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MARKER DATABASE
“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)
 

Italian Lake

 
 
Italian Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
1. Italian Lake Marker
Inscription. As early as 1903, reference was made to a strip of ground at the "head of Second Street" above Division Street which would become part of the comprehensive parks improvement plan advanced by landscape architect Warren Manning of Boston at the start of Harrisburg's City Beautiful Movement. Known even then as Italian Park, the land was a wooded wetland fed by springs and was a popular place for outings as were other sylvan areas just outside the city limits prior to the establishment of the city's park system. The "Italian" reference can best be attributed to Harrisburg hosteler Patricio Russ (1852-1925) who, in addition to operating several downtown Harrisburg hotels, had established a traveling lodge on N. Front Street known as the "Italian" Hotel, a name that became associated with the surrounding area. Although the future park was set forth in Manning's original concept, it would not be until the 1925 construction of the new William Penn High School that public improvements, supporting the quality of the overall development of the Uptown and Riverside neighborhoods, began to fall into place. That year, formal plans were advanced to create two lakes from the old watering hole and to use fill from the high school's excavation for grading and landscaping the new park. Between 1925 and 1939, the park and its formal gardens would slowly
Italian Lake Park image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
2. Italian Lake Park
emerge to become an exquisite place of beauty. Distinguished by the landmark Japanese Bridge, and the elegant Dance of the Eternal Spring sculpture, which dates to 1909 and was placed in the southern lake's center in 1971, the park was even further enhanced by the 1990' under the Mayor's Citywide Parks Improvement Program, through the installation of period lighting fixtures, expanded gardens and walkways, and lake shoreline improvement.
Top Photo
1926 view looking north near Division Street showing commencement of grading work and original lake wetlands.
Bottom Photo
1931 aerial view looking north toward the partially-developed Riverside neighborhood with Italian Lake Park and Will Penn High School at right.

 
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° 17.484′ N, 76° 54.071′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is at the intersection of Division Street and Third Street, on the left when traveling east on Division Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17102, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other
Italian Lake Sign image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
3. Italian Lake Sign
markers are within walking distance of this marker. Zembo Shrine Temple ( within shouting distance of this marker); Old Harrisburg Academy/Dixon University Center ( approx. 0.3 miles away); Harrisburg ( approx. 0.7 miles away); Camp Curtin ( approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Camp Curtin ( approx. 0.8 miles away); The Ladies Of Harrisburg During The Civil War ( approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Camp Curtin ( approx. 0.9 miles away); Governor's Residence ( approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
 
Categories. 20th CenturyBridges & ViaductsEntertainmentLandmarksMan-Made Features
 
Italian Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, August 18, 2008
4. Italian Lake Marker
Italian Lake and park as seen from the south entrance.
Italian Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, August 18, 2008
5. Italian Lake Marker
The "Chinese Bridge" spans the spot where the north and south lakes meet.
Italian Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, August 18, 2008
6. Italian Lake Marker
North end of lake seen from "Chinese Bridge."
Italian Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson, August 18, 2008
7. Italian Lake Marker
Statue of nymphs moved to the lake from the former rose garden at Polyclinic Hospital.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 22, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,920 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 22, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 2, 2009, by John K. Robinson of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
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