Above is the Scranton Cultural Center, aka, The Masonic Temple.
Below are several paragraphs lifted from the SCC's web site.
The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple is housed in one of
the most glorious pieces of architecture to be found in Scranton,
Pennsylvania. Originally built as the Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite
Cathedral, the building is significant as an example of the work of
Raymond M. Hood (1881-1934), a prominent architect of the 1920's and
early 1930's, and as a unique example of Neo-Gothic architecture in
Raymond Hood's productive career spanned from 1922, when he and a
collaborator won the Chicago Tribune design competition, to his untimely
death at 53 in 1934. Hood became a nationally prominent architect
trained in the Beaux Arts tradition and proficient with historic styles.
During those 12 years, Hood was the principle designer or primary
collaborator in a number of high-profile progressive skyscraper designs,
mainly in New York City, where he designed the Daily News Building and
the McGraw-Hill Building in mid-town Manhattan, and was part of the team
that designed Radio City Music Hall. His best known work being
The Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral is located at 420 North
Washington Avenue in downtown Scranton. The 1930 Temple-cathedral is a
highly stylized Neo-Gothic and Romanesque pastiche executed by Hood. The
design of the building was to be a monument to Masonry. Masonic lodges
in Scranton for years felt the need for a suitable home or temple, and
prior to the construction of this building they used an old armory. Bids
for construction were taken in January, 1927.
The Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral was inaugurated on
January 2, 1930 when the first meeting was held in the building. The
rectangular plan building is clad in coursed ashlars of Indiana
limestone supported by a structural steel framework. At approximately
180,000 square feet, the building houses 2 theatres, meeting rooms, a
grand ballroom as well as numerous other rooms and areas.
Over time the Masonic Fraternity realized the need to utilize the
facility in more non-traditional ways. A grass roots effort was launched
to form a not-for-profit organization dedicated to both preserving the
physical structure of the temple and providing an ongoing programming
source for the community. This unique partnership of the community as
well as the Masonic Fraternity has proven successful and beneficial to
Today the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple operates the
facility as a regional performance and cultural hub. The Center serves
as the residence for national tours of Broadway musicals and concerts
and hosts many of the area’s top regional companies. It also has kept to
its earliest purposes by continuing to serve as the center of Masonic
activity in the region.
We have proudly hosted performances that range from Frank Sinatra to Rob
Zombie. Our stage has been graced by Yul Brenner in The King and I,
George Carlin, NSync and Britney Spears, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel,
Willie Nelson, Doc Watson and Bela Fleck. And so many other entertainers
it would take pages to include.
Today the Center is undergoing a several phased, multi-million dollar
restoration. To date work has been done on many areas of the facility.
In the mid 1990's new roofs were installed including a complete
replacement of the copper roof system and gutters over the south end of
the building. Lead paint and asbestos issues were addressed in the late
1990's. Since then all new electric services have been installed, air
conditioning was incorporated into the theatre and ballroom. The grand
ballroom received major restoration work to the walls and ceilings and
the main lobbies are currently being restored. Our most recent
renovation was the addition of the Raymond Hood Room in the Lower Level.
Future work will include restoration work to the theatre walls and
ceiling, new stage lighting and sound reinforcement systems, replacement
of the 75 year old stage floor, updated dressing rooms, installation of
elevated, portable seating in our 4th floor theatre (Shopland Hall),
and air conditioning of our 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor spaces.
I've been here for a variety of events-- Ernie Preate's election nights, Sister Adrian's holiday dinners, Washo and O'Brien beginning their terms as county commissioners...