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William Penn Memorial Museum & Archives Building

  • 300 North St. Harrisburg, PA 17120
  • 717-787-4980

The William Penn Memorial Museum (now the State Museum of Pennsylvania) and Archives Complex was designed by prominent Harrisburg architectural firm Lawrie & Green. The uniquely shaped Alabama limestone faced buildings anchor the north end of the Capitol Complex and are excellent intact examples of the Modern movement in architecture. The interior of the museum features characteristic mid-century Modern elements including terrazzo floors, walnut wall panels, and brushed aluminum detailing. The State Museum of Pennsylvania was created by an act of the legislature in 1905, and was originally housed along with the State Archives in what is now the Speaker Matthew J. Ryan building next door to the Capitol. In 1945, the museum and archives became part of the newly-created Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission As the museum and archive’s collections grew, it became evident that larger space was necessary to house both, necessitating the 1964 construction of its present location.