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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)
 

The Obelisk

 
 
The Obelisk Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
1. The Obelisk Marker
Inscription. The soldiers and sailors of Harrisburg and Dauphin County who gave their lives during the Civil War were commemorated with the 1866 start-up of construction of the Obelisk in the center of the downtown intersection of N. Second and State Streets. Potentially inspired by the Capitol Mall setting of the Washington Monument, under construction at the same time in the District of Columbia, the Obelisk was positioned midway and symmetrically between the Old State Capitol Building and the Susquehanna River. Both the Obelisk and the Washington Monument shared funding shortfalls with resulting delays in project construction. At the time of its completion in 1875 through a renewed capital campaign effort led by Colonel Henry McCormick, State Street was a wide expanse of dirt later to be improved with a central landscaped mall of grass and flowers. The Obelisk thus became State Street's photogenic centerpiece icon. By the late 1950's, however, increased traffic congestion rendered the Obelisk a hazard, which lead to an aggressive plan to move it to an alternate location. A. site at the corner of N. Third and Division Streets was selected, and in 1959-60, the Susquehanna granite stones of the Obelisk were dismantled and reassembled piece-by-piece, giving the monument a new focal point of beauty and commemoration.
Left Photo
Postcard
Intersection of State and Second image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
2. Intersection of State and Second
This is where The Obelisk once stood.
view of The Obelisk in 1900.
Center Photo
Base of The Obelisk at left looking toward the present Capitol Building in 1910.
Right Photo
The Obelisk being disassembled in 1959.

 
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° 15.79′ N, 76° 53.19′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is at the intersection of State Street and Second Street, on the right when traveling east on State Street. Touch for map. 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. Saint Patrick's Cathedral (within shouting distance of this marker); Grace Methodist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Grace United Methodist Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Michaelís Lutheran Church (about 500 feet away); Parish Church of St. Lawrence (Former) (about 500 feet away); Hope Fire Station
The Obelisk image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 30, 2008
3. The Obelisk
Now located across from the Zembo Shrine Temple.
(about 500 feet away); Public Sector Unionism (about 500 feet away); Present State Capitol Building (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesMilitaryNotable EventsWar, US Civil
 
The Obelisk image. Click for full size.
By John K. Robinson
4. The Obelisk
This is the obelisk as it appeared in an early 20th century post card of State Street, taken from the west (river) side, looking east toward the Capitol.
 
 
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 1,557 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 29, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   3. submitted on March 30, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   4. submitted on July 21, 2009, by John K. Robinson of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
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