nearby Steelton in 1866, was the first in the country; later operated by Bethlehem Steel.

During the American Civil War, Harrisburg was a significant training center for the Union Army, with tens of thousands of troops passing through Camp Curtin. It was also a major rail center for the Union and a vital link between the Atlantic coast and the Midwest, with several railroads running through the city and spanning the Susquehanna River. As a result of this importance, it was a target of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia during its two invasions. The first time during the 1862 Maryland Campaign, when Lee planned to capture the city after taking Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, but was prevented from doing so by the Battle of Antietam and his subsequent retreat back into Virginia. The second attempt was made during the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863 and was more substantial. A short skirmish took place in June 1863 at Sporting Hill, just 2 miles west of Harrisburg. This is considered by many to be the northern-most battle of the Civil War.

Many important events have helped to shape Harrisburg over the years. The Pennsylvania Farm Show, a the largest indoor agriculture exposition in the United States, was first held in 1917 and has been held every January since then. The present location of the Show is the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Arena, located at the corner of Maclay and Cameron streets. In June 1972, Harrisburg was hit by a major flood from the remnants of hurricane Agnes. On March 28, 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, along the Susquehanna River located south of Harrisburg, suffered a partial meltdown. Although the meltdown was contained and radiation leakages were minimal, there were still worries that an evacuation would be necessary. Governor Richard Thornburgh did recommend an evacuation of pregnant women and preschool children who lived within a five mile radius of TMI. Although there were about 5,000 people covered by this recommendation, over 140,000 people fled the area.

After Harrisburg suffered years of being in bad shape economically, Stephen R. Reed was elected mayor in 1981 and has been re-elected ever since, making him the longest serving mayor of Harrisburg. He immediately started projects which would attract both businesses and tourists. Several museums and hotels such as Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, the National Civil War Museum and the Hilton Harrisburg and Towers were built during his term, along with many office buildings and residences. Several semi-professional sports franchises, including the Harrisburg Senators of the Eastern League, the defunct Harrisburg Heat indoor soccer club and the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL Second Division began operations in the city during his tenure as mayor. While praised for the vast number of economic improvements, Reed has also been criticized for population loss and mounting debt. For example, during a budget crisis the city was forced to sell $8 million worth of Western and American-Indian artifacts collected by Mayor Reed for a never-realized museum celebrating the American West.

Geography

Topography

Harrisburg is located at (40.269789, -76.875613).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.4 square miles (29.6 km²), of which, 8.1 square miles (21.0 km²) of it is land and 3.3 square miles (8.6 km²) of it (29.11%) is water.

Harrisburg is located in the Susquehanna Valley, a rich and fertile agricultural region in South Central Pennsylvania. The region is also situated at the extreme western fringe of the BosWash megalopolis, the name for a group of metropolitan areas in the northeastern United States. Directly to the north of Harrisburg lies the Blue Mountain ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The Cumberland Valley lies directly to the west of Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River, stretching into northern Maryland.

Harrisburg's western boundary is formed by the Susquehanna River, which also serves as the boundary between Dauphin and Cumberland counties. The city is divided into numerous neighborhoods and districts. Like many of Pennsylvania's cities and boroughs that are at "build-out" stage, there are several townships outside of Harrisburg city limits that, although autonomous, use the name Harrisburg for postal and name-place designation. They include the townships of: Lower Paxton, Middle Paxton, Susquehanna, Swatara and West Hanover in Dauphin County. The borough of Penbrook, located just east of Reservoir Park, was previously known as East Harrisburg. Penbrook, along with the borough of Paxtang, also located just outside of the city limits, maintain Harrisburg zip codes as well. The United States Postal Service designates 26 zip codes for Harrisburg, including 13 for official use by federal and state government agencies.

Climate

People and culture in Harrisburg

Culture

Downtown Harrisburg has two major performance centers. The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, which was completed in 1999, is the first center of its type in the United States where education, science and the performing arts take place under one roof. The Forum, a 1,763-seat concert and lecture hall built in 1930-31, is a state-owned and operated facility located within the State Capitol Complex. Since 1931, The Forum has been home to the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.

Beginning in 2001, downtown Harrisburg saw a surge of commercial nightlife development. This has been credited with reversing the city's financial decline, and has made downtown Harrisburg a destination for events from jazz festivals to Top-40 nightclubs.

