NEPA Scene Staff

Events happening this week in downtown Wilkes-Barre: Jan. 20-26

Events happening this week in downtown Wilkes-Barre: Jan. 20-26
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Every Tuesday, the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association and Diamond City Partnership release a list of events happening in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Subscribe here to receive this list via e-mail or just check NEPA Scene each week.

Downtown events

Tuesday, Jan. 20
Event: The Art and Architecture of Paris Cemeteries
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Le Manhattan Bistro (264 South Main St.)

Tony Brooks, board member of the Hollenback Cemetery Association and vice president of Bright Life Travel, will present a slideshow comparing and contrasting the art and architecture of gravesites of Paris and Wyoming Valley cemeteries. Brooks recently led a tour of the four main Paris cemeteries of Père-Lachaise, Montmartre, Montparnasse, and Passy; he will also discuss his upcoming tour of Paris, Normandy and the Seine River in July 2015. Le Manhattan Bistro will serve complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Reservations required.

More information: or 570-504-7575

Thursday, Jan. 22
Event: “Friends of Frank” Reception
Time: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Location: Genetti Best Western Hotel & Conference Center (77 East Market St.)

Family and friends are gathering together with Frank Pasquini for a special reception in honor of Frank’s retirement from full-time employment and in support of Frank during his treatment for cancer. Frank is a good friend to so many, and he has had a tremendous impact on the progress of several organizations in our community during his distinguished fundraising and economic development career, and his volunteer service of more than 40 years. Gifts will assist Frank with medical and related expenses. Tickets are $25; if you wish to purchase a ticket for the reception or make a donation online, please visit

More information:

Saturday, Jan. 24
Event: National Readathon Day
Time: 12:00 PM TO 4:00 PM
Location: Osterhout Free Library (71 South Franklin St.)

The Osterhout will be participating in National Readathon Day on Saturday, January 24 from noon to 4 PM. The National Readathon is a marathon reading session where readers across America sit down to read a book in the comfort of their home or at a reading party in a library or bookstore. This might be a great opportunity to tackle that challenging longer book that’s been sitting on your nightstand. Even famous authors are getting into the act! Light refreshments and a prize drawing will be available to anyone taking part in the Osterhout’s free reading marathon. All ages are welcome.

More information: or 570-821-1959

Downtown exhibits

Luzerne County Historical Society Museum
(69 South Franklin St.)
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: Noon-2 p.m.

Exhibit: The Bride Wore: Wedding Gowns of Wyoming Valley
Dates: Sept. 26, 2014 through Jan. 31, 2015

This exhibit illustrates the history of the American wedding gown through a selection of gowns from the Historical Society’s collection.

Exhibit: Germans in Luzerne County
Dates: Sept. 26, 2014 through Jan. 31, 2015

This exhibit tells the story of the German community of Luzerne County as they made the transition from the old world to the new.

Exhibit: Native Americans of Wyoming Valley
Permanent exhibition

The permanent exhibit on the Native American inhabitants of the area includes local artifacts ranging from stone implements of the Archaic period to the archeological evidence of European influence.

More information: or 570-823-6244

King’s College Widmann Art Gallery
(Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center, between N. Main and N. Franklin Sts.)
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Exhibit: Jim Gavenus: “Marchers of the Movement”
Dates: Jan. 12 through Feb. 26

Jim Gavenus is an internationally recognized documentary photographer. His intimate images and poignant storytelling are evidence of our time focusing on the human condition, social injustice, and civil rights.

More information: or 570-208-5900 ext. 5328

The Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University
(Stark Learning Center, 150 South River St.)

Exhibit: The Sordoni Art Gallery will reopen on Jan. 27 with the 2014–2015 Dr. Roy E. Morgan Exhibition: Dale Threlkeld: End of Illusion.

Wyoming Valley Art League’s Circle Center for the Arts
(130 South Franklin St.)
Hours: Tuesday, 1:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.; Third Friday Art Walk, 5 p.m.–8 p.m.

Exhibit: Exhibition of Abstract Paintings by Sandra Dyczewski Maffei

An exhibition of abstract paintings by the late Sandra Dyczewski Maffei is on display in the Circle Center’s newly remodeled first floor gallery, which has been named the Sandra Dyczewski Maffei Gallery in the artist’s memory.

More information: or

Walk Wilkes-Barre

This week’s historic buildings are:

Quad Three Group
33-37 North Washington St. (1925)

Synergistic Networks Inc.
39 North Washington St. (c. 1889)


Some buildings are urban chameleons: their design accommodates continued reinvention by successive users. Two such structures may be found next door to one another on the first block of North Washington Street.

The larger of the two currently serves as the home offices of architectural and engineering firm Quad Three Group; however, the terra-cotta eagle inside the crowning pediment testifies to the building’s original life as the Fraternal Order of Eagles Home. Wilkes-Barre architects Schmitt and Schroeder designed this three-story tapestry brick clubhouse for the Eagles in 1925. It later served as a dress factory before Quad Three rehabilitated this handsome building for its use in the 1980’s.

The intriguing little Classical Revival building next door has an even more complex history. Built as the offices of Wilkes-Barre’s first electric utility, it later served as the home of the Wilkes-Barre Press Club, the one-time social center for local members of the Fourth Estate. The Press Club must have been quite a place: in 1912, the Chamber of Commerce Journal noted that it “has gained an enviable reputation throughout the country as a ‘prince among entertainers’ to the strangers within our gates, and its galaxy of after-dinner speakers is second to none anywhere – and that is saying much!” President William Howard Taft, Will Rogers, and Admiral Robert Peary were all among the luminaries who held forth at the Press Club during visits to Wilkes-Barre.

Later, the building’s skylit hall was a hub of community theater: first as the “Workshop” for the Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, and then as Showcase Theatre’s stage. Rehabilitated by Quad Three Group, it is now the offices of Synergistic Networks, a technology company and Innovation Center at Wilkes-Barre graduate.