Standing picturesquely upon a slope rising to the summit of Reservoir Park and at the apex of Market Street's climb from Center City is Bishop McDevitt High School, primary parochial secondary school serving the City of Harrisburg and the Harrisburg East Shore. The School's roots are traced to the Catholic Diocese's first high school, which opened in 1918 at Cathedral Hall, now known as the CYO Building, at North and Church Streets behind Saint Patrick Cathedral. By 1925, dramatically increased enrollment prompted planning for a new, permanent facility that would accommodate the youth of an expanding region. Designed with landmark twin towers of neo gothic design and elaborately trimmed arched windows, what was originally known as the Catholic High School was completed in the fall of 1930. The original building, designed by Harrisburg architect Bernard E. Starr (1892-1969) and known as Marian Hall, was as wide as the breadth of the towers from one another. Tracy Hall, named as a result of a bequest by Harrisburg businessman David Tracy, co-founder of the enterprise that would eventually become Harsco, Inc., was the school's first addition completed in 1950. Aquinas Hall, dedicated on October 6 1957, would follow. At that time, the name of the School would change to honor the Most Reverend Philip R. McDevitt (1858-1935) fourth Bishop of Harrisburg and founder of the original school. By 1962, Saint John Hall would be constructed fulfilling the need for a chapel and science laboratories. The school has enjoyed an enduring reputation of excellence in education, having graduated many distinguished alumni who have gone on to become achievers in their respective careers throughout the world.
Top Left Photo
Depiction of present high school complex by artist Roberta K. Davis, with Tracy Hall far left and Aquinas Hall far right.
Bottom Left Photo
High School athletic field under construction c. 1930.
Bottom Right Photo
Front of Marian Hall in 1942, prior to addition.