“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Strawberry Square Phase I

Strawberry Square Phase I Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
1. Strawberry Square Phase I Marker
Inscription.  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
Strawberry Square image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
2. Strawberry Square
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.

Erected by The Harrisburg History Project Commissioned by Mayor Stephen R. Reed.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania, The Harrisburg History Project marker series.
Location. 40° 
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15.701′ N, 76° 52.935′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is at the intersection of Third Street and Walnut Street, on the left when traveling north on Third Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Grand Opera House (here, next to this marker); Federal Square (a few steps from this marker); Capitol Park (a few steps from this marker); John Harris' Gift (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Dauphin County Prison (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Dauphin County Courthouses (about 300 feet away); Mexican War Monument (about 400 feet away); 104th Cavalry (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
Categories. 20th CenturyIndustry & CommerceNotable Buildings

More. Search the internet for Strawberry Square Phase I.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 29, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,445 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 29, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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