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Harrisburg is the capital of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvaniamarker, in the United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 48,950, making it the ninth largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphiamarker, Pittsburghmarker, Allentownmarker, Eriemarker, Readingmarker, Scrantonmarker, Bethlehemmarker and Lancastermarker.

Harrisburg is the county seat of Dauphin Countymarker and lies on the east bank of the Susquehanna River, 105 miles (169 km) west-northwest of Philadelphia. The Harrisburg-Carlislemarker Metropolitan Statistical Areamarker, which includes Dauphin, Cumberlandmarker, and Perrymarker counties, had a population of 509,074 in 2000. A July 1, 2007 estimate placed the population at 528,892, making it the fifth largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in Pennsylvania after Philadelphiamarker, Pittsburghmarker, Allentownmarker-Bethlehemmarker-Eastonmarker (the Lehigh Valley), and Scrantonmarker-Wilkes Barremarker. The Harrisburg-Carlisle-Lebanonmarker Combined Statistical Area, including both the Harrisburg-Carlisle and Lebanon Metropolitan Statistical Areas, had an estimated population of 656,781 in 2007.

Harrisburg played a notable role in American history during the Westward Migration, the American Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution. During part of the 19th century, the building of the Pennsylvania Canalmarker and later the Pennsylvania Railroad allowed Harrisburg to become one of the most industrialized cities in the Northeastern United States. The U.S. Navy ship USS Harrisburg, which served from 1918 to 1919 at the end of World War I, was named in honor of the city.

Contrasted with its 1981 status as the second most distressed city in the nation, Harrisburg has undergone a dramatic economic change, with nearly $3 billion in new investment now realized.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest indoor agriculture exposition in the United States, was first held in Harrisburg in 1917 and has been held there every January since then. Harrisburg also hosts the annual "Auto Show," a large static display of new as well as classic cars, which is renowned nation-wide. Harrisburg is also known for the infamous Three Mile Island accidentmarker, which occurred in nearby Middletownmarker.


Harrisburg's site along the Susquehanna River is thought to have been inhabited by Native Americans as early as 3000 BC. Known to the Native Americans as "Peixtin," or "Paxtangmarker," the area was an important resting place and crossroads for Native American traders, as the trails leading from the Delaware to the Ohio rivers, and from the Potomac to the Upper Susquehanna intersected there. The first European contact with Native Americans in Pennsylvania was made by the Englishman, Captain John Smith, who journeyed from Virginiamarker up the Susquehanna River in 1608 and visited with the Susquehanna tribe. In 1719, John Harris, Sr., an English trader, settled here and 14 years later secured grants of 800 acres (3.2 km2) in this vicinity. In 1785, John Harris, Jr. made plans to lay out a town on his father's land, which he named Harrisburg. In the spring of 1785, the town was formally surveyed by William Maclay, who was a son-in-law of John Harris, Sr. In 1791, Harrisburg became incorporated and was named the Pennsylvania state capital in October 1812,and has been since.

During the first part of the 19th century, Harrisburg was a notable stopping place along the Underground Railroad, as escaped slaves would be transported across the Susquehanna River and were often fed and given supplies before heading north towards Canada. The assembling here of the Harrisburg Convention in 1827 led to the passage of the high protective-tariff bill of 1828. In 1839, Harrison and Tyler were nominated for President of the United States at Harrisburg. By the 1830s Harrisburg was part of the Pennsylvania canalmarker system and an important railroad center as well. Steel and iron became dominant industries. Steel and other industries continued to play a major role in the local economy throughout the latter part of the nineteenth century. The city was the center of enormous railroad traffic and supported large furnaces, rolling mills, and machine shops. The Pennsylvania Steel Company plant, which opened in nearby Steeltonmarker in 1866, was the first in the country; later operated by Bethlehem Steel.

During the American Civil War, Harrisburg was a significant training center for the Union Army, with tens of thousands of troops passing through Camp Curtin. It was also a major rail center for the Union and a vital link between the Atlantic coast and the Midwest, with several railroads running through the city and spanning the Susquehanna River. As a result of this importance, it was a target of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia during its two invasions. The first time during the 1862 Maryland Campaign, when Lee planned to capture the city after taking Harpers Ferrymarker, West Virginiamarker, but was prevented from doing so by the Battle of Antietammarker and his subsequent retreat back into Virginia. The second attempt was made during the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863 and was more substantial. A short skirmish took place in June 1863 at Sporting Hillmarker, just 2 miles west of Harrisburg. This is considered by many to be the northern-most battle of the Civil War.

