Harrisburg, A City Reborn
Welcome to Harrisburg, the capital city of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, presented by Insight Guides. My name is Katherine and I’ll be your guide. This tour takes approximately one and three-quarter hours to complete, not including any time spent touring museums or any buildings. You can stop at any time and start again at the same spot later. You can follow the route on your phone or simply listen as I guide you from one sight to the next. I’ll be giving you clear directions and the audio will automatically start playing when you get close to the next sight on the tour. Don’t worry if you need to skip a sight as the tour will pick up at the next location.
For over 200 years, this city on the Susquehanna has been in the forefront of the nation's history, economic and industrial development, and urban rebirth.
John Harris was the first to settle here in 1719. His son, John Jr., laid the plans for the city in 1785 and named it after his father. Located on a major river and near a natural mountain pass, it was a conduit for westward expansion of America during both the early years of settlement and the era of European immigration in the 1800s.
By the late 1800s there were five steel mills and foundries, major rail yards and manufacturing. In the mid-20th century, Harrisburg endured the decline in population and business experienced by many industrial cities.
Today, Harrisburg is enjoying an economic and urban Renaissance. A mixed base of manufacturing, agriculture, government and food services make the region almost recession-proof. In 2010, Forbes Magazine declared this city of 50,000 as the second best city in America to raise a family.
Today, we'll spend most of our walk in historic Midtown, the focal point of Harrisburg's renewal. Many of the stories are about how vision and enthusiasm are restoring neighborhoods and the city.
Traffic can be heavy, so please use caution and crosswalks when you can. Be aware of other pedestrians and don't block the sidewalk. St.Patrick's Cathedral welcomes visitors, but remember that it is a house of worship and be respectful of the sanctuary.
Let's begin our tour of Harrisburg at its impressive Capitol Building.
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