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Old Brick Capitol

  • Capitol Main Entrance, Third and State Streets Harrisburg, PA

Pennsylvania’s first capitol building was completed in 1821 at an estimated cost of $244,500. The building was designed by Harrisburg architect Stephen Hills, whose design was selected in 1819 from among 17 entries to the second contest held to determine the building’s design. The first contest, begun in 1816 yielded designs all deemed too expensive to construct. The Federal style red brick building took two years to complete, and the legislature held its first session in the building in January 1822. Several notable figures visited Hills’ capitol, including the Marquis De Lafayette, the Prince of Wales, and Abraham Lincoln. Following his assassination in 1865, Lincoln’s body lay in state in the capitol for a time. A fire broke out in the building in 1897, completely destroying it.