In the early 20th century, several Harrisburg residents became involved in the City Beautiful movement. Mira Lloyd Dock and Horace McFarland advocated urban improvements which were influenced by European urban planning design and the Columbia Exposition. Specifically, their efforts greatly enlarged the Harrisburg park system, creating Riverfront Park, Reservoir Park, the Italian Lake and Wildwood Park. In addition, schemes were undertaken for the burial of electric wires, the creation of a modern sanitary sewer system, and the beautification of an expanded Capitol complex.

Many important events have helped to shape Harrisburg over the years. The Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest indoor agriculture exposition in the United States, was first held in 1917 and has been held every January since then. The present location of the Show is the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Arena, located at the corner of Maclay and Cameron streets. In June 1972, Harrisburg was hit by a major flood from the remnants of hurricane Agnes. On March 28, 1979, the Three Mile Islandmarker nuclear plant, along the Susquehanna River located south of Harrisburg, suffered a partial meltdown. Although the meltdown was contained and radiation leakages were minimal, there were still worries that an evacuation would be necessary. Governor Richard Thornburgh did recommend an evacuation of pregnant women and preschool children who lived within a five-mile radius of Three Mile Island. Although there were about 5,000 people covered by this recommendation, over 140,000 people fled the area.

After Harrisburg suffered years of being in bad shape economically, Stephen R. Reed was elected mayor in 1981 and has been re-elected ever since, making him the city's longest serving mayor. He immediately started projects which would attract both businesses and tourists. Several museums and hotels such as Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, the National Civil War Museummarker and the Hilton Harrisburg and Towers were built during his term, along with many office buildings and residences. Several semi-professional sports franchises, including the Harrisburg Senators of the Eastern League, the defunct Harrisburg Heat indoor soccer club and the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL Second Division began operations in the city during his tenure as mayor. While praised for the vast number of economic improvements, Reed has also been criticized for population loss and mounting debt. For example, during a budget crisis the city was forced to sell $8 million worth of Western and American-Indian artifacts collected by Mayor Reed for a never-realized museum celebrating the American West.



Harrisburg is located at (40.269789, -76.875613).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.4 square miles (29.6 km2), of which, 8.1 square miles (21.0 km2) of it is land and 3.3 square miles (8.6 km2) of it (29.11%) is water.

Directly to the north of Harrisburg is the Blue Mountain ridge of the Appalachian Mountainsmarker. The Cumberland Valley lies directly to the west of Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River, stretching into northern Marylandmarker. The fertile Lebanon Valley lies to the east.

Harrisburg's western boundary is formed by the Susquehanna River, which also serves as the boundary between Dauphinmarker and Cumberlandmarker counties. The city is divided into numerous neighborhoods and districts. Like many of Pennsylvania's cities and boroughs that are at "build-out" stage, there are several townships outside of Harrisburg city limits that, although autonomous, use the name Harrisburg for postal and name-place designation. They include the townships of: Lower Paxtonmarker, Middle Paxtonmarker, Susquehannamarker, Swataramarker and West Hanovermarker in Dauphin County. The borough of Penbrookmarker, located just east of Reservoir Parkmarker, was previously known as East Harrisburg. Penbrook, along with the borough of Paxtangmarker, also located just outside of the city limits, maintain Harrisburg zip codes as well. The United States Postal Service designates 26 zip codes for Harrisburg, including 13 for official use by federal and state government agencies.


Adjacent municipalities

People and culture in Harrisburg


Downtown Harrisburg has two major performance centers. The Whitaker Center for Science and the Artsmarker, which was completed in 1999, is the first center of its type in the United States where education, science and the performing arts take place under one roof. The Forum, a 1,763-seat concert and lecture hall built in 1930-31, is a state-owned and operated facility located within the State Capitol Complex. Since 1931, The Forum has been home to the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.

Beginning in 2001, downtown Harrisburg saw a surge of commercial nightlife development. This has been credited with reversing the city's financial decline, and has made downtown Harrisburg a destination for events from jazz festivals to Top-40 nightclubs.

Harrisburg is also the home of the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest agricultural exhibition of its kind in the nation. Farmers from all over Pennsylvania come to show their animals and participate in competitions. Livestock are on display for people to interact with and view. In 2004, Harrisburg hosted CowParade, an international public art exhibit that has been featured in major cities all over the world. Fiberglass sculptures of cows are decorated by local artists, and distributed over the city centre, in public places such as train stations and parks. They often feature artwork and designs specific to local culture, as well as city life and other relevant themes.


