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Scranton Life Building

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1916, Edward Langley. 538 Spruce St.
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (Photograph by William E. Fischer, Jr. )
  • (Photograph by William E. Fischer, Jr. )

A cellular Chicago frame office building overlaid with white Gothic Revival terra-cotta frosting, this was the last built of the fine collection of office buildings forming the margins of Courthouse Square. The use of easily cleaned glazed architectural terra-cotta tile ornament came to epitomize the development of downtown Scranton during the coalblackened early twentieth century. Other buildings that utilized this shiny material included the former Stoehr and Fister (1922; 200 Adams Avenue) and Lewis and Reilly (1924; 114 Wyoming Avenue) stores, both by Davis and Lewis; and a number of lost landmarks, like the remarkable 1926 Casey Hotel Parking Garage (Lester M. Davis) on Adams Avenue, with its terra-cotta spandrel panels ornamented with automotive motifs, and the large Lackawanna Avenue furniture stores demolished for the construction of the Mall at Steamtown ( LK9).

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Scranton Life Building", [Scranton, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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, 483-484.

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