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Old 09-04-2012, 05:08 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,585 times
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Hello All,

Hopefully someone here can assist and give me guidance. I'm an Army military member moving to Harrisburg, PA in early December. I'm trying to fine the best area to live in whether in Harrisburg or a surrounding town. Again, I'm a single mom of an 18 and 12 year old so I'm looking for both an area with a college and good middle schools. I have been advised to not live in Harrisburg due to the school systems and not so great schools, however I am biased to that since it's not always true. I'm looking for a nice and safe area, not too far from Harrisburg as this is where I will be working and not used to driving in snow so that's a concern. Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:15 PM
 
4,264 posts, read 10,256,418 times
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The people who complain about Harrisburg schools are referring to the area within the City limits which is a small portion of the area with a Harrisburg postal address. Could maybe provide more pointers with a specific worksite address (we have more traffic than might be expected) - DLA New Cumberland? FTIG? NSA Mechanicsburg? Carlisle Barracks?
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:52 AM
 
645 posts, read 1,152,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yvetteade View Post
Hello All,

Hopefully someone here can assist and give me guidance. I'm an Army military member moving to Harrisburg, PA in early December. I'm trying to fine the best area to live in whether in Harrisburg or a surrounding town. Again, I'm a single mom of an 18 and 12 year old so I'm looking for both an area with a college and good middle schools. I have been advised to not live in Harrisburg due to the school systems and not so great schools, however I am biased to that since it's not always true. I'm looking for a nice and safe area, not too far from Harrisburg as this is where I will be working and not used to driving in snow so that's a concern. Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks.
I used to live in Allison Hill. I can assure you that it's a horrible place to live. I'll give some links, and this is what most of the Hill looks like. Outside of downtown and uptown Harrisburg along Front, Second, and Third streets, the city is dumpy. Go a block outside of that area and it's a run down ghetto. It doesn't look as bad as it did back in the 1980s, but that's due to the fact that they tore down a lot of abandoned homes. Keep in mind that during its heyday, Harrisburg had a population of about 90k in 1950. By 1980, that number was cut in half. Everything left Harrisburg, jobs, people that had money, which spawned urban blight and all sorts of seedy behavior.

There are areas within 10 - 20 minutes of Harrisburg that aren't bad at all, so I'd suggest looking in the surrounding areas. Harrisburg City schools are notoriously bad.

Here are some links that will provide you with photos of what the majority of Harrisburg looks like. Keep in mind that there are some nice areas along Front, Second, and Third streets, but it's a rather narrow corridor. Note that there are plenty of boarded up windows. I was there about a year ago, and a lot of homes are owned by the city, up for sheriff sale, or have been condemned.

New plan for Harrisburg's South Allison Hill coming out Wednesday | PennLive.com
1 dead, 2 wounded in shooting in Harrisburg's Allison Hill | PennLive.com
Volunteers will work to clean up Harrisburg | PennLive.com
https://foursquare.com/v/allison-hil...3fef3bc91c0456
A year later: Are Harrisburg's streets safer? | PennLive.com

I hope this helps.
Cheers,
bolillo_loco
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:40 PM
 
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Try cumberland valley school district. Solid Schools and nice area overall.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Lehighton/Jim Thorpe area
2,095 posts, read 2,740,478 times
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I wonder if this could get moved to the Harrisburg forum?

Also to the OP, if you look at the Harrisburg forum there should be a stick at top with questions re: where you'll live, etc. Cut and paste that into the thread so we have a better idea about where you are coming from.

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Old 09-12-2012, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Downtown Harrisburg
1,434 posts, read 3,554,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolillo_loco View Post
Harrisburg had a population of about 90k in 1950. By 1980, that number was cut in half. Everything left Harrisburg, jobs, people that had money, which spawned urban blight and all sorts of seedy behavior.
To be fair, that happened to almost every city out there. The subject is a fascinating study in sociology and economics if you'd care to read up on it.

White flight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Here are some links that will provide you with photos of what the majority of Harrisburg looks like. Keep in mind that there are some nice areas along Front, Second, and Third streets, but it's a rather narrow corridor. Note that there are plenty of boarded up windows. I was there about a year ago
Most of those links are two or three years old, by the way. Do you live in Harrisburg, or were you just working / driving through?

Allison Hill is a tiny part of the city. It is far and away the worst part of the city by a landslide. Whether you're speaking geographically or by population percentage, the overwhelming majority of Harrisburg looks NOTHING like Allison Hill. Whether you're talking about the revival of Old Uptown, the river festivals, the Northern Gateway project, the culture, the community, midtown's renaissance, downtown's entertainment options, or just the city in general, there's no part of Harrisburg that resembles Allison Hill other than Allison Hill.


OP, I would look into Susquehanna Township or even Lower Paxton Township. They're both adjacent to Harrisburg (still a Harrisburg mailing address) and will keep your kids out of the awful Harrisburg city schools. You could also check out several boroughs across the river like Camp Hill, Enola, New Cumberland, and Wormleysburg, but bear in mind that the bridges become SEVERELY congested during rush hour.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:26 PM
 
645 posts, read 1,152,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DowntownHarrisburg View Post
To be fair, that happened to almost every city out there. The subject is a fascinating study in sociology and economics if you'd care to read up on it.

White flight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Most of those links are two or three years old, by the way. Do you live in Harrisburg, or were you just working / driving through?

Allison Hill is a tiny part of the city. It is far and away the worst part of the city by a landslide. Whether you're speaking geographically or by population percentage, the overwhelming majority of Harrisburg looks NOTHING like Allison Hill. Whether you're talking about the revival of Old Uptown, the river festivals, the Northern Gateway project, the culture, the community, midtown's renaissance, downtown's entertainment options, or just the city in general, there's no part of Harrisburg that resembles Allison Hill other than Allison Hill.


OP, I would look into Susquehanna Township or even Lower Paxton Township. They're both adjacent to Harrisburg (still a Harrisburg mailing address) and will keep your kids out of the awful Harrisburg city schools. You could also check out several boroughs across the river like Camp Hill, Enola, New Cumberland, and Wormleysburg, but bear in mind that the bridges become SEVERELY congested during rush hour.
Yes I understand what caused Harrisburg's demise. I did point out that from Front through third streets, uptown, downtown, and I did forget midtown aren't that bad, but for me that's a narrow corridor. While it's true that what happened to Harrisburg happened to many cities in the rust belt, the topic starter was specifically asking about Harrisburg. The most mind boggling thing for me would be the turn of the century Victorian homes, architecture and the like that's pretty common in Harrisburg including the Hill. That and college got me curious about what happened to the city, which is why I checked into the subjects covered by the link you've provided. I wrote a paper about it in college. Moreover, I can remember shopping downtown in the early 70s. I got to watch many of the jobs leave.

I started going to Harrisburg 3 - 4 times per week in the late 1980s. The Metron/Club Med drew me to the area. From 1991 through 1997, I worked at The Vault on Second and Pine as well as Stallions on 3rd across from the Capitol. From 1996 through 2001, I lived in Allison Hill. To me, the "Hill" just spills out all the way to 30th street. I still go back to the area to visit friends that I made over the years, but I am so glad I do not have to live there. It's a depressing area. While the links I provided aren't exactly new, that's how it still looks to me. I was just there a few months ago.

Your points on the school districts are spot on, and many people forget about what the traffic is like. I strongly dislike driving into the city during morning and afternoon rush hour. A fifteen minute drive when there's no traffic could well take an hour during rush hour. Parking always seems to be an issue as well, but that could be due to the fact that I lived most of my life in rural Pennsylvania or the suburbs of Hershey.

I am no fan of Harrisburg be sure...

Last edited by bolillo_loco; 09-12-2012 at 01:34 PM..
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Downtown Harrisburg
1,434 posts, read 3,554,399 times
Reputation: 1010
Quote:
Originally Posted by bolillo_loco View Post
I did point out that from Front through third streets, uptown, downtown, and I did forget midtown aren't that bad, but for me that's a narrow corridor.
As someone who lives here now, I disagree. Look at the planned (now happening) commercial rebirth of Seventh Street north of Forster. For that matter, look at the areas between Front & Seventh just north of Forster. I've pointed this out on here before, but if you draw a diagonal line from around Seventh & Boas to around Front & Emerald, all of the areas south of that line are decent places to be. And there are plenty of decent places north of that line as well, though you're going to start to run into some patchy blocks here and there. This unfairly slashes all the nice properties around Italian Lake, the Old Uptown revival, and all points in between out of the picture. But even with those neighborhoods cut, you've still got most of the city on the good side.

Now, one might argue that if you add in the surrounding municipalities -- Susquehanna township, Lower Paxton township, Lower Swatara township, and so on -- the part of the city I marked as "good" reflects a small portion of that region. Fair enough -- but if you're going to count those areas as part of Harrisburg, then it's worth pointing out that most of them are definitely "good".

That's the first time I've heard anyone say that Allison Hill goes out to 30th. The general consensus is that it always seems to end around the early 20s, where the housing stock changes over. The reason for the architecture throughout that area is that Allison Hill use to be a separate town, entirely unrelated to Harrisburg. It was seen as high-brow living, where the elite lived. As the years progressed and urban flight took hold, that aging housing became more blue collar than elite. Remember that Harrisburg's population has always been overwhelmingly working class, and they can't afford to purchase (let alone maintain) old Victorian mansions. During the "everything old is garbage" wave of the 60s and 70s, some neighborhoods sunk into decline while others held the line as affordable, working-class places to live. That end of the city is a living example of this.

There are some people who equate "working class" with "ghetto", and those people might not feel comfortable in any urban environment.

But saying that most of Harrisburg is just like Allison Hill is ridiculously inaccurate.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Lehighton/Jim Thorpe area
2,095 posts, read 2,740,478 times
Reputation: 1692
I think the OP should probably come back and address the questions such as where she'll be working, etc. in order for us to give her a better idea of where to live.
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