Skip to main content
Harrisburg: The City Beautiful

Nationwide City Beautiful Movements

The industrial revolution had left American cities in the late 19th century overcrowded and purely practical. The City Beautiful Movement in the United States was inspired by the work of Daniel Burnham in the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Through his ideal, futuristic city, he showed Americans the potential of their cities; they could be efficient but also clean, polished, and aesthetically pleasing. Since Chicago became the envy of so many U.S. cities, he was asked to oversee the city planning of Washington D.C. in 1901. Introduced by the McMillan Plan of 1901-02 and the L'Enfant Plan, this was the first American city to undergo a City Beautiful Movement. Burnham went on to help other City Beautiful Movements in Cleveland, San Francisco, and Chicago, leading to the inspiration of Harrisburg's own movement. 

Nationwide City Beautiful Movements