Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Johnston Building & Menaker Building
1906 was a banner year in Harrisburg for the construction of major buildings. The new State Capitol Building was completed that year and two "book-end" office structures were developed on Market Square. One was the eight-story Union Trust Building at N. Second and Strawberry Streets, dubbed as Harrisburg's first skyscraper. The other, first known as the Johnston Building, is located here at S. Second and Blackberry Streets. Originally only four stories in height, the Johnston Building was built for the Johnston Paper Company, Harrisburg's first paper bag business founded by Robert A. Johnston in the 1880's. Johnston initially formed a partnership with Harrisburg businessman William Mayne Donaldson in the wholesale paper and printing supply business at Second and Locust Streets. In 1906 they went their separate ways with Donaldson forming the Donaldson Paper Company, remaining at Second and Locust, and Johnston moving to his new facility on Market Square. In 1912, two floors were added to the Italianate-styled building giving it a more urban presence. In 1924, Beckley College, forerunner to today's Thompson Institute, established its administrative offices in the building's upper stories. By the late 1970's, the building was a candidate for one of Harrisburg's earlier revitalization projects. It was thoroughly restored including the removal
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
1. The Johnston Building & Menaker Building Marker
of insensitive signage and alterations which had obscured the building's first floor rusticated piers and window fenestration. When completed in 1977, the structure was renamed for Mortimer Menaker, Chairman of the Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority at that time. The building is a fitting anchor to the south side of Market Square and captures the architectural flavor of Harrisburg's early 20th Century office development.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
2. The Johnston Building
Now the Menaker Building.
1909 postcard view of Johnston Building when only four stories tall.
1925 sketch of heightened Johnston Building from a Beckley College advertisement.
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° 15.561′ N, 76° 52.882′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is on 2nd Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Between Blackberry and Market. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17101, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Market Square Presbyterian Church (a few steps from this marker); The Jones House (a few steps from this marker); Abraham Lincoln (within shouting distance of this marker); Hilton Harrisburg and Towers (within shouting distance of this marker); The Claster Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Market Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Prelude To Gettysburg (within shouting distance of this marker); Harrisburg (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
Categories. • 20th Century • Industry & Commerce • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 24, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,320 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 24, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.