Early Capitol Buildings

1. Early Quaker Meeting Houses

Before the construction of the first Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) in 1735, the Assembly would meet at several early locations including the Bank Meeting House, Friends’ Meeting House, and Makin’s Schoolhouse.

2. Line Drawing, Independence Hall

This blue line drawing of Independence Hall (1732-1735), shows the west transverse section of the building.

3. Line Drawing, Hills Capitol, (1822-1897)

This particular line drawing is taken from the Historic American Buildings survey and was drawn by F. E. Loescher. It depicts the first Capitol Building to be built in Harrisburg, the 1822-1897 Hills Capitol.

4. Governor Simon Snyder, (1759-1819)

Governor Simon Snyder (1759-1819), was born in Lancaster, but later relocated to Selinsgrove. Snyder served as governor during the War of 1812 and also supervised the move of state government from Lancaster City, to Harrisburg in October of 1812. In 1855 Snyder County (a part of Union County) would be named for him.

5. Plan of Hills Capitol, Undated

This unsigned, undated plan for the Hills Capitol was never executed. It shows two smaller offices connected via collonades to a central Main Capitol. The marble or sandstone buildings were later abandoned in favor of cheaper brick.

6. Interior, Hills Senate Chamber, 1844

Interior of the Hills Capitol Senate, dated 1844.

7. Hills Capitol, First Floor Plan, 1819

This first floor plan shows the arrangement of the Hills Capitol rotunda, chambers and portico, circa 1847.

8. Photograph of House Chamber, 1890s

Interior view of the Hills Capitol House Chamber, circa 1880s.

9. Hills Capitol, West Facade, 1880s

Hills Capitol, west façade, approximately 1880. (Note the horse-drawn trolley of the Harrisburg City Railway in the foreground.)

10. Senate Chamber, 1890s

Interior of the Hills Capitol Senate Chamber, circa 1892, taken from William Henry Egle’s Artwork of Harrisburg.

11. Lithograph of Hills Capitol, L. C. Allison, 1890s

Watercolor painting of Hills Capitol, by L. C. Allison, early 1890s.

12. Hills Capitol fire, February 2, 1897

The Hills Capitol burned in a fire which began in the Lieutenant Governor’s private office area, February 2, 1897. Spectators can be seen on the old Capitol steps watching the blaze.

13. Ruins of Hills Capitol, 1897

The Hills Capitol was a total loss. This image shows the remains of the Hill’s Capitol after the 1897 fire.

14. House Chamber desk from Hills Capitol

An original House Chamber desk from Hills Capitol. This desk was most likely removed during renovations prior to the Hill’s Capitol fire.

15. Urn from Hills Capitol

This decorative urn dates to the time of the Hill’s Capitol and was used inside or in the Executive, Library and Museum Buildings, or the old North and South Capitol buildings.

16. Decorative plaster capital, from Hills Capitol

Decorative plaster capital from the Hills Capitol.

17. Wire cutters found in Hills Building

Wire cutters found in Hills/Cobb Capitol Building foundation.

18. Plaster cherub head, from Hills Capitol

Plaster cherub head, from Hills Capitol

19. Decorative plaster element, Hills Capitol

Decorative plaster element, Hills Capitol

20. Fire Bucket, ca. 1890s

Fire bucket, ca. 1890s. Both the Hills Capitol and Executive Library and Museum Building had fire buckets, with which workers could douse fires before they raged out of control.