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Friday, November 20, 2009

Changing Square


I was going through more of the photos of a departed advertising agency executive the other day, when the above photo caught my eye-- a snowy day on Wilkes-Barre's Public Square.  I'm not sure of the date, but judging by the other photos in the packet, I have reason to believe it was sometime in 1986.

The photographer is looking east.  The Martz building is at the upper left.  What would become the Alltel building is under construction in the center.  A parking lot is to the immediate right.  There's a parking garage there now.  The building with the peaked roof is City Hall.  East Market Street is that broad avenue nearly in the center of the photo.

Below is a later photo, from the same collection.

The Martz building is the darker colored big box.  The Alltel building is finished here, and it's the lighter colored box in the center, and the parking lot in the first photo has been replaced by a parking garage in the second.  You can make out part of the long disassembled canopy on the sidewalk, in front of the Martz building.

I visit downtown Wilkes-Barre on a fairly regular basis, and it's interesting to see how it's changed over the years.

I can't say I'm a fan of the newer architecture here.  The hotel, Martz, Alltel, Wilkes-Barre Center and the Bicentennial Building are just a bunch of nondescript boxes.  Luckily, there are still some old gems in the neighborhood.