Harrisburg is also the home of the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest agricultural exhibition of its kind in the nation. Farmers from all over Pennsylvania come to show their animals and participate in competitions. Livestock are on display for people to interact with and view. In 2004, Harrisburg hosted CowParade, an international public art exhibit that has been featured in major cities all over the world. Fiberglass sculptures of cows are decorated by local artists, and distributed over the city centre, in public places such as train stations and parks. They often feature artwork and designs specific to local culture, as well as city life and other relevant themes.

Demographics

As of the census of 2005, there were an estimated 47,472 people living in Harrisburg. In the census of 2000, there were 48,950 people, 20,561 households, and 10,917 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,035.6 people per square mile (2,330.4/km²). There were 24,314 housing units at an average density of 2,997.9/sq mi (1,157.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 31.72% White, 54.83% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 2.83% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 6.54% from other races, and 3.64% from two or more races. 11.69% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Harrisburg is the 6th most populous city in eastern Pennsylvania and 47th in the nation of Vietnamese population with 2,649 residents.

There were 20,561 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 23.4% were married couples living together, 24.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.9% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,920, and the median income for a family was $29,556. Males had a median income of $27,670 versus $24,405 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,787. About 23.4% of families and 24.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.9% of those under age 18 and 16.6% of those age 65 or over.

The very first census taken in the United States occurred in 1790. At that time Harrisburg was a small, but substantial colonial town with a population of 875 residents. With the increase of the cities prominence as an industrial and transportation center, Harrisburg reached its peak population build up in 1950, topping out at nearly 90,000 residents. Since the 1950s, Harrisburg, along with other northeastern urban centers large and small, has experienced a declining population that is ultimately fueling the growth of its suburbs, although the decline - which was very rapid in the 1960s and 1970s - has slowed considerably since the 1980s. Unlike Western and Southern states, Pennsylvania maintains a complex system of municipalities and has very little legislation on either the annexation/expansion of cities or the consolidating of municipal entities.

Reversing fifty years of decline, 2007 Census Bureau estimates show that Harrisburg's population has actually grown. Between 2006 and 2007, Harrisburg gained 22 people.

Media

The Harrisburg area has two daily newspapers. The Patriot-News is published in Harrisburg and has a daily circulation of over 100,000. The Sentinel, which is published in Carlisle, roughly 20 miles west of Harrisburg, serves many of Harrisburg's western suburbs in Cumberland County. The Press and Journal, published in Middletown, is one of many weekly, general information newspapers in the Harrisburg area. There are also numerous television and radio stations in the Harrisburg/Lancaster/York area, which makes up the 41st largest media market in the nation.

Newspapers

Television

Radio

According to Arbitron, Harrisburg's radio market is ranked #79.

This is a list of FM stations in the greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania metropolitan area.

Callsign MHz Band "Name" Format, Owner City of license
WDCV 88.3 FM Indie/College Rock, Dickinson College Carlisle
WXPH 88.7 FM WXPN relay, University of Pennsylvania Harrisburg
WSYC 88.7 FM Alternative, Shippensburg University Shippensburg
WITF-FM 89.5 FM NPR Harrisburg
WVMM 90.7 FM Indie/College Rock, Messiah College Grantham
WJAZ 91.7 FM WRTI relay, Classical/Jazz, Temple University Harrisburg
WWKL 92.1 FM "Hot 92", Rhythmic/CHR Palmyra
WSJW 92.7 FM Smooth Jazz Starview
WTPA 93.5 FM Classic Rock Mechanicsburg
WRBT 94.9 FM "Bob" Country Harrisburg
WLAN 96.9 FM "FM 97" Top 40 Lancaster
WRVV 97.3 FM "The River" Classic Hits and the Best of Today's Rock Harrisburg
WYCR 98.5 FM 98.5 The Peak York
WQLV 98.9 FM "Love 99" Adult Contemporary Millersburg
WHKF 99.3 FM "Kiss-FM" CHR Harrisburg
WQIC 100.1 FM Adult Contemporary Lebanon
WROZ 101.3 FM "The Rose" Adult Contemporary Lancaster
WARM 103.3 FM "Warm 103" Adult Contemporary York
WNNK 104.1 FM "Wink 104" Hot AC Harrisburg
WQXA 105.7 FM "105.7 The X" Hard Rock York
WMHX 106.7 FM "Mix" Adult Hits Hershey
WGTY 107.7 FM "Great Country" York

This is a list of AM stations in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania metropolitan area:

