In 1980 William H. Wilson published an important essay in Pennsylvania History that defined Harrisburg's City Beautiful movement as "successful." In his analysis, reformers galvanized citizens to vote for civic betterment. A package of amenities—pavements, clean water, drainage, and parks—improved the state capital. On this fortieth anniversary of Wilson's publication, in a year commemorating significant federal amendments granting suffrage to African American men (1870) and women (1920), this special issue takes a closer look at early twentieth-century Harrisburg, its "successful" movement for urban reform, and the clear and consequential losses. This particular article highlights recent scholarship on Harrisburg; new studies of the Old Eighth Ward; novel geospatial and demographic datasets; and exciting public history projects that reclaim forgotten voices. While not a definitive answer to understanding Harrisburg's City Beautiful movement, this issue is a case study in how historians can recast locally significant problems in Pennsylvania history.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 1-10
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.