The Pennsylvania Governor's Residence is located at a spot so stunning that it captures the essence of the Commonwealth's beauty through sweeping vistas of the Susquehanna at a point where the state's piedmont greets the blue mountains of the great ridge and valley. The Governor's home replaced two palatial stone-constructed houses, designed in the Queen Anne and Italianate styles, in the first decade of the 20th century. These homes represented the early 20th Century pinnacle of Front Street's residential prestige attained here at the intersection of N. Front and Maclay Streets. The northern of the two houses was built for Archibald Knisely, a prominent Harrisburg real estate businessman who was responsible for the sale of many new homes in the nearby Old Uptown Harrisburg area. The southern was built for Edward S. Herman, a successful Harrisburg cigar manufacturer and tobacco dealer. Both homes sat on land that stretched from Front to Second Streets, providing the potential for a large unified tract that ultimately became ideal for the site of the Executive Residence. The earlier Governor's home, situated at N. Front and Barbara Streets downtown and dating to the Civil War, was known as Keystone Hall. By the late 1950's, the residence was considered antiquated for the affairs of state, was disposed of and subsequently demolished in 1960. In the meantime, the Lieutenant Governor's Residence at Fort Indiantown Gap served as the temporary Governor's home until the new mansion here at Front and Maclay Streets was completed in 1968. Designed in the Georgian architectural style with elegant staterooms and fine interior architectural detailing, the Pennsylvania Governor's Residence is a treasure-trove of the Commonwealth's history featuring fine collections of antiques and rarities indigenous to the heritage of the Keystone State.
Residence of Edwin S. Herman in 1914.
Archibald Knisely residence circa 1920 with Maclay Street in foreground.