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First Presbyterian Church

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1889, J. C. Cady; 1927 church house, Thomas H. Atherton and Thomas A. Foster. 97 S. Franklin St.

A frequent designer of Presbyterian churches, Cady designed those in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton at the same time and in a similar Richardsonian Romanesque manner, an example of the constant architectural competition between the two cities, which benefited New York City architects such as Cady. The Wilkes-Barre church is a model of elegance, consisting of little more than a polygonal auditorium anchored by its superb corner tower. The Laurel Run redstone exterior hides a steel frame, a novelty sufficiently noteworthy to feature prominently in contemporary accounts of its construction. Diagonally across the street at 40 W. Northampton Street is the YMCA (1934, Thomas Foster), a Lombard Romanesque design that became a favored YMCA/YWCA design mode after Zantzinger, Borie and Medary's Harrisburg YWCