“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)

State Arsenal

State Arsenal Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Pfingsten, March 30, 2008
1. State Arsenal Marker
Inscription.  As early as the days of John Harris in the mid-18th Century, Harrisburg has well provided for the storage and distribution of military munitions and supplies. Even prior to the completion of the first state capitol building in 1822, an arsenal was erected in 1817 on Capitol hill just south of where the original brick statehouse would rise. This building served through the end of the Civil War and was particularly important when General Robert E. Lee threatened an invasion of Harrisburg in the summer of 1863. By 1874, the need for a larger facility, removed from the business of the Capitol and on higher and more open land, was satisfied through the construction of the Pennsylvania State Arsenal at this site. The building's central tower, designed in a vibrant castellated and Chateauesque style, is original to the 1874 structure, although its mansard roof was removed some time ago. The two story main portion of the building, flanking the tower, was removed in 1914 and replaced with the present three-story building highlighted with crenellated parapets giving a fortress appearance. The iron fence, which encloses the property, originally bordered
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the old Capitol and Capitol Park and was moved to its present location after the old Capitol burned in 1897. The building remains operational today as the public works/construction center of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.
Top Photo
Late 19th Century view of Arsenal revealing original two-story structure.
Bottom Photo
Circa 1910 postcard view of original structure including mansard roof on central tower.

Erected by The Harrisburg History Project Commissioned by Mayor Stephen R. Reed.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: MilitaryNotable BuildingsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania, The Harrisburg History Project series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1822.
Location. 40° 16.575′ N, 76° 52.016′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is at the intersection of Herr Street and N. 18th Street, on the left when traveling east on Herr Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Harrisburg (approx. 0.4 miles away); Reservoir Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Harrisburg Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Mansion at Reservoir Park (approx. half a mile
Pennsylvania State Arsenal image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Pfingsten, March 30, 2008
2. Pennsylvania State Arsenal
away); In Honor of the Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in the Harrisburg Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Harrisburg Cemetery (approx. half a mile away); Moment of Mercy (approx. 0.7 miles away); Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
<i>Harrisburg, Pa., Arsenal.</i> image. Click for full size.
Postcard by the Hugh C. Leighton, Co., Manufacturers, circa 1907
3. Harrisburg, Pa., Arsenal.
This postcard view, postmarked in 1907, is identical to the one provided on the marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 2, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,073 times since then and 105 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 2, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   3. submitted on January 17, 2015.

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Jun. 3, 2023