Historic Harrisburg outlines “preservation priorities” for 2023; Market Street Bridge tops list

 Historic Harrisburg outlines “preservation priorities” for 2023; Market Street Bridge tops list

The Market Avenue Bridge in Harrisburg (file photograph)

A Harrisburg-based historic preservation group has launched its annual checklist of endangered and threatened space landmarks, and, this yr, a century-old bridge tops the checklist.

Earlier this week, Historic Harrisburg Affiliation (HHA) officers introduced that its high “preservation precedence” for 2023 is the Market Avenue Bridge, a 95-year-old stone arch construction that spans the Susquehanna River.

Final yr, the Pennsylvania Division of Transportation unveiled a multi-year plan to restore the bridge, which incorporates setting up a separate utility bridge alongside the bridge’s southern façade.

Sara Sweeney, chair of HHA’s preservation committee, stated that the group has been in discussions with PennDOT relating to this proposal.

“We proceed to applaud PennDOT for its plan to revive the bridge and hope that, within the course of, the unique design and options are maintained,” stated Sweeney, throughout a Fb Dwell presentation outlining HHA’s 2023 “preservation priorities.” “We’ll proceed to observe progress because the design progresses.”

A PennDOT rendering of the south facade of the Market Avenue Bridge, exhibiting the proposed utility bridge addition

That is the primary yr that the Market Avenue Bridge has been a high precedence for HHA. In 2022, the checklist was headed by Balsley Home, a 2,590-square-foot constructing positioned at 220 N. 2nd St. In accordance with HHA, the Federal-style constructing, one of many oldest constructions in Harrisburg, continues to be threatened and, this yr, is ranked second on the checklist.

Nevertheless, in accordance with HHA, there could also be hope for the long-vacant, blighted construction within the coronary heart of downtown.

“We’ve got heard that there’s truly some curiosity within the property by a non-public occasion, and we’re looking forward to motion in 2023,” Sweeney stated.

Balsley Home in downtown Harrisburg

The remaining three “preservation priorities” additionally made last year’s top-five list. They’re:

  • The previous William Penn Excessive College at Italian Lake
  • The previous Harrisburg State Hospital complicated
  • Prospect Hill Cemetery Gatehouse close to town line

Balsley Home has been on the checklist since 2018, William Penn since 2017, and the previous state hospital since 2014. The Prospect Hill Cemetery Gatehouse went on the checklist in 2021 after a automotive hit the construction, severely damaging it.

Within the presentation, Sweeney additionally famous a number of latest preservation “successes” and two preservation “losses.”

The successes embrace:

  • The previous Lemoyne Center College, which has been renovated and transformed into an condo constructing
  • The previous Gerber’s Division Retailer, also called the “Carpets and Draperies constructing,” which was renovated into a mixed-used structure in Midtown Harrisburg
  • The previous Milestone Inn, which now serves as headquarters for Dilks Properties in Uptown Harrisburg
  • The Harrisburg Historical past Challenge, a collection of historic markers in Harrisburg that wanted substitute and updating

A win: The restored Carpets and Draperies constructing in Harrisburg

Sweeney additionally famous two latest “preservation losses”:

  • Beidleman Home, an Allison Hill construction on Market Avenue that was razed final yr
  • The Jackson Resort on N. sixth Avenue in Harrisburg, which collapsed in early 2021

Furthermore, HHA put about 30 constructions in and round Harrisburg on its “watch checklist,” which means that they’re historic properties of concern. These vary broadly, however embrace such landmark buildings because the Broad Avenue Market, the previous Coca-Cola bottling works on Allison Hill, the Riverside firehouse and even HHA’s personal Historic Harrisburg Useful resource Heart.

Two new properties have been added to the watch checklist this yr.

The primary, Myers Home, at 213 N. Entrance St. in Harrisburg, made the watch checklist because the proprietor, the Dauphin County Bar Affiliation, might not want such a big house, stated David Morrison, HHA’s govt director. The second “watch checklist” addition this yr is Buck’s Tavern, an almost three-century-old construction positioned in West Hanover Township, which is threatened by blight and doable demolition.

HHA’s board is anticipated to approve the preservation precedence checklist at its February assembly.

Historic Harrisburg Affiliation is positioned at 1230 N. third St., Harrisburg. To view all the presentation, go to https://www.facebook.com/HistoricHarrisburgAssociation. For extra data on Historic Harrisburg Affiliation, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this yr, go to www.historicharrisburg.org.

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