Callsign kHz Band Format City of license
WHP (AM) 580 AM Conservative News/Talk Harrisburg
WWII (AM) 720 AM Contemporary Christian Shiremanstown
WSBA (AM) 910 AM News/Talk York
WADV 940 AM Gospel Lebanon
WHYL 960 AM Adult Standards Carlisle
WIOO 1000 AM Classic Country Carlisle
WKBO 1230 AM Christian Contemporary Harrisburg
WQXA 1250 AM Country York
WLBR 1270 AM Talk Lebanon
WTCY 1400 AM Adult R&B: The Touch Harrisburg
WTKT 1460 AM sports: "The Ticket" Harrisburg
WEEO (AM) 1480 AM Oldies Shippensburg
WLPA 1490 AM sports Lancaster
WWSM 1510 AM Classic Country Annville
WPDC 1600 AM Spanish Elizabethtown

Harrisburg in film

Several feature films and television series have been filmed or set in and around Harrisburg and the greater Susquehanna Valley.

Museums, art collections, and sites of interest

Parks and recreation

Notable residents

Since the early 1700s, Harrisburg has been home to many people of note. Because it is the seat of government for the Commonwealth and lies relatively close to other urban centers, Harrisburg has played a significant role in the nation's political, cultural and industrial history. Harrisburgers have also taken a leading role in the development of Pennsylvania's history for over two centuries. Two former U.S. Secretaries of War, Simon Cameron and Alexander Ramsey and several other prominent political figures, such as former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich, hail from Harrisburg. Many notable individuals are interred at Harrisburg Cemetery and East Harrisburg Cemetery.

Sports

Club League Venue Established Championships
Harrisburg Senators EL, Baseball Commerce Bank Park 1987 6
Harrisburg City Islanders USL, Soccer Skyline Sports Complex 2004 1
Harrisburg Stampede AIFA, Indoor football Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center 2009 0
Harrisburg Horizon EBA, Basketball Manny Weaver Gym 1998 5
Harrisburg Lunatics PIHA, Inline hockey Susquehanna Sports Center 2001 0

Architecture

Harrisburg is home to the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Completed in 1906, the central dome rises to a height of and was modeled on that of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Rome. The building was designed by Joseph M. Huston and is adorned with sculpture, most notably the two groups, Love and Labor, the Unbroken Law and The Burden of Life, the Broken Law by sculptor George Grey Barnard; murals by Violet Oakley and Edwin Austin Abbey; tile floor by Henry Mercer, which tells the story of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The state capitol is only the third-tallest building of Harrisburg. The five tallest buildings are 333 Market Street with a height of , Pennsylvania Place with a height of , the Pennsylvania State Capitol with a height of , Presbyterian Apartments with a height of and the Fulton Bank Building with a height of .

Government

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. City Government Center, the only city hall in the United States named for a civil rights leader, serves as a central location for the administrative functions of the city.

Harrisburg has been served since 1970 by the “strong mayor” form of municipal government, with separate executive and legislative branches. The Mayor serves a four-year term with no term limits. As the full-time chief executive, the Mayor oversees the operation of 34 agencies, run by department and office heads, some of whom comprise the Mayor’s cabinet, including the Departments of Public Safety (police and fire bureaus), Public Works, Business Administration, Parks and Recreation, Incineration and Steam Generation, Building & Housing Development and Solicitor. The city has 721 employees (2003). The current mayor of Harrisburg is Stephen R. Reed (D), whose current term expires January 2010.

There are seven city council members, all elected at large, who serve part-time for four-year terms. There are two other elected city posts, City Treasurer and City Controller, who separately head their own fiscally related offices.

Dauphin County Government Complex, in downtown Harrisburg, serves the administrative functions of the county. The trial court of general jurisdiction for Harrisburg rests with the Court of Dauphin County and is largely funded and operated by county resources and employees.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex, dominates the city's stature as a regional and national hub for government and politics. All administrative functions of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are located within the complex and at various nearby locations.

Commonwealth Judicial Center, houses Pennsylvania's three appellate courts, which are located in Harrisburg. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, which is the court of last resort in the state, regularly hears arguments at . The Superior Court of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania are located here. Judges for these courts are elected at large.

Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse, located in downtown Harrisburg, serves as the regional administrative offices of the federal government. A branch of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania is also located within the courthouse.

Property Tax Reform

Harrisburg is also known world wide for its use of land value taxation. Harrisburg has taxed land at a rate six times that on improvements since 1975, and this policy has been credited by its long time mayor, Stephen R. Reed, as well as by the city's former city manager during the 1980s with reducing the number of vacant structures in downtown Harrisburg from about 4,200 in 1982 to less than 500.

Transportation

Airports

Domestic and International airlines provide services via Harrisburg International Airport (MDT), which is located southeast of the city in Middletown. HIA is the third-busiest commercial airport in Pennsylvania, both in terms of passengers served and cargo shipments. Passenger carriers that serve HIA include US Airways, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, and Air Canada. Capital City Airport (CXY), a moderate-sized business class and general aviation airport, is located across the Susquehanna River in the nearby suburb of New Cumberland, south of Harrisburg. Both airports are owned and operated by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA), which also manages the Franklin County Regional Airport in Chambersburg and Gettysburg Regional Airport in Gettysburg.

Mass transit

Harrisburg is served by Capital Area Transit (CAT) which provides public bus, paratransit, and commuter rail service throughout the greater metropolitan area. Construction of a commuter rail line called CorridorOne will eventually link the city with nearby Lancaster in 2008.

Long-term plans for the region call for the commuter rail line to continue westward to Cumberland County, ending at Carlisle. In early 2005, the project hit a roadblock when the Cumberland County Commissioners opposed the plan to extend commuter rail to the West Shore. Due to lack of support from the county commissioners, the Cumberland County portion, and the two new stations in Harrisburg have been removed from the project. In the future, with support from Cumberland County, CorridorOne may extend to both shores of the Susquehanna River, where the majority of the commuting base for Harrisburg resides.

In 2006, a second phase of the rail project (named CorridorTwo) was announced to the general public. It will link downtown Harrisburg with its eastern suburbs in Dauphin and Lebanon counties (including Hummelstown, Hershey and Lebanon), and the city of York in York County. Future passenger rail corridors also include Route 15 from the Harrisburg area towards Gettysburg, as well as the Susquehanna River communities north of Harrisburg, and the Northern Susquehanna Valley region.

Intercity bus service

The lower level of the Harrisburg Transportation Center serves as the city's intercity bus terminal. Daily bus services are provided by Greyhound, Capitol Trailways, Fullington Trailways, and Susquehanna Trailways. They connect Harrisburg to other Pennsylvania cities such as Allentown, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, Scranton, State College, Williamsport, and York and nearby, out-of-state cities such as Baltimore, Binghamton, New York, Syracuse, and Washington, D.C., plus many other destinations via transfers.

Regional scheduled line bus service

The public transit provider in York County, Rabbit Transit, operates its RabbitEXPRESS bus service on weekdays between the city of York and both downtown Harrisburg and the main campus for Harrisburg Area Community College. The commuter-oriented service is designed to serve York County residents who work in Harrisburg, though reverse commutes are possible under the current schedule. Buses running this route make limited stops in the city of York and at two park and rides along Interstate 83 between York and Harrisburg before making various stops in Pennsylvania's capital city. As of May 2007, the RabbitEXPRESS operates three times in the morning and three times in the afternoon.

A charter/tour bus operator, R & J Transportation, also provides weekday, scheduled route commuter service for people working in downtown Harrisburg. R & J, which is based in Schuylkill County, operates two lines, one between Frackville and downtown Harrisburg and the other between Minersville, Pine Grove, and downtown Harrisburg.

Rail

The Pennsylvania Railroad's main line from New York to Chicago passed through Harrisburg. The line was electrified in the 1930s, with the wires reaching Harrisburg in 1938. They went no further. Plans to electrify through to Pittsburgh and thence to Chicago never saw fruition; sufficient funding was never available. Thus, Harrisburg became where the PRR's crack expresses such as the Broadway Limited changed from electric traction to (originally) a steam locomotive, and later a diesel locomotive. Harrisburg remained a freight rail hub for PRR's successor Conrail, which was later sold off and divided between Norfolk Southern and CSX.

Freight Rail

Norfolk Southern acquired all of Conrail's lines in the Harrisburg area and has continued the city's function as a freight rail hub. Norfolk Southern considers Harrisburg one of the 3 primary hubs in its system, along with Chicago and Atlanta, and operates 2 intermodal (rail/truck transfer) yards in the immediate Harrisburg area. The Harrisburg Intermodal Yard (formerly called Lucknow Yard) is located in the north end of Harrisburg, approximately 3 miles north of downtown Harrisburg and the Harrisburg Transportation Center, while the Rutherford Intermodal Yard is located approximately 6 miles east of downtown Harrisburg in Swatara Township, Dauphin County. Norfolk Southern also operates a significant classification yard in the Harrisburg area, the Enola Yard, which is located across the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County.

