Figure 1. Lackawanna Station (now Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel), Scranton, PA. Photo: Ajay Suresh CC-BY-2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Lackawanna Station, designed by Kenneth Murchison and built in 1908, is one of the architectural treasures of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Now a Radisson Hotel, it was refurbished beautifully in 1982 after over a decade of neglect and has been well maintained ever since. We were told upon our arrival in Scranton that the lobby was a must-see.

Figure 2. Lackawanna Station. Detail: exterior central mass. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

The neoclassical façade (figures 1, 2) is probably the most imposing in the valley of the Lackawanna, but it is the interior (figure 3) that will detain architecture buffs. Some of the interior decorative details are furnished by the Pedia of Wiki: “The main entrance leading to the former waiting room is furnished in Formosa, a soft, pinkish-yellow Italian marble. Its Grand Lobby, two and a half stories tall, has an ornamented mosaic tile floor, a barrel-vaulted Tiffany stained-glass ceiling, rare Siena marble walls, and 36 unique Grueby Faience tile murals. The tiles are styled after the work of American artist Clark Greenwood Voorhees, and represent scenes along the DL&W’s Phoebe Snow main line from Hoboken, N.J., to Buffalo, N.Y.”

The following gallery goes some way to illustrating Murchison’s design choices. It’s worth noting that nothing I saw was ‘faux’, i.e., painted to look like marble, tile, or ceramic.

Figure 3. Lackawanna Station interior. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

The Tiffany glass drop ceiling (figure 4) features at its corners the initials of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad line: D L & W.

Figure 4. Lackawanna Station. Tiffany art glass ceiling. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

The end walls of the lobby feature fountains in the form of little tadpoles in marbled recesses (figure 5).

Figure 5. Lackawanna Station, Italian marble revetments with Grueby ceramics. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Here and there the marbles have been book-matched or otherwise symmetrically arranged. So, for example, see the matching tall yellow pilasters above the lights in figure 5, and the book-matched example in figure 7.

Figure 6. Lackawanna Station. Italian marble revetments with Grueby ceramics. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

See, too, the lovely crisp keystones in white marble over the arches in figure 6.

Figure 7. Lackawanna Station. Book-matched marble revetment. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

If you’re in Scranton, I’ll second what the locals told me: go have a look! And the parking is free.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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