Tracing the Lines of Racism:

The Development of Housing Segregation in Harrisburg, 1900-1968

This exhibit examines the process of redlining in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the use of racially restrictive housing covenants, and the lasting influence segregated housing has had on the surrounding communities.

Exhibit collection

The Steps Toward

Housing Restrictions

Picture of the Old 8th Ward facing the Capitol on State Street (Pennsylvania State Archive RG17)

Harrisburg, The City Beautiful, and the Old 8th Ward (1900-1930)

Drawing the Lines: The HOLC Report (1935-1936)

Restrictive Covenant between Hollinger Realty Co. and Joseph Frederick Hilbush (1937)

Fading Lines, Lasting Legacies (1936-1968)

For further information, please visit:

Digital Harrisburg Initiative

Race and Place in Harrisburg

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Commonwealth Monument Project

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The Old 8th Ward

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Why Redlining? Why Harrisburg?

Harrisburg has historically been the home to a diverse group of immigrants, minorities, and ethnicities from across the US and Europe. The restrictions faced by African Americans, Jews, and many other minorities in Harrisburg limited their movement within the city and diminished their opportunity for community engagement and economic advancement.

(Image courtesy of Digital Harrisburg Initiative; Sanborn Fire Map 1929)

“Certain districts are designated zones for Negroes, and there seems to be an unwritten law against them living anywhere else…”

Maude Coleman, Interracial Board and Harrisburg Department of Welfare Member (1950)

“…and he said, ‘Oh, you must be colored.’ And I said, ‘Yes, I’m a Negro. That’s facts.’ and he said, ‘Well, that’s restrictive district. I can’t sell you a house in that area.’”

Harrisburg Citizen from A Time to Act pt. 1 (1968)

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