The current era of hostelries in Harrisburg can be defined as having begun in 1965 with the construction of the Holiday Inn Town, now The Crowne Plaza. Prior to that time, the Harrisburger and Penn-Harris Hotels, at Third and Locust and Third and Walnut Streets respectively, were the city's two principal hotels, both facing Capitol Park. The Harrisburger would close by 1968 and the Penn-Harris demolished in 1973. the Holiday Inn town prevailed as the first newly constructed lodging facility since 1930 and, intriguingly, was totally independent from and unrelated to the Holiday Inn Hotel chain. the busy northeast corner of N. Second and Chestnut Streets had earlier been the site of Moller's Drug store, a popular downtown destination. Although this and neighboring buildings were demolished in 1948, the site would not be developed until the Holiday Inn town was erected seventeen years later. With the closure of the Holiday Inn Town in the early 1990's, subsequent efforts by others to operate the facility as a hotel became unsuccessful. In order to stave off a subsequent bankruptcy sale, the City of Harrisburg boldly stepped in to acquire the building with the intent of selling it for continued use as a high quality conference hotel. The revitalization of Harrisburg's downtown in fact rewarded the City's innovative move as the property was acquired by a group of investors who undertook a multi-million dollar upgrade of the building and procured the prestigious Crowne Plaza flag. When it opened in 2000, the facility was named the best new Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Western Hemisphere.
Moller's drug store just prior to demolition in 1948 at the site of the Crowne Plaza.
Artist's rendering of the Holiday Inn Town upon opening in 1965.