NEPA Scene Staff

Look up and learn Scranton history with free guided walking tours downtown June 8-Sept. 21

Look up and learn Scranton history with free guided walking tours downtown June 8-Sept. 21
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From a press release:

Have you ever really looked closely at the buildings you pass by every day?

If you’re interested in learning about the history and architecture of downtown Scranton, the Lackawanna Historical Society will offer guided walking tours at 11 a.m. on Saturdays during the summer. These free tours will focus on the architecture and history of some of the city’s beautiful commercial and residential buildings.

The 90-minute tours will focus on different sections of the downtown, including Courthouse Square, Lackawanna Avenue, the Gothic District, the lower portion of the Hill Section, and residential Green Ridge, Scranton’s first suburb. Buildings that are discussed in detail include the Albright Memorial Library, the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple, city hall, the Scranton Post Office and Federal Court Building, Lackawanna County Courthouse, and the Hotel Jermyn, among others.

“You get to learn interesting historical tidbits, like the Albright Memorial Library was built to look like a museum in Paris. Then you learn some of the little architectural details that, if you didn’t stop and look up, you would never notice, like the Ritz Theater. It’s a beautiful Art Deco building, but if you don’t cross the street and look at it, you won’t see it. There are interesting architectural details that tell part of the story of the city,” Lackawanna Historical Society Executive Director Mary Ann Moran-Savakinus said in a 2010 interview about the annual tours.

“The people who live here don’t know what an architectural treasure the city of Scranton is, so if you get to stop for a minute and look up, then they to appreciate not just the architecture, but the wealth and substantial role that Scranton played in the nation’s history.”

Tours will be offered on the following Saturdays starting at 11 a.m.:

June 8: Meet at St. Peter’s Cathedral, corner Linden St. and Wyoming Ave.

June 22: Meet at Elm Park Church, corner Jefferson Ave. and Linden St.

July 6: Meet at Lackawanna College, corner N. Washington Ave. and Vine St.

July 20: Meet at Nancy K. Holmes Library, Green Ridge St. and Wyoming Ave.

Aug. 3: Meet at George Washington statue, corner N. Washington Ave. and Linden St.

Aug. 17: Meet at Elm Park Church, corner Jefferson Ave. and Linden St.

Sept. 7: Meet at Lackawanna College, corner N. Washington Ave. and Vine St.

Sept. 21: Meet at St. Peter’s Cathedral, corner Linden St. and Wyoming Ave.

Tours are free, but reservations are required by the Thursday prior to the tour date. Call the Lackawanna Historical Society (232 Monroe Ave., Scranton) at 570-344-3841 for more details and reservations.

“It’s a nice tool for the Historical Society because we get to teach history in an interesting way. It’s also nice for summer tourism,” Moran-Savakinus noted.

“It’s a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. If you work in the city all day on the weekdays, you can stop by and get a tour of the city on the weekend and get a whole different perspective.”

For more information about the program, contact the society at 570-344-3841 or e-mail lackawannahistory@gmail.com.

Founded in 1886 as the Lackawanna Institute of History and Science, the Lackawanna Historical Society provides the community with a record of local history through its museum and library collections, exhibits, and programs. In 1942, from the bequest of George H. Catlin, the society established its permanent home at Catlin’s 1912 residence. In 1965, Lackawanna County designated the Lackawanna Historical Society as the official county historical society, and the society continues to serve the county as a center for local history resources.

Photo by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene