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“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)
 

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge

 
 
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 30, 2008
1. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge Marker
Inscription. The master plan for the development of the Pennsylvania Capitol Complex was expanded at the close of World War I to include the erection of a colossal bridge which would memorialize those who fought in that War. Such a bridge would punctuate the formal symmetry of the main Capitol building and the four flanking neoclassically-styled office buildings that would evolve by the close of the 1930's. Prior to that time, State Street on Allison Hill descended sharply into the City's industrial corridor, then onto an iron bridge spanning Paxton Creek and the railroad tracks, and terminated at the old Eighth Ward neighborhood behind the gracious new Capitol that was completed in 1906. Recognizing that such an approach would in no way complement the master plan for the new district of buildings, the Commonwealth retained nationally acclaimed architect Arnold Brunner of New York City, who had already developed the Capitol Complex master plan, to conceptualize the new bridge. Although Brunner produced the basic design, he died in 1925 leaving the final detail work to New York architects William Gehron and Sidney F. Ross who reconfigured and heightened the structure's principal icon elements, the 145-foot high monumental pylons at its western end. Dedicated on August 22, 1930, and built of reinforced concrete faced with heavily rusticated Indiana
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 30, 2008
2. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge
Looking West toward the State Capitol.
limestone over a granite base, the bridge's grand arches were highlighted with decorative elements depicting World War I military hardware. After completion, the bridge's memorial was expanded to honor the soldiers and sailors of all American wars.
Top Photo
1929 view looking west toward the evolving Capitol Complex showing the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge under construction.
Middle Photo
View from the original State Street Bridge in 1903 into the old Eighth Ward behind the present Capitol Building depicted here under construction.
Bottom Photo
Circa 1935 postcard view of the completed Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge and majestic pylons.

 
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° 16.101′ N, 76° 52.431′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is on State Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at the East end of the bridge on the right side going East. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17103, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this
The North pylon at the West end of the bridge. image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 30, 2008
3. The North pylon at the West end of the bridge.
marker. Harrisburg Cemetery (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sylvan Heights Mansion (approx. 0.3 miles away); Old Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Station (approx. 0.3 miles away); Harris Switch Tower (approx. 0.4 miles away); Pennsylvania Canal (approx. 0.4 miles away); U.S. Colored Troops Grand Review (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Harrisburg Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Mount Pleasant Press - The J. Horace McFarland Company (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
 
Also see . . .  Historic American Buildings Survey Record for the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge. (Submitted on January 17, 2015.)
 
Categories. 20th CenturyBridges & ViaductsGovernmentMan-Made FeaturesNotable Persons
 
<i>3/4 VIEW FROM SOUTHWEST. - Soldiers' & Sailors' Memorial Bridge…</i> image. Click for full size.
By Joseph Elliot, 1997
4. 3/4 VIEW FROM SOUTHWEST. - Soldiers' & Sailors' Memorial Bridge…
Photo courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey. Statement of significance: The bridge is an excellent example of a monumental bridge. Its militaristic decorative elements indicate its purpose as a memorial to all Pennsylvanians who have served in the armed forces. The carved keystones of each arch depict weapons and machinery of WWI and two massive pylons topped with war eagles mark the entrance to the bridge from the park surrounding the Pennsylvania State Capitol. This imposing span contributes to the imperial quality of the seat of state government. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 1, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,613 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 1, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   4. submitted on January 17, 2015.
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