As of the census of 2005, there were an estimated 47,472 people living in Harrisburg. In the census of 2000, there were 48,950 people, 20,561 households, and 10,917 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,035.6 people per square mile (2,330.4/km²). There were 24,314 housing units at an average density of 2,997.9/sq mi (1,157.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 31.72% White, 54.83% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 2.83% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 6.54% from other races, and 3.64% from two or more races. 11.69% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Harrisburg is the 6th most populous city in eastern Pennsylvania and 47th in the nation of Vietnamese population with 2,649 residents.

There were 20,561 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 23.4% were married couples living together, 24.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.9% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,920, and the median income for a family was $29,556. Males had a median income of $27,670 versus $24,405 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,787. About 23.4% of families and 24.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.9% of those under age 18 and 16.6% of those age 65 or over.

The very first census taken in the United States occurred in 1790. At that time Harrisburg was a small, but substantial colonial town with a population of 875 residents. With the increase of the cities prominence as an industrial and transportation center, Harrisburg reached its peak population build up in 1950, topping out at nearly 90,000 residents. Since the 1950s, Harrisburg, along with other northeastern urban centers large and small, has experienced a declining population that is ultimately fueling the growth of its suburbs, although the decline - which was very rapid in the 1960s and 1970s - has slowed considerably since the 1980s. Unlike Western and Southern statesmarker, Pennsylvania maintains a complex system of municipalities and has very little legislation on either the annexation/expansion of cities or the consolidating of municipal entities.

Reversing fifty years of decline, 2007 Census Bureau estimates show that Harrisburg's population has actually grown. Between 2006 and 2007, Harrisburg gained 22 people.


The Harrisburg area has two daily newspapers. The Patriot-News is published in Harrisburg and has a daily circulation of over 100,000. The Sentinel, which is published in Carlisle, roughly 20 miles west of Harrisburg, serves many of Harrisburg's western suburbs in Cumberland Countymarker. The Press and Journal, published in Middletown, is one of many weekly, general information newspapers in the Harrisburg area. There are also numerous television and radio stations in the Harrisburg/Lancastermarker/Yorkmarker area, which makes up the 41st largest media market in the nation.




According to Arbitron, Harrisburg's radio market is ranked #79.

This is a list of FM stations in the greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania metropolitan area.

Callsign MHz Band "Name" Format, Owner City of license
WDCVmarker 88.3 FM Indie/College Rock, Dickinson Collegemarker Carlisle
WXPH 88.7 FM WXPN relay, University of Pennsylvaniamarker Harrisburg
WSYC 88.7 FM Alternative, Shippensburg Universitymarker Shippensburg
WITF-FM 89.5 FM NPR Harrisburg
WVMM 90.7 FM Indie/College Rock, Messiah Collegemarker Grantham
WJAZ 91.7 FM WRTI relay, Classical/Jazz, Temple Universitymarker Harrisburg
WWKL 92.1 FM "Hot 92", Rhythmic/CHR Palmyra
WSJW 92.7 FM Smooth Jazz Starview
WTPA 93.5 FM Classic Rock Mechanicsburg
WRBTmarker 94.9 FM "Bob" Country Harrisburg
WLANmarker 96.9 FM "FM 97" Top 40 Lancaster
WRVVmarker 97.3 FM "The River" Classic Hits and the Best of Today's Rock Harrisburg
WYCR 98.5 FM 98.5 The Peak York
WQLVmarker 98.9 FM "Love 99" Adult Contemporary Millersburg
WHKFmarker 99.3 FM "Kiss-FM" CHR Harrisburg
WQIC 100.1 FM Adult Contemporary Lebanon
WROZ 101.3 FM "The Rose" Adult Contemporary Lancaster
WARM 103.3 FM "Warm 103" Adult Contemporary York
WNNK 104.1 FM "Wink 104" Hot AC Harrisburg
WQXA 105.7 FM "105.7 The X" Hard Rock York
WMHX 106.7 FM "Mix" Adult Hits Hershey
WGTY 107.7 FM "Great Country" York

This is a list of AM stations in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania metropolitan area:

