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Pennsylvania State Capitol South Capitol Park Master Plan

Hord Coplan Macht


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Project Status


Year Completed

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Project Description

HCM completed the Master Plan for the rehabilitation of the South Capitol Park on the campus of the historic Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The park is located to the south of the capitol building, a Beaux-Arts building built completed in 1906, that connects the Capitol complex with downtown Harrisburg.

HCM then redesigned the park and improved the infrastructure. New walkways, paving, granite retaining walls, gardens, grading, storm water management and infiltration facilities, lighting, and tree preservation are all part of the scope of this significant landmark green space.

Because of historic designation of the Pennsylvania State Capitol, this project is considered a “Rehabilitation” as defined by the Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes. This definition allows for current and future contemporary needs, while retaining and recapturing the historic character, materials and details of the original landscape to the level appropriate.

HCM worked closely with the Capitol Preservation Committee (CPC) made up of historical experts, architectural preservationists, architects, and state congressional representatives responsible for oversight of the capitol complex and grounds. We were very sensitive to the CPC’s commitment to identify, retain, and preserve features of the capitol grounds which are important to defining its overall historic character. The landscape solution respected the historic nature of the original grounds configuration yet provided a more sustainable approach to use and upkeep. The design solution also created a dramatic positive contribution to the aesthetics of the Capitol building and grounds.

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