Conclusions

The City Beautiful Movement officially began in 1900 with Mira Lloyd Dock’s “City Beautiful” speech. However, it was the culmination of various events which led to the creation of a more beautiful and functional Harrisburg. In the late 1800s, the city’s defects, including poor filtration and sanitation, unpaved streets, and constant flooding, created a conversation among Harrisburgers who wished to improve the area. When the capitol building burnt down and was in danger of being relocated to Philadelphia, the city’s defects became more of a concern to citizens. Many city leaders banned together to address these issues, resulting in new campaigns, leagues, and clubs dedicated to improving Harrisburg. Newspapers, letters, and bonds aided in empowering Harrisburg citizens to support the movement as a whole. As a result of this cooperation, the city built an expansive park system, paved numerous city roads, improved sanitation, and encouraged its citizens to become more actively involved in their city. Further research will be conducted on the Harrisburg City Beautiful Movement concerning the demographics of Harrisburg from the 1900 census, the waning of the movement in roughly 1915, Harrisburg as the start of a nationwide city beautiful movement, and its connections to the City Beautiful 2.0 Movement in modern-day Harrisburg.