Mira Dock's Correpsondance

One of the most important figures of the City Beautiful Movement was Mira Lloyd Dock, a botanist, conservationist, and political activist, who went to great lengths to beautify the city through conservation of parks and forests, the establishment of gardens throughout the city, and constantly writing state and government officials to have legislation passed or repealed on behalf of the city’s improvement. 

Mira Dock, the oldest of 6 children born to prominent Harrisburg businessman Gilliard Dock. She attended the University of Michigan in 1895 at the age of 42, earning a degree in Botany. She would return to co-found the Civic Club of Harrisburg, which would become instrumental in the beautification of Harrisburg during the City Beautiful Movement. She would also begin to “cast a net” of connections during this time to learn how people in her field of interest did their job. Her net did not return empty, as she would end up corresponding with some of the most prominent architects of that time, and received a lot of information of how they did their job. This would undoubtedly inform how she would go about beautifying Harrisburg once the City Beautiful Movement was in full swing.

This exhibit takes a look at the correspondence Mira Dock had before, during, and after the City Beautiful Movement. From the way she corresponded, she was eager to learn from others so she could expand her own knowledge. She was soon put into a position of authority, and everyone saw she was a smart lady, one they could take advice from.


Mike Ritter