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State Museum of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State Archives

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1966–1967, Lawrie and Green. 300 North St.
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

Opposite the capital is the austere drum of the state museum that anticipates by almost a decade Gordon Bunshaft's better known Hirshorn Museum in Washington, D.C. Unlike the Hirshorn's serene central garden, the state museum's core is utilitarian—toilets, elevators, and service spaces, with exhibits on the perimeter. The slender tower to the north, set back from the street behind a modest garden, houses the stacks space of the state archive. The flamboyant juxtaposition of “cupcake” and “clothespin” was clearly modeled on Oscar Niemeyer's capitol complex in Brasilia of the previous decade. After their Art Deco beginnings with the Harrisburger Hotel ( DA15), Lawrie and Green designed many of the modern buildings in the capital including the Education Building (1967).

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "State Museum of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State Archives", [Harrisburg, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 349-349.

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