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Pennsylvania's Capitol Building | Capitol Preservation Committee Rehabilitation of Historic South Park

Capitol Preservation Committee Rehabilitation of Historic South Park

Capitol Complex, Harrisburg, PA


Commonwealth of PA
Harrisburg, PA

Design Professional

Hord Coplan Macht
Baltimore, MD



Rehabilitation of historic South Capitol Park — the Capitol’s majestic outdoor, Renaissance-style Park. The Park, which existed before the Capitol building itself, connects the Capitol complex with downtown Harrisburg and the Strawberry Square retail and office complex. Pennsylvania’s Capitol is considered one of the most beautiful in the United States and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It was declared a National Historic Landmark on September 20, 2006.


  • Protecting and working around historic trees.
  • Removing, restoring and reinstalling original historic park light fixtures.
  • Removing, restoring and reinstalling original, granite stairs.
  • Keeping park open during construction for pedestrian accessibility. The project site is surrounded by the Capitol Building, as well as busy city streets. Pedestrian traffic was a major concern, along with the safety of the public and individuals working on the site.


  • Horticultural consultant analyzed trees and prepared detailed construction plans to protect them. L.R. Costanzo’s team worked directly with these consultants to insure the protection of the trees. This included working within Tree Protection Zones, preventing and mitigating soil compaction, and trenching.
  • Sent existing light fixtures to original manufacturer for historic restoration.
  • Meticulously removed granite steps and replaced deteriorated foundation; cleaned and restored steps to their original locations. This involved working closely with the Conservator to ensure historical accuracy.
  • Careful attention was paid to barrier installation to re-route pedestrian traffic during the construction phase. Pedestrian safety was continually monitored.


L.R. Costanzo experts also:

  • Installed underground plumbing and electric through the use of a “super-sonic air spading” system, where underground utilities lines were fed through historic tree roots so as not to damage the root structures.
  • Removed and replaced major downtown traffic signal systems. Close attention was given to the installation and maintenance to traffic protection barriers.
  • Removed existing, narrow sidewalks and installed new concrete retaining walls with monument-grade, granite facing and added widened sidewalks with brick and asphalt pavers, bordered by granite.