Pennsylvania

Encircle Pennsylvania: It is about a five hour drive from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. But along the way you must take an occasional detour to visit Harrisburg, the state’s capital, the town Hersey chocolate built and the home of the Amish in Lancaster County.

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1 Andy Warhol Bridge and Downtown Pittsburgh Skyline in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Seventh Street Bridge was built in 1926. It is one of the “Three Sisters” suspension bridges crossing the Allegheny River from the North Shore to downtown Pittsburgh. This yellow span is now called the Andy Warhol Bridge. This pays tribute to the city’s native son and pop art icon. Nearby is the Andy Warhol Museum. This bridge is just one of over 440 connecting the city of Pittsburgh. This is why its nickname “The City of Bridges” is well deserved.

Andy Warhol Bridge, 7th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
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2 Justice Mural in Allegheny County Courthouse by Vincent Nesbert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Walking inside the 125 year old Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh feels dungy, dark and medieval. After reaching the grand stairway on the second level, however, you are delighted by seeing murals by Vincent Nesbert, including this one called “Justice.” They were painted from 1931 – 1935 as part of the Federal Works Progress Administration’s Public Works of Art Project. Apparently, when the artist learned he would not be paid, he completed the works anyway. The model for this mural, Dorothy Duke, did not see the completed art for 67 years after it was finished.

436 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
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3 September 11 Flag Ceremony at Point State Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

September 11, 2001, will always be remembered as that gruesome day in American history when four airplanes were hijacked by al-Qaeda, resulting in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people. The property losses, economic impact, resulting wars and homeland security expense measured in the trillions. Those sacrifices are remembered each year in ceremonies across the nation. An example is the Flight 93 ceremony at Point State Park in Pittsburgh. A member of the Coast Guard Enlisted Association (Steel City Branch) helps to place 44 flags at the Upper Fountain Plaza in memory of those who died near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

601 Commonwealth Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
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4 Steel Making Mural Detail by Richard Hass in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This is a detail of a 36 x 56 foot mural designed by architectural muralist Richard Hass. “Steel Making” was painted in 1993 by Evergreen Painting Studios in New York City. The art employs a technique called trompe l’oeil. This means to deceive the eye. The mural is a tribute to the industry that built Pittsburg. It is located on the wall of the Byham Theater building.

101 6th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
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5 Downtown Skyline Across Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

At 464 miles, the Susquehanna River is the longest on the east coast and is nearly a mile wide when it passes through Harrisburg. From across the river, this capital city has a gorgeous skyline. Native Americans called this area Paxtang when they enjoyed this shoreline view thousands of years ago.

301 N Front St, Wormleysburg, PA 17043
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6 Pennsylvania State Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The fifth and current Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg has been a masterpiece since it was completed in 1906. At the base of the granite portico are large bronze doors with historic state scenes. Embracing the edges are two beautiful sculptures in Italian marble. The lime green, terra cotta tile dome with 48 portholes resembles St. Peter’s Basilica. On top is a gilded statue of a woman standing on an orb and holding a staff. She symbolizes justice and her name is Commonwealth. Pennsylvania became the 2nd state on December 12, 1787.

501 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17120
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7 Pennsylvania State Capitol Rotunda Dome in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania State Capitol is called “the palace of art.” This is an understatement for its lavish interior. The rotunda is charmed with a grand, imperial (two-sided) staircase that is adorned with Romanesque statues holding lite orbs. The number of stunning stained-glass windows, murals, tiles, golden molding and colorful stencils delight the eyes. The four round medallions near the dome’s base represent religion, art, justice, and science. Also shown are two of the four other murals: The Spirit of Vulcan is on the left and the Spirit of Light is on the right.

501 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17120
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8 Hershey’s Chocolate World Entrance Characters in Hershey, Pennsylvania

When the Swiss invented milk chocolate in 1875, it was an expensive luxury with a short shelf life. That changed in 1899 when Milton Hersey developed a process to mass produce the delicacy. He then built a plant and town now called Hersey, Pennsylvania. This facility produces the branded syrup, Kiss, Mr. Goodbar, Krackel and later acquired Reese’s and Twizzlers. In 1973, Hersey’s Chocolate World opened as an amusement park. The attraction offers rides, a tour of the chocolate making process and, of course, a haven for kids in a candy store.

101 Chocolate World Way, Hershey, PA 17033
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9 Amish Family on Horse and Buggy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

There are thousands of Pennsylvania Amish living the simple life in Lancaster County. Most are farmers or engaged in cottage industries, such as crafts and furniture making. Driving maps of the area are available from local visitor centers. You will need to share the road with the horse and buggies. This family was too large for their vehicle. Therefore, the two eldest sons were dragged behind on their inline skates.

38 Witmer Rd, Lancaster, PA 17602
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10 Blacksmith’s Boy Mural of Rockwell Painting in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Imagine the thrill as a little boy watching your father compete in a forging contest. Edward W. O’Brien described the dual of strength, sweat and determination between the blacksmith Pop and the younger contestant McCann in the November 2, 1940 edition of “The Saturday Evening Post.” Norman Rockwell captured the exciting conclusion. Among the 23 people in the original painting is the author as a boy next to his father, the blacksmith on the left. In May of 2018, Blacksmith’s Boy – Heel and Toe was sold for $7 million by the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. In 2003, local artist Wayne Fettro painted this partial reproduction. A self-guided tour map of mural locations in Lancaster Country is available. It suggests two days are required to see all of the outdoor art.

