In composing this project, I knew that I wanted to give a voice to individuals who can no longer speak for themselves. The City Beautiful Movement in Harrisburg is full of prominent figures like Mira Lloyd Dock, J. Horace McFarland, Warren Manning, Vance McCormick, and others, but there are so many subtler characters as well. The people in the city votes were important, just as the teachers and students who improved Harrisburg's school system were. However, the urban individuals that I wanted to represent through my research were those who did not benefit from the city's renewal.
The new Capitol and its surrounding area is a magnificent feature of modern Harrisburg. However, the consequence of such beauty was the displacement of hundreds of Harrisburgers. The archivists at the Pennsylvania State Archives expressed a willingness to share information about the Old 8th Ward, so that is how I found my archival research. Since I was unwell at the time, my friend and classmate Sarah took lots of photographs from a record group at the PA archive. I put together three collections in the hope that it would make the website visitor feel like they were walking through the shadow of a neighborhood that is long gone. In addition to this information, I included a demographics page to show trends in the movement of people as a result of the Capitol Park construction. Finally, I added GIS information to give a visual of the ward's change over time by viewing a single address to represent the whole of buildings lost.
I would enjoy looking more closely into the individuals who lost their homes through creating a complete record represented through GIS for multiple decades. Due to available time, I limited the scope of my project to general patterns across the impacted area.
A fantastic representation of data about the Old 8th Ward is available at this link: http://www.old8thward.com/