Callsign kHz Band Format City of license
WHP marker 580 AM Conservative News/Talk Harrisburg
WWII 720 AM Contemporary Christian Shiremanstown
WSBA 910 AM News/Talk York
WADVmarker 940 AM Gospel Lebanon
WHYL 960 AM Adult Standards Carlisle
WIOO 1000 AM Classic Country Carlisle
WKBOmarker 1230 AM Christian Contemporary Harrisburg
WQXA 1250 AM Country York
WLBR 1270 AM Talk Lebanon
WTCY 1400 AM Now ESPN Radio (Formerly Adult R&B: The Touch) Harrisburg
WTKTmarker 1460 AM sports: "The Ticket" Harrisburg
WEEO 1480 AM Oldies Shippensburg
WLPA 1490 AM sports Lancaster
WWSM 1510 AM Classic Country Annville
WPDC 1600 AM Spanish Elizabethtown

Harrisburg in film

Several feature films and television series have been filmed or set in and around Harrisburg and the greater Susquehanna Valley.

Museums, art collections, and sites of interest

Parks and recreation

Notable residents

Since the early 1700s, Harrisburg has been home to many people of note. Because it is the seat of government for the state and lies relatively close to other urban centers, Harrisburg has played a significant role in the nation's political, cultural and industrial history. Harrisburgers have also taken a leading role in the development of Pennsylvania's history for over two centuries. Two former U.S. Secretaries of War, Simon Cameron and Alexander Ramsey and several other prominent political figures, such as former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich, hail from Harrisburg. The actor Don Keefer was born near Harrisburg, along with the actor Richard Sanders, most famous for playing Less Nessmen in WKRP in Cincinnati . Many notable individuals are interred at Harrisburg Cemeterymarker and East Harrisburg Cemeterymarker.


Club League Venue Established Championships
Harrisburg Senators EL, Baseball Metro Bank Parkmarker 1987 6
Central Penn Piranha NAFL, Football Skyline Sports Complexmarker 1995 5
Harrisburg City Islanders USL, Soccer Skyline Sports Complexmarker 2004 1
Harrisburg Stampede AIFA, Indoor football Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center 2009 0
Central PA Vipers IWFL, Women's football Susquehanna Township High School 2006 0
Keystone Assault WFA, Women's football TBA 2009 0
Harrisburg Horizon EBA, Basketball Manny Weaver Gym 1998 5
Harrisburg Lunatics PIHA, Inline hockey Susquehanna Sports Center 2001 0


Harrisburg is home to the Pennsylvania State Capitolmarker. Completed in 1906, the central dome rises to a height of and was modeled on that of St. Peter's Basilicamarker in Vatican Citymarker, Rome. The building was designed by Joseph Miller Huston and is adorned with sculpture, most notably the two groups, Love and Labor, the Unbroken Law and The Burden of Life, the Broken Law by sculptor George Grey Barnard; murals by Violet Oakleymarker and Edwin Austin Abbey; tile floor by Henry Mercer, which tells the story of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The state capitol is only the third-tallest building of Harrisburg. The five tallest buildings are 333 Market Street with a height of , Pennsylvania Place with a height of , the Pennsylvania State Capitol with a height of , Presbyterian Apartments with a height of and the Fulton Bank Building with a height of .


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. City Government Center, the only city hall in the United States named for a civil rights leader, serves as a central location for the administrative functions of the city.

Harrisburg has been served since 1970 by the “strong mayor” form of municipal government, with separate executive and legislative branches. The Mayor serves a four-year term with no term limits. As the full-time chief executive, the Mayor oversees the operation of 34 agencies, run by department and office heads, some of whom comprise the Mayor’s cabinet, including the Departments of Public Safety (police and fire bureaus), Public Works, Business Administration, Parks and Recreation, Incineration and Steam Generation, Building & Housing Development and Solicitor. The city has 721 employees (2003). The current mayor of Harrisburg is Stephen R. Reed (D), whose current term expires January 2010.

There are seven city council members, all elected at large, who serve part-time for four-year terms. There are two other elected city posts, City Treasurer and City Controller, who separately head their own fiscally related offices.

Dauphin County Government Complex, in downtown Harrisburg, serves the administrative functions of the county. The trial court of general jurisdiction for Harrisburg rests with the Court of Dauphin Countymarker and is largely funded and operated by county resources and employees.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex, dominates the city's stature as a regional and national hub for government and politics. All administrative functions of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are located within the complex and at various nearby locations.

Commonwealth Judicial Center, houses Pennsylvania's three appellate courts, which are located in Harrisburg. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvaniamarker, which is the court of last resort in the state, regularly hears arguments at. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania are located here. Judges for these courts are elected at large.

Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthousemarker, located in downtown Harrisburg, serves as the regional administrative offices of the federal government. A branch of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania is also located within the courthouse.