2715 Old Philadelphia Pike Bird in Hand, PA 17505
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11 Smiling Mom with Lemon Meringue Pie Mural in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

The Lancaster County Visitor’s Center has the perfect welcome to America’s oldest Amish settlement in Pennsylvania Dutch county: a wall mural of a smiling mom holding up a freshly baked lemon meringue pie. While you are at the center, ask for details about several driving tours plus how to find Amish horse and buggy rides, farms, museums, windmills, furniture and crafts along the way.

38 Penn Square, Lancaster, PA 17603
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12 Liberty Bell at Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Liberty Bell once hung in the tower of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It cracked the first time it was rung in 1752. Although it has come to symbolize the events of July 4, 1776, historians debate whether it actually rang that day. In 1893, President Harrison joked that the bell was made in England but had to be re-cast in America before it could proclaim our right of self-government. Even after several re-castings, it cracked again around 1846. The word “Liberty” has become associated with American freedom. However, the word actually came from an abolitionist effort to free slaves in 1835.

N 6th St & Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
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13 Museum of Art, Fairmount Water Works and Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Museum of Art opened in 1876 as part of the country’s centennial celebration. On the 72nd step are the cast footprints where Rocky Balboa raised his arms in triumph. On the backside of this Greek Revival building is the Schuylkill River. It flows 135 miles through Pennsylvania. In the foreground is the Fairmount Water Works. The public utility was built between 1812 and 1815. The original version supplied Philadelphia with fresh water in response to the yellow fever epidemic of the late 1700s.

640 Waterworks Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19130
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14 Jeanne D’Arc Statue Near Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The original equestrian sculpture of Joan of Arc by Emmanuel Frémiet was commissioned by the French Republic’s first president, Napoleon III, in 1874. The famous artwork is located in Place des Pyramids, Paris. A copy was purchased in 1890 and placed on the Grand Avenue Bridge in Philadelphia. In 1959, it was moved outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Similar versions of this gilded bronze statue, called Jeanne d’Arc, are in Nancy, France, New Orleans, Louisiana, Portland, Oregon and Melbourne, Australia. The model for Joan was an 18 year-old peasant girl named Aimee Girod. Ironically, like the saint, the woman burned to death in her apartment at age 81.

Kelly Drive at 25th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
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15 Theatre of Life Mural by Meg Saligman and Juan Dimida in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Since 1984, the “Mural Arts Program” has sponsored over 3,600 wall murals from more than 300 artists. The average project in Philadelphia ranges from $10,000 to $15,000. What started as an anti-graffiti effort has blossomed into the world’s largest outdoor gallery in the City of Brotherly Love. Several walking tour options are available. During the Center City tour, you will pass this mural on Broad and Lombard Streets. “Theatre of Life” was created by Meg Saligman and Juan Dimida. The art represents people’s different roles. Notice the two hands holding marionette sticks. They symbolize external influences controlling people. In addition to 400 gallons of paint, it consists of 10,000 glass pieces, a ton of concrete and 5,000 marbles. The gorgeous mural was completed in 2002.

Lombard St & S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
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16 Produce Stand at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In 1889, the Reading Railroad decided to displace a popular open-air market to make way for their new train station. After extensive negotiation, they agreed to create space for indoor stalls. This became the Reading Terminal Market on 12th and Arch Streets. Lovine’s Produce is one of the 100 merchant who daily serve the palates of the locals.

1136 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
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17 Amur Leopard Mural Near Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Zoo has two endangered Amur leopards. Kavan was born in 2001. His significant other, Emma, was born 14 months later. The panthera pardus orientalis breed is from far east Russia. Only 20 to 30 of the cats remain in the wild. This Amur leopard wall mural is near the entrance to the zoo in Philadelphia.

Girard Av & 34th St – MBFS, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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18 Rhinoceros Hornbill Mural Near Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bob and Nancy are two rhinoceros hornbills at the Philadelphia Zoo. Both were hatched in 2007. On its head is a structure that takes up to six years to develop and resembles a smaller bill. It is called the casque and is mostly hollow. The birds are about 30 to 35 inches tall. That is considerably smaller than this colorful wall mural of the rhino hornbill near the entrance to the zoo in Philadelphia.

Girard Av & 34th St – MBFS, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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19 Common Zebra at Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Zoo has two common zebras. They are half-sisters named Laura and Susie. I am not sure which sibling this is. However, those flared nostrils give her a diva profile. These two mares can expect to live 15 to 16 years or more. This species from the African plains are characterized by stripes across the stomach. Interestingly, a zebra’s natural color is black. The white stripes emerge from the lack of pigmentation.

3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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20 Female Cheetah at Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This is Nyika, a female cheetah resting at the Philadelphia Zoo. She was watching her two daughters Kira and Kashi endlessly playing. The animal’s characteristic tear stripe from her eyes makes it appear she is crying. This native of southern Africa can run up to 70 m.p.h. for up to 300 yards, making it the fastest land mammal. That burst of speed makes her the first in line when the zookeeper arrives with breakfast. She displayed that talent immediately after this photo was taken.

3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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21 Reticulated Giraffe at Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Meet Gus, a reticulated giraffe. His ancestors are from the savannas and grasslands of southern Africa. However, he is a native-born Texan from Caldwell Zoo. He now lives at the Philadelphia Zoo with his wife, Stella, and their daughter, Abigail or Abby for short. Together, this family weighs about 4,500 pounds. They spend half their day using their 18 inch tongues to strip leaves off trees. The rest of the time they take short catnaps while standing.

3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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22 Southern White Rhinoceros at Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There are about 17,000 southern white rhinoceros grazing in the South African wild. The average male is about 5,000 pounds. The largest is nearly twice as heavy. This rhino’s two horns poking out from between the rocks at the Philadelphia Zoo are made from a protein called keratin. This is the same material found in human fingernails. The front horn extends from three to five feet. The rhino is hairless, except around its tail and ears.

3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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