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1.13.2015

Harrisburg State Capitol Complex and State Museum of Pennsylvania

When we wrapped up our visit to the Pennsylvania Farm Show, with a stop at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg, PA. The complex consists of the State Capitol Building and the State Museum of Pennsylvania. The capitol building dates back to 1906 and it was built in the Beaux Arts Style. This 272 foot tall building took four years to build and it houses the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Senate, and Supreme Court. As is typical for Pennsylvania politics, the construction of this building was mired in corruption, with it costing 13 million to construct, as opposed to the quoted and allocated four million dollars. Inflated costs and sweetheart contracts led towards criminal charges, of which were either dropped, or in one case, an individual dying before they could be carried out. Anyways, this building is spectacular and the cost was worth every penny. 

The closer dome is that of the Senate chambers.
 One of the greatest aspects of the complex is the fact that it is open to the citizens to walk in and out of, and frequent tours are also available. 
 This dome is the roof of the House of Representatives
 This is what you are greeted with as you walk in to the building.
 The interior of the dome is truly spectacular.
 The beauty of every intricate detail is fitting for representing this beautiful state.
 Each artistic piece in the building is meaningful and representative of the people. This is the spirit of light mural.
 The "Science revealing treasures of the earth" mural is pretty progressive in comparison to the house and senate residing in the chambers today. Hopefully we are off to a new start with Governor Wolf
 The tiles were produced by the legendary Henry Mercer of the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, PA. You can tour his former factory in Bucks County.
 Breathtaking rotunda
 The ornate stairway is often a backdrop for public speakers, politicians, protestors, and others. 
 The view from the doors of the building. The mighty Susquehanna River can be seen at the end of the street.
 The once free State Museum of Pennsylvania now charges a small fee for entry. There are many great exhibits showing the natural, cultural, artistic, and industrial history of this great state.
 Sir William Penn
 Old Sleigh and Sleigh Bells
 The Conestoga Wagon: An important relic of our cultural history that originated from Lancaster County
 An old Sunbury Horse Drawn Steam Fire Pumper. These came from Sunbury, PA.
 In my opinion, this is the artistic gem of the museum. This giant painting depicting Gettysburg was painted in 1870.

 Here is the hardware from an early impulse waterwheel that was once used near Ohiopyle.
 Several important amusement park pieces are held at the museum, including this antique Lusse Auto Skooter that once operated at Knoebels. These bumper cars are still in operation at the park. 
 They also have two Dentzel carousel horses that were built in Philadelphia in the early 20th century. 
 The sun was setting on our beautiful day in Harrisburg. Be sure to check out the State Capitol and Museum if you visit the city. I also highly recommend checking out the Pennsylvania Farm Show, which is open through Sunday, January 18th.

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