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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

About the Cover


This month's blog header features the Scranton Cultural Center on North Washington Avenue.

Those of us who have been around for a while still call it the Masonic Temple.

Kudos to the person who came up with the idea of colored lights for the front.

Below are a few paragraphs lifted from the SCC 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 Scranton.
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 Rockefeller Center.
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.