Gnoza Knows It | Was the state capitol always in Harrisburg?


I've gotten a couple of questions about the state capitol, specifically its location and about the building itself.

Amanda wants to know what other cities, besides Harrisburg, have been the capital of Pennsylvania.

I went to Jason Wilson, the historian of the Capitol Preservation Committee. He says the first capital was in Philadelphia at Independence Hall.

It then moved to Lancaster, and then to Harrisburg in the early 1800's.

But before it actually moved to Harrisburg there were several towns that wanted it.

There were several areas for instance, Wrightsville-Columbia. They thought since they were along the river they might have a shot at it. Middletown, Reading, Bellefonte, there were all those places when they found out they were moving the Capitol westward, they kind of petitioned to be selected.

Another question I got was why is the Capitol dome green?

It’s actually Terra Cotta tile but it’s got a green glaze over top of it. So it was architect Joseph Houston who designed this capitol in 1902 who selected that green glaze.

Amanda also asked if Aaronsburg, Centre County, was ever the Capitol. Wilson said that Aaron Levy wanted the Capitol there, but that John Harris clinched the deal by giving the state free land.

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