NEPA Scene Staff

Lackawanna Historical Society’s free Scranton walking tours run July 11-Sept. 18 with coronavirus safety guidelines

Lackawanna Historical Society’s free Scranton walking tours run July 11-Sept. 18 with coronavirus safety guidelines
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From a press release:

This week, the Lackawanna Historical Society will begin its free summer walking tours in downtown Scranton with some adjustments due to the coronavirus pandemic.

These 90-minute guided tours focus on the magnificent architecture and fascinating history of some of the Electric City’s often-overlooked commercial and residential buildings.

“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 appreciate not just the architecture, but the wealth and substantial role that Scranton played in the nation’s history.”

The first tour will be held this Saturday, July 11 at 11 a.m. and will meet in front of Lackawanna College at the corner of Vine Street and North Washington Avenue. All tours are limited to six people, and face masks will be required of all participants in accordance with recommendations from the office of Governor Tom Wolf.

This year, tours will be offered on Friday evenings as well as Saturday mornings. Each outdoor walk focuses on a different thematic region of the city. The full schedule is as follows:

Saturday, July 11 at 11 a.m.: Meet at Lackawanna College, corner of N. Washington Ave. and Vine St.

Friday, July 17 at 6 p.m.: Meet at St. Peter’s Cathedral, corner of Linden St. and Wyoming Ave.

Saturday, July 25 at 11 a.m.: Meet at Elm Park Church, corner of Jefferson Ave. and Linden St.

Friday, July 31 at 6 p.m.: Meet at Courthouse Square, corner of N. Washington Ave. and Linden St.

Saturday, Aug. 8 at 11 a.m.: Meet at Lackawanna College, corner of N. Washington Ave. and Vine St.

Friday, Aug 14 at 6 p.m.: Meet at St. Peter’s Cathedral, corner of Linden St. and Wyoming Ave.

Saturday, Aug. 22 at 11 a.m.: Meet at Elm Park Church, corner of Jefferson Ave. and Linden St.

Friday, Aug. 28 at 6 p.m.: Meet at Courthouse Square, corner of N. Washington Ave. and Linden St.

Saturday, Sept. 12 at 11 a.m.: Meet at Courthouse Square, corner of N. Washington Ave. and Linden St.

Friday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m.: Meet at Lackawanna College, corner of N. Washington Ave. and Vine St.

The schedule is subject to change to meet ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines.

“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.”

Call the society at 570-344-3841 for reservations. For more information, email 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 at 232 Monroe Avenue in Scranton.

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. It receives funding from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Catlin Memorial Trust, Lackawanna County, and memberships.

Photo by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene