Situated across this street is the home of William Maclay (1737-1804); statesman, surveyor, lawyer, the Country's first U.S. Senator and son-in-law of John Harris Jr., the founder of Harrisburg. It was Maclay and Harris who laid out the plan of Harrisburg in 1785 with the northern boundary, ironically, at South street. North of this point was located Maclay's farm and land known as Maclaysburg situated between the River and the hill where the Old Capitol would be constructed in 1822. Maclay's distinction of being the first U.S. Senator came after the Articles of Confederation provided for the organization of the new Federal government when the ninth state ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788. Pennsylvania became the first state to elect its Senators through the State Legislature with Maclay being the first and Robert Morris, the second. Erected in 1792, Maclay's dwelling originally had the appearance of a simple stone farmhouse with high foundation and elevated first floor. In 1908, the home was purchased by William E. Bailey, a descendant of an early Harrisburg iron and steel industrialist family, who enlisted the expertise of City architect Miller Kast to transform the house into a Georgian Revival masterpiece. At that time, additions were made to the north, where a building housing the Harrisburg Academy once stood, and to the east. The mansion is now beautifully preserved by the Pennsylvania Bar Association, its current owner and occupant.
1900 view of the William Maclay Mansion (right) and the Harrisburg Academy (left).
1900 close-up view of the William Maclay mansion before alterations and additions.