Property Tax Reform

Harrisburg is also known world wide for its use of land value taxation. Harrisburg has taxed land at a rate six times that on improvements since 1975, and this policy has been credited by its long time mayor, Stephen R. Reed, as well as by the city's former city manager during the 1980s with reducing the number of vacant structures in downtown Harrisburg from about 4,200 in 1982 to less than 500.



Domestic and International airlines provide services via Harrisburg International Airportmarker (MDT), which is located southeast of the city in Middletownmarker. HIA is the third-busiest commercial airport in Pennsylvania, both in terms of passengers served and cargo shipments. Passenger carriers that serve HIA include US Airways, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines, Air Canada, and AirTran Airways. Capital City Airportmarker (CXY), a moderate-sized business class and general aviation airport, is located across the Susquehanna River in the nearby suburb of New Cumberlandmarker, south of Harrisburg. Both airports are owned and operated by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (SARAA), which also manages the Franklin County Regional Airportmarker in Chambersburgmarker and Gettysburg Regional Airportmarker in Gettysburgmarker.

Mass transit

Harrisburg is served by Capital Area Transit (CAT) which provides public bus, paratransit, and commuter rail service throughout the greater metropolitan area. Construction of a commuter rail line called CorridorOne will eventually link the city with nearby Lancastermarker in 2008.

Long-term plans for the region call for the commuter rail line to continue westward to Cumberland Countymarker, ending at Carlislemarker. In early 2005, the project hit a roadblock when the Cumberland County Commissioners opposed the plan to extend commuter rail to the West Shore. Due to lack of support from the county commissioners, the Cumberland County portion, and the two new stations in Harrisburg have been removed from the project. In the future, with support from Cumberland County, CorridorOne may extend to both shores of the Susquehanna River, where the majority of the commuting base for Harrisburg resides.

In 2006, a second phase of the rail project (named CorridorTwo) was announced to the general public. It will link downtown Harrisburg with its eastern suburbs in Dauphinmarker and Lebanonmarker counties (including Hummelstownmarker, Hersheymarker and Lebanonmarker), and the city of Yorkmarker in York Countymarker. Future passenger rail corridors also include Route 15 from the Harrisburg area towards Gettysburgmarker, as well as the Susquehanna River communities north of Harrisburg, and the Northern Susquehanna Valley region.

Intercity bus service

The lower level of the Harrisburg Transportation Center serves as the city's intercity bus terminal. Daily bus services are provided by Greyhound, Capitol Trailways, Fullington Trailways, and Susquehanna Trailways. They connect Harrisburg to other Pennsylvania cities such as Allentownmarker, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Readingmarker, Scrantonmarker, State Collegemarker, Williamsportmarker, and Yorkmarker and nearby, out-of-state cities such as Baltimoremarker, Binghamtonmarker, New York, Syracusemarker, and Washington, D.C.marker, plus many other destinations via transfers.

Regional scheduled line bus service

The public transit provider in York Countymarker, Rabbit Transit, operates its RabbitEXPRESS bus service on weekdays between the city of York and both downtown Harrisburg and the main campus for Harrisburg Area Community College. The commuter-oriented service is designed to serve York County residents who work in Harrisburg, though reverse commutes are possible under the current schedule. Buses running this route make limited stops in the city of York and at two park and rides along Interstate 83 between York and Harrisburg before making various stops in Pennsylvania's capital city. As of May 2007, the RabbitEXPRESS operates three times in the morning and three times in the afternoon.

A charter/tour bus operator, R & J Transportation, also provides weekday, scheduled route commuter service for people working in downtown Harrisburg. R & J, which is based in Schuylkill Countymarker, operates two lines, one between Frackvillemarker and downtown Harrisburg and the other between Minersvillemarker, Pine Grovemarker, and downtown Harrisburg.


The Pennsylvania Railroad's main line from New York to Chicago passed through Harrisburg. The line was electrified in the 1930s, with the wires reaching Harrisburg in 1938. They went no further. Plans to electrify through to Pittsburghmarker and thence to Chicago never saw fruition; sufficient funding was never available. Thus, Harrisburg became where the PRR's crack expresses such as the Broadway Limited changed from electric traction to (originally) a steam locomotive, and later a diesel locomotive. Harrisburg remained a freight rail hub for PRR's successor Conrail, which was later sold off and divided between Norfolk Southern and CSX.

