The Obelisk

The Obelisk (HM423)

Location: Harrisburg, PA 17101 Dauphin County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 15.79', W 76° 53.19'

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The soldiers and sailors of Harrisburg and Dauphin County who gave their lives during the Civil War were commemorated with the 1866 start-up of construction of the Obelisk in the center of the downtown intersection of N. Second and State Streets. Potentially inspired by the Capitol Mall setting of the Washington Monument, under construction at the same time in the District of Columbia, the Obelisk was positioned midway and symmetrically between the Old State Capitol Building and the Susquehanna River. Both the Obelisk and the Washington Monument shared funding shortfalls with resulting delays in project construction. At the time of its completion in 1875 through a renewed capital campaign effort led by Colonel Henry McCormick, State Street was a wide expanse of dirt later to be improved with a central landscaped mall of grass and flowers. The Obelisk thus became State Street's photogenic centerpiece icon. By the late 1950's, however, increased traffic congestion rendered the Obelisk a hazard, which lead to an aggressive plan to move it to an alternate location. A. site at the corner of N. Third and Division Streets was selected, and in 1959-60, the Susquehanna granite stones of the Obelisk were dismantled and reassembled piece-by-piece, giving the monument a new focal point of beauty and commemoration.
Left Photo
Postcard view of The Obelisk in 1900.
Center Photo
Base of The Obelisk at left looking toward the present Capitol Building in 1910.
Right Photo
The Obelisk being disassembled in 1959.
HM NumberHM423
Series This marker is part of the Pennsylvania: The Harrisburg History Project series
Placed ByThe Harrisburg History Project Commissioned by Mayor Stephen R. Reed
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 2:33pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 339583 N 4458673
Decimal Degrees40.26316667, -76.88650000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 15.79', W 76° 53.19'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 15' 47.40" N, 76° 53' 11.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)717
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 203 State St, Harrisburg PA 17101, US
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