Midtown (Harrisburg)

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Midtown
Neighborhood of Harrisburg
Broad Street Market in Midtown Harrisburg
Broad Street Market in Midtown Harrisburg
Country  United States
State Pennsylvania
County Dauphin County
City Harrisburg
Area code(s) Area code 717

Midtown is a neighborhood in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Its zip code is 17102. The Midtown neighborhood is delineated by Forster Street to the south, Maclay Street to the north, 7th Street to the east, and the Susquehanna River to the west. Midtown is home to the Pennsylvania Governor's Mansion and the Broad Street Market, the oldest continually operated street market in the country.

The section of Midtown from Reily to Kelker Streets and 2nd to 3rd Streets is known as Engleton. Its Queen Anne style homes were built in the 1890s by Benjamin Engle. The Old Uptown, Old Midtown, and Old Fox Ridge historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places are all contained within the Midtown neighborhood.

Old Uptown is a neighborhood of large homes built in the early 1900s between Kelker and Maclay streets. The area, crime ridden for many years, is currently being aggressively renovated and rehabbed. Much of this neighborhood lies within the Old Uptown Historic District.

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2010 census there were 7,628 people living in Midtown. The racial makeup of Midtown was 53.4% White, 36.6% Black or African-American, 2.3% Asian and 8.4% were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Persons aged 25–29 make up a large portion of the total population, at 13.6%. Approximately 5.5% of the total population consists of unmarried partners.

Education and Culture[edit]

Formerly at the corner 3rd and Reily streets, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore and Famous Reading Cafe opened in 2008 two blocks south near the corner of Verbeke. Considered the largest used academic bookstore between Chicago and New York, it contains thousands of used books, scholarly and otherwise from a wide range of fields.

The Midtown Cinema movie theater is Harrisburg's only first-run independent and foreign film theater.

In 2007, Harrisburg Area Community College opened its new Midtown campus at the corner of 3rd and Reilly streets in the renovated Evangelical Press Building. The building holds many of the college's technical programs and has a capacity to hold several hundred students. In the future, a garden and walkway will be built nearby to connect the campus with a new parking garage and other new classroom facilities to be built.

Midtown is known for its sizable gay population, while most of Harrisburg's gay bars and establishments are actually in the Capitol District on the edge of Midtown.

The Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center (HMAC) is currently under construction on 3rd street. Several investors from New York City announced plans to build a 2,500-square-foot (230 m2) art gallery, 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) playhouse, cafe and film studio inside the formerly abandoned Police Athletic League building. HMAC currently runs the Stage on Herr, a bar and performance space just off 3rd on Herr St.

North Third street is considered "Coffee Row" for its collection of coffee shops including Cafe Di Luna and the Famous Reading Cafe (see Midtown Scholar Bookstore).

Economic Decline and Gentrification[edit]

Much of Midtown fell into disrepair in the 1970s and 1980s after the Hurricane Agnes floods which damaged many homes, especially in the Old Uptown area. However, since the 1990s the neighborhood has gentrified drastically especially along the Penn and Green street corridors. This is primarily due to a strong housing stock for renovation and proximity to the Central Business District, which has been experiencing growth itself. Today, gentrification is spreading as many historic homes are getting rehabbed and upgraded throughout the northern and eastern part of Midtown. Capitol Heights and Governor's Square are two new housing developments that are currently under construction. Together, they are adding several hundred new homes to Midtown. Despite recent gentrification efforts, many new residents have moved out of midtown due to crime. In addition growing city taxes have forced residents out. The community is also a hot bed for prostitution and homelessness. Many businesses on 3rd street also close after 6 due to high crime rates.

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