Posts in Category: Architecture

Bunkers of Alvira, Pennsylvania

Many years ago I heard of old bunkers from WWII located somewhere north of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Over the years I tried to find more info on them but always came up empty. Until I stumbled across an article last week which had an overview and directions to these bunkers! What else should I do with a day off but go explore the bunkers of Alvira, Pennsylvania.

More information on the bunkers of Alvira can be found over on Atlas Obscura.

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Revitalize State Street

It dawned on me last weekend as I was driving into Harrisburg from Walnut Street/State Street how beautiful our State Capitol is at night. To see the dome of the Capitol lit beyond the pillar structures of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge is just stunning. The view alone sets my mind at ease and push back the thoughts of the current crime rates and financial despair that plagues our city.

Looking around at the homes that line State Street I see beautiful architecture that can’t be found in today’s new homes. But at the same time, these homes appear to be in poor shape. There are no coffee shops, no cafes, no book stores, no art galleries, and no restaurants. I can’t help but dream of how amazing this neighborhood would be if the homes were rehabilitated to their original charm. Throw in a local coffee shop like Little Amps that offers fresh roasted coffee and music. Maybe a restaurant like Arepa City that offers good food and outdoor seating.

Imagine living on one of those few blocks, walking down the street to enjoy a meal outside on a Spring evening looking down upon the Capitol Dome lit up in all it’s glory. Or maybe you work downtown, walking down the street to grab a coffee at the local coffee shop before walking across the bridge into Downtown. Neighbors saying “Good morning Dave” as you walk by. Assuming your name is Dave. You would have an excellent view of the sun coming up and shining it’s first light upon the State Capitol.

The few blocks of State Street at the end of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge is a gem if you ask me. Besides Shipoke which has so much charm and other residential areas near the river, I would have to say this would be the most beautiful part of the city. If I were a developer, I would gamble on trying to develop this area.

Maclay Street Bridge Decay

Every day I cross the Maclay Street bridge on my way to work and on my way home. I’ve noticed how overgrown the weeds have gotten and how they seemed to have taken over the sidewalks. Finally, I found myself sitting on the bridge in traffic and looked over to my left. I was looking through the side of the bridge to the railroad tracks below.

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How do things get this bad? I mean, if your house had a hole this big in the wall, and you found yourself looking outside, wouldn’t you fix it?

Following are a series of photos I took as I walked across the bridge. Hopefully this gains some awareness to the fact that this area is in dire need of attention. I hope to schedule a public/community cleanup day in the near future. If the city isn’t going to do it, then let the concerned citizens of Harrisburg spearhead the initiative and accomplish things.

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This is the back of a large TV sitting in the weeds along the sidewalk of the bridge.

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More trash sitting on the sidewalk.

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The concrete of the bridge has worn away exposing the rebar of the structure of the bridge.

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Not sure what kind of repair job this is. I wouldn’t be proud of this workmanship.

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A battery and cigarette butt.

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Steel plate placed over something with macadam holding it in place. Hope they don’t need easy access.

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Missing some rails in this section.

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A man pushing his bike through the weeds of the sidewalk. Doesn’t seem like a pleasant place to ride/walk.

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A vine growing through the side of the bridge breaking the concrete apart.

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An orange barrier sits along the intersection of Maclay and 7th Streets so that the bridge can be blocked off when the street floods.

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A fire hydrant sits among the weeds of Maclay Street.

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Weeds growing out of the concrete traffic island at Maclay and 7th Street making it difficult to see traffic coming from different directions.

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Trash along the sidewalk.

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Trash along the bridge near the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

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The sidewalk disappears below the weeds along the Maclay Street bridge near the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Makes for a difficult and unpleasant walk.

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Weeds and trash along the Maclay Street bridge.

View the entire Maclay Street Bridge photo set on Flickr.