Hughson Hawley (1850-1936). [Capitol Building for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Design by Joseph Huston].
ca. 1904. 14 ½ x 26 (image). Photogravure. Signed by the artist in the plate lower right. Late 20th century re-strike. Signed in pencil lower left margin by “dveky”? Framed. A/A
A stylized rendering of Joseph Huston’s design for the new capitol building in Harrisburg. Joseph M. Huston won the 1901 competition among Pennsylvania architects for the new building constructed from 1902-1906. The Huston Capitol replaced the Hills Capitol which was destroyed by fire in 1897 and the Cobb Capitol which was never completed and construction abandoned in 1899. However, much of the exterior artwork, sculptural groups, and bas relief stone and marble work, as well as a massive quadriga atop the center wing roof shown in this illustration which was never completed. After completion of the Huston Capitol, Huston and four others were convicted of graft in 1908 for price gouging in the building’s construction and furnishings and all were sentenced to two years in prison.
To portray his vision of the new Pennsylvania state Capitol Building, Huston engaged F. Hughson Hawley who is believed to have produced more than eleven thousand drawings during his half-century career. Architects and builders commissioned Hawley to prepare presentation drawings, and elevations to promote their buildings or to assist in seeking construction financing. Drawings of completed structures were often used as illustration art by the architect’s clients.