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Lackawanna County Courthouse

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1884, Isaac G. Perry; 1896 renovations, B. T. Lacey. Courthouse Sq.
  • Lackawanna County Courthouse

The formation of Lackawanna County in 1878 shifted the town's center of gravity to swampy lowland, known as the “Lily Pond,” on the margins of the original town plan. It was donated in 1884 by the Lackawanna Coal and Iron Company for construction of the new courthouse. Perry created an eclectic composition, all bartizans and Flemish gables, whose mixture of forms suggests the bristling spirit of Victorian design while also invoking the high roofs and French massing of H. H. Richardson's New York State House in Albany, which Perry completed after that architect's death. The courthouse is clad in the local yellowish West Mountain stone, trimmed with Onondaga limestone. It has suffered numerous alterations (violations to its interior are grievous), but it remains the cornerstone of the downtown landscape.

Two notable monuments ornament the courthouse grounds. The John Mitchell Monument (1924) was designed by Peter Sheridan, a Hazleton architect, to honor the founder of the United Mine Workers, who was locally beloved for his role in the 1902 Anthracite Coal Commission hearings. Sculpted by Charles Keck, Mitchell's heroic bronze statue sits in a niche that features reliefs of anthracite life. Also of interest is the nearby Soldiers and Sailors Monument, built by the Harrison Granite Company (1899). A latecomer among Civil War monuments, it is a towering granite shaft, topped with a sword-bearing statue of Victory, and ringed by a colonnade at its base, which also bears excellent bronze reliefs.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "Lackawanna County Courthouse", [Scranton, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-LK1.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 482-482.

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