Intercity Passenger Rail

Amtrak provides service to and from Harrisburg. The passenger rail operator runs its Keystone and Pennsylvanian services between New York, Philadelphia, and the Harrisburg Transportation Center daily. The Pennsylvanian route, which operates once daily, continues west to Pittsburgh. As of April 2007, Amtrak operates 14 weekday roundtrips and 8 weekend roundtrips daily between Harrisburg, Lancaster, and Philadelphia 30th Street Station; most of these trains also travel to and from New York Penn Station. The Keystone Corridor between Harrisburg and Philadelphia was improved in the mid-2000s, with the primary improvements completed in late 2006. The improvements included upgrading the electrical catenary, installing continuously welded rail, and replacing existing wooden railroad ties with concrete ties. These improvements increased train speeds to 110 mph along the corridor and reduced the travel time between Harrisburg and Philadelphia to as little as 95 minutes. It also eliminated the need to change locomotives at 30th Street Station (from diesel to electric and vice-versa) for trains continuing to or coming from New York. As of Federal Fiscal Year 2006, the Harrisburg Transportation Center was the 2nd busiest Amtrak station in Pennsylvania and 24th busiest in the United States.

Bridges

Harrisburg is the location of over a dozen large bridges, many up to a mile long, that cross the Susquehanna River. Several other important structures span the Paxton Creek watershed and Cameron Street, linking Center City with neighborhoods in East Harrisburg. These include the State Street Bridge, also known as the Soldiers and Sailor's Memorial Bridge, and the Mulberry Street Bridge.

Education

Public schools

The City of Harrisburg is served by the Harrisburg School District. The school district provides education for the city’s youth beginning with all-day kindergarten through twelfth grade. A multi-year restructuring plan is aimed at making the district a model for urban public schools. The district has been troubled for years with management fiascos and poor test scores. In the summer of 2007, more than 2,000 city students were enrolled in educational programs offered by the Harrisburg School District as remediation.

The city also maintains one public charter school, the Sylvan Heights Science Charter School In addition, Harrisburg is home to an arts-focused magnet school, the Capital Area School for the Arts. In 2003, SciTech High, a regional math and science magnet school affiliated with Harrisburg University, opened its doors to students. A growing number of virtual public charter schools provide residents with many alternative to the bricks and morter public school system.

The Central Dauphin School District, the largest public school district in the metropolitan area and the 13th largest in Pennsylvania, uses several Harrisburg postal addresses for many of the districts schools.

Private schools

Harrisburg is home to an extensive Catholic educational system. There are nearly 40 parish-driven elementary schools and seven Catholic high schools within the region administered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, including Bishop McDevitt High School. Numerous other private schools, such as the The Londonderry School and The Circle School, which is a Sudbury Model school, also operate in Harrisburg. Harrisburg Academy, founded in 1784 is one of the oldest independent college preparatory schools in the nation. The Rabbi David L. Silver Yeshiva Academy, founded in 1944, is a progressive, modern Jewish day school. Also, Harrisburg is home to Harrisburg Christian School, founded in 1955

Higher education

In Harrisburg

Near Harrisburg

Libraries

Miscellanea

"…We emerged upon the streets of Harrisburg, whose feeble lights, reflected dismally from the wet ground, did not shine out upon a very cheerful city."

  • Player Piano (novel) by Kurt Vonnegut features Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and mentions its airport. Chapter 24, with the Shah is dedicated to the city.
  • Conrad Richter, a native of Pine Grove, used the Harrisburg area as a setting for part of his novel The Light in the Forest in 1953.
  • James Boyd, a resident of Front Street, wrote a novel about the city in 1935, Roll River.
  • John O'Hara, a native of Pottsville, lived in Harrisburg briefly to write his novel about the city, A Rage to Live, published in 1949. Harrisburg disguised as Fort Penn, appears also in other O'Hara novels.
  • Harrisburg, Texas was founded in 1825 on the eastern shore of the Buffalo Bayou in present-day Harris County, on land belonging to John Richardson Harris. Harris named the town both after himself and after Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which had been named for his grandfather. In 1926, Harrisburg, Texas was annexed into the city of Houston.
  • USS Harrisburg, named for the city, was a United States Navy ship serving from 1918-1919 at the end of the First World War. She was decommissioned in September 1919 and later scrapped at Genoa, Italy, in 1923.
  • The American Soap Opera One Life to Live utilized pictures of the Harrisburg skyline and other attractions in its opening titles from 1984-1991.
  • American singer-songwriter Josh Ritter wrote a song called "Harrisburg" which references the city.
  • Political rock band Midnight Oil also performed a song called Harrisburg.
  • Jack Kerouac in On the Road wrote disparagingly of Harrisburg.

See also

References

External links

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