Since 1914, the McCormick Riverfront Library has been a staple of Downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The historic library has served Harrisburg families and residents for over 100 years, thanks to the generosity of Sara Haldeman Haly, daughter of Jacob Haldeman, founder of New Cumberland Borough. While residing in her home, known now as the Haldeman Haly House, she graciously donated $60,000 (approx. $1.8 million in today’s dollars) and her garden to the Harrisburg Public Library. As her gift is attributed to bringing library resources to Harrisburg in the early 1900s, in 2022, she is still responsible for the success of the McCormick Riverfront Library.
After three years of planning, the $3.5 million library renovation and expansion finally triumphed over the challenges of the pandemic, labor and material shortages, and rising inflation costs. In October 2022, the library celebrated their grand reopening ribbon cutting event. Combining the existing McCormick Library and the historic Haldeman Haly House, the 5,400 square-foot expanded library features over 3,400 square-feet of family and STEM learning spaces, a children’s wing, 950 square-feet of public meeting space, and public computer resources. The library also features a welcome center dedicated to T. Morris Chester, a Harrisburg 19th century journalist and abolitionist, honoring his advocacy for civil rights.
The team at Barry Isett & Associates provided geotechnical engineering, structural design, and MEP engineering services including the MEP design of the infamous coffee bar, Good Brotha’s Book Café.