Freight Rail

Norfolk Southern acquired all of Conrail's lines in the Harrisburg area and has continued the city's function as a freight rail hub. Norfolk Southern considers Harrisburg one of the 3 primary hubs in its system, along with Chicago and Atlantamarker, and operates 2 intermodal (rail/truck transfer) yards in the immediate Harrisburg area. The Harrisburg Intermodal Yard (formerly called Lucknow Yard) is located in the north end of Harrisburg, approximately 3 miles north of downtown Harrisburg and the Harrisburg Transportation Center, while the Rutherford Intermodal Yard is located approximately 6 miles east of downtown Harrisburg in Swatara Township, Dauphin Countymarker. Norfolk Southern also operates a significant classification yard in the Harrisburg area, the Enola Yardmarker, which is located across the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland Countymarker.

Intercity Passenger Rail

Amtrak provides service to and from Harrisburg. The passenger rail operator runs its Keystone and Pennsylvanian services between New Yorkmarker, Philadelphiamarker, and the Harrisburg Transportation Centermarker daily. The Pennsylvanian route, which operates once daily, continues west to Pittsburghmarker. As of April 2007, Amtrak operates 14 weekday roundtrips and 8 weekend roundtrips daily between Harrisburg, Lancastermarker, and Philadelphia 30th Street Stationmarker; most of these trains also travel to and from New York Penn Stationmarker. The Keystone Corridor between Harrisburg and Philadelphia was improved in the mid-2000s, with the primary improvements completed in late 2006. The improvements included upgrading the electrical catenary, installing continuously welded rail, and replacing existing wooden railroad ties with concrete ties. These improvements increased train speeds to 110 mph along the corridor and reduced the travel time between Harrisburg and Philadelphia to as little as 95 minutes. It also eliminated the need to change locomotives at 30th Street Station (from diesel to electric and vice-versa) for trains continuing to or coming from New York. As of Federal Fiscal Year 2006, the Harrisburg Transportation Center was the 2nd busiest Amtrak station in Pennsylvania and 24th busiest in the United States.


Harrisburg is the location of over a dozen large bridges, many up to a mile long, that cross the Susquehanna River. Several other important structures span the Paxton Creek watershed and Cameron Street, linking Center City with neighborhoods in East Harrisburg. These include the State Street Bridgemarker, also known as the Soldiers and Sailor's Memorial Bridge, and the Mulberry Street Bridgemarker. Walnut Street Bridge, now used only by pedestrians and cyclists, links the downtown and Riverfront Park areas with City Island but goes no further as spans are missing on its western side.


Public schools

The City of Harrisburg is served by the Harrisburg School District. The school district provides education for the city’s youth beginning with all-day kindergarten through twelfth grade. A multi-year restructuring plan is aimed at making the district a model for urban public schools. The district has been troubled for years with management fiascos and poor test scores. In the summer of 2007, more than 2,000 city students were enrolled in educational programs offered by the Harrisburg School District as remediation.

The city also maintains one public charter school, the Sylvan Heights Science Charter School. In addition, Harrisburg is home to an arts-focused magnet school, the Capital Area School for the Arts. In 2003, SciTech Highmarker, a regional math and science magnet school affiliated with Harrisburg Universitymarker, opened its doors to students. A growing number of virtual public charter schools provide residents with many alternative to the bricks and morter public school system.

The Central Dauphin School District, the largest public school district in the metropolitan areamarker and the 13th largest in Pennsylvania, uses several Harrisburg postal addresses for many of the districts schools.

Private schools

Harrisburg is home to an extensive Catholic educational system. There are nearly 40 parish-driven elementary schools and seven Catholic high schools within the region administered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, including Bishop McDevitt High Schoolmarker and Trinity High Schoolmarker. Numerous other private schools, such as The Londonderry School and The Circle School, which is a Sudbury Modelmarker school, also operate in Harrisburg. Harrisburg Academymarker, founded in 1784, is one of the oldest independent college preparatory schools in the nation. The Rabbi David L. Silver Yeshiva Academy, founded in 1944, is a progressive, modern Jewish day school. Also, Harrisburg is home to Harrisburg Christian Schoolmarker, founded in 1955.

Higher education

In Harrisburg Near Harrisburg


Notable natives and residents

See also


  1. The Underground Railroad
  2. "Harrisburg Industrializes, The coming of factories to an American community," Eggert, Gerald G.; The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993
  3. Patton, Judith, "Summer schools draw 2,000 Harrisburg students", PennLive, July 24, 2007.
  5. PASSHE Fact Sheet, available at, retrieved December 16, 2007.

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