Pennsylvania’s capitals have been located in
- The state legislature passed an act in that made
Harrisburg the state capital.
May 31, 1819
- Construction of a new capitol building began.
January 2, 1822
- Construction finished at a cost of about $135,000.
February 2, 1897
- That building burned down. An investigation failed
to establish the cause of the blaze, although evidence indicated it was
caused by a faulty fireplace.
met for several years at the Grace United Methodist Church while
construction on a new building, designed by architect Henry Ives Cobb, was
undertaken at a cost of $550,000.
- The legislature decided to remedy its
embarrassment over an undistinguished Capitol and a new Capitol, designed by
Philadelphia architect Joseph M. Huston, incorporated the walls of the 1898
plan and building.
May 5, 1904
- The cornerstone of the new Capitol was laid.
- The new Capitol was
completed. Built and furnished at a cost of $12 million, the five-story
building was designed in the classic renaissance style. It is 520 feet long
and 254 feet wide and covers two acres of ground.
October 4, 1906
- President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated the new
Capitol and declared it to be “the most beautiful state Capitol in the
Each of the
grand bronze doors at the grand entrance weighs one ton, but is designed to
open and close silently with the touch of a finger.
Construction of the
doors took 14 months. Each portion of the door signifies a part of
“Commonwealth,” by sculptor
Roland Hinton Perry, is a female figure representing Pennsylvania. Placed at
the top of the Capitol dome on May 25, 1905, the gilded bronze statue stands
17 feet, 8 inches tall.
building are beautiful examples of paintings, tilework, sculpture, stained
glass and murals by some of the best artisans of the day. Many of these
artistic treasures can be viewed during public tours.
The work of
the House of Representatives, Senate, governor and state Supreme Court takes
place within the walls of the Capitol building. Sessions are open and the
work of the legislature can be viewed from public balconies.
buildings in the Capitol Complex include:
Free guided tours
are offered every half hour from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday through Friday and on weekends and most holidays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m.,
1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
information about tours, check with the tour guides at the information desks
in the Capitol (Main and East Wing entrances) or call the Tour Guide Office
at (800-868-7672) or locally at 717-787-6810.
717-787-6810 to make advance arrangements for tours of more than 10
Get a free
"Welcome to Pennsylvania's Capitol" coloring book and brochures about
Pennsylvania and its Capitol by calling or writing to the office of their
Legislative District Representative.