Harrisburg Apartments: Crunch Time

Just over five years ago I did The Adult Thing ™ and moved from downtown Harrisburg into a house in semi-rural suburbia.  This place was never a particularly nice home, nor was it really my style.  But it was cheap, had decent square footage, and endless potential for upgrades.  I paid down the house on an extremely accelerated schedule and made my final payment this past summer.  And just when I finally got around to re-doing the landscaping and making those renovations, when I was beginning to consider living with the shortcomings of my home (location and style being the two biggest) in exchange for cheap living, I had the sudden revelation that I didn’t have to live here if I didn’t want to.

So I sold it.

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Harrisburg Apartments, Day Four: Executive House

My downtown/midtown apartment hunting continued today with a visit to Executive House.  Executive House is a 14-story high-rise located at the corner of Chestnut and Second streets, directly across from Harrisburg Hospital and Crowne Plaza.  More likely than not, you drive past it every time you head downtown via 83.

Executive House is a 14-story hi-rise located at the corner of Second & Chestnut in downtown Harrisburg.  It was built in 1966 by Berger & Company out of Philadelphia.  Initially, the first nine floors were office space and floors 10 through 14 were residential apartments.  When the Rachael Carlson building opened, Executive House was heavily renovated.  The first three floors remain in use as commercial space, but floors four through 14 are residential studio & one-bedroom apartments.  Up until 2000, the building was decked out in 1960s institutional-white brick cladding.  In 2000 the building received an exterior “facelift”, during which they mercifully painted over that.

Executive House is a well-hidden gem of downtown living.  Honestly, from the outside, it’s not much to look at.  I blame the brushed-aluminum railings on the balconies (brushed aluminum doesn’t age well).  You’ve probably driven past it thousands of times and never noticed, or tuned it out as just another anonymous downtown hi-rise.  The lobby and hallways — with their dark carpeting, dark-stained birch trim, and brass fixtures — make it clear that the common areas were last renovated in 1980-something.  They aren’t exactly ugly, just somewhat dated.  I suspect this makes a lot of people ignore the building, which makes it all that more of a secret.

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