Historic South Capitol Park
Historic South Capitol Park is located to the south of the Pennsylvania State Capitol. The Park, which existed before the Capitol building itself, connects the Capitol complex with downtown Harrisburg and the Strawberry Square retail complex. Notable features on the site include the Mexican War, Hartranft and Penrose monuments, granite stairs at the corners of Third and Walnut and Fourth and Walnut Streets, and gracious lawn areas dotted with specimen trees.
In 2009 the Capitol Preservation Committee began the rehabilitation of the South Capitol Park. This preservation is critical due to the Park's current inadequate storm water drainage system. The current drainage system, installed in the Park in the 1930's, is undersized and overflow has caused significant erosion to the slopes on Walnut and Third Streets. The drains fill up at the base of the walks causing unsightly and horrendous accumulation of mud and debris. In order to correct this problem, a new drainage system is being installed that will reduce the rate and quantity of storm water leaving the Park. Much of the storm water from the site will be treated underneath the sidewalks in infiltration trenches.
The storm water drainage system is not the only area being addressed during this multi-phase project. Some of the improvements that will take place throughout the Park during Phase 1 in 2009 include the renovation of the base plantings surrounding the Mexican War and Penrose Monuments, the stairs at the corner of Walnut and Third Streets, and the installation of a pedestrian walkway and retaining wall along Walnut Street. Work scheduled for Phase 2 will incorporate a wall along historic Third Street and a walk which connects the Walnut and Third Street intersections with the Hartranft Monument and the Main Capitol entrance. Scope work for Phase 3 entails the development of a terrace at the Hartranft Monument, walks parallel to the facade of the Ryan Building and the Rose House Interpretive Landscape. The sidewalks on the perimeter of the Capitol Grounds on both Third Street and Walnut Street will be widened to eight feet to provide generous pedestrian access. Light poles, parking meters and other signage will be consolidated to the greatest extent to limit clutter at street curbs.
MEXICAN WAR MONUMENT AREA
ERODED BANK DUE TO STORM
VIEW OF NARROW WALKWAY ALONG