Strawberry Square Phase I

Strawberry Square Phase I (HM42L)

Location: Harrisburg, PA 17101 Dauphin County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 15.701', W 76° 52.935'

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Phase I of Strawberry Square represents the birth of downtown Harrisburg's revitalization and renewal activity that commenced in the mid 1970's and was pursued with fervor in the 1980's and since. The demolition of the renowned Penn-Harris Hotel at N. Third and Walnut Streets in 1973 came to symbolize Harrisburg's worsening economic condition and depressed state of affairs. The Hotel was an elegant 400-room facility that hosted major national and international figures and celebrities. The building's demise coincidentally occurred at the time the Harristown Urban Renewal Plan was being advanced by civic and political leaders to reverse the city's decline. What resulted was the identification of the block between N. Third and N. Fourth Streets facing Walnut Street, and most importantly Capitol Park, as the strategically located "Key Block" where the built-in buying power of employees of the State Capitol Complex would be captured to launch retail and cultural renewal. In addition, the construction of two office towers, one to be leased by the Commonwealth and the other, originally by Bell of Pennsylvania, would add even more employees to the complex and downtown in general. This block had always been a premier location lying between the Market Street corridor and the Capitol. In addition to the Penn-Harris, the Harrisburg YWCA, built in 1913, anchored the block's opposite corner at N. Fourth and Walnut Streets. The clear benefit to the redevelopment of center city by packaging the entire block for the new complex, completed in 1978, acted as a forerunner to stimulating additional revitalization projects which have enabled downtown to evolve into the retail, hotel, entertainment and cultural center that it is today.
Top Photo
Circa 1920 view of the 300 Block of Walnut Street facing Capitol Park where Strawberry Square Phase I stands today.
Center Left Photo
Penn-Harris Hotel circa 1948 at the southeast corner of N. Third and Walnut Streets.
Center Right Photo
19th Century buildings at the southwest corner of N. Fourth and Walnut Streets circa 1900.
Bottom Photo
Harrisburg YWCA shortly after completion in 1913 at the southwest corner of N. Fourth and Walnut Streets.
HM NumberHM42L
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 Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 6:25am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 339941 N 4458501
Decimal Degrees40.26168333, -76.88225000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 15.701', W 76° 52.935'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 15' 42.06" N, 76° 52' 56.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)717
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101-139 N 3rd St, Harrisburg PA 17101, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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