We all watched in horror as fire consumed large parts of the roof of Notre Dame. That was a major blow to the human cultural patrimony.

BUT LITTLE did I know that Scranton, Pennsylvania, has its own Notre Dame, a little one, but a scrappy, hard worker. At any rate, my jaw dropped through the floorboard of my car as I drove past 550 Madison Ave. and saw Covenant Presbyterian Church (figure 1), built in 1903 (figure 2). Of course, the pandemic ensured that I couldn’t get inside.

Figure 1. Covenant Presbyterian Church. View from the intersection of Madison Ave. and Olive St. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Yes! That’s a segmented apse with flying buttresses (figures 3, 4, 5)! A bell tower (figures 3, 8)! Lots of gothic tracery (figure 6, etc.)! Tiffany and other art glass by major practitioners (figure 6, etc.)! Spires (figures 8, 9)!

Figure 2. Covenant Presbyterian Church. Inscribed dates of the foundation of the congregation and of the present church. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 3. Covenant Presbyterian Church. Olde school apse with buttresses. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 4. Covenant Presbyterian Church. Apse and buttresses with hint of extravagant art glass. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 5. Covenant Presbyterian Church. Fish-eye view of the apse with art glass and buttresses. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 6. Covenant Presbyterian Church. West transept with art glass and tracery. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 7. Covenant Presbyterian Church. Ceremonial door. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 8. Covenant Presbyterian Church. Artsy transept view with bell tower. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.
Figure 9. Covenant Presbyterian Church. Spires. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

It’s astonishing how Scranton continually surprises!

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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