HARRISBURG, Pa. — When Sara Haldeman Haly died in 1896, she donated the land that was her garden to build Dauphin County's first library, which is known today as the McCormick Riverfront Library in downtown Harrisburg.
As part of the expansion and renovation of the library, a noted local artist has created a unique mural to highlight what had been the home's garden entrance.
The mural, located inside a sealed-off doorway, shows the beginning of a lush garden. A sign on the door reads "Marion's Secret Garden," which is an ode to Marion Alexander, an important supporter of the library's expansion project.
“It’s intended to be a little whimsical,” said Camp Hill artist Julie Riker, who recently won First Place at Paint Annapolis, Artist’s Choice Award at Paint Snow Hill, and People’s Choice Award for Quick Draw at Finger Lakes Plein Air. “The door has historic architectural elements, so the library decided that instead of plastering over it, we created a whimsical garden scene inside.’’
The library is scheduled for completion in late October.
The renovation and expansion will showcase the first coffee shop in any of the library's eight locations and will boast more than 3,400 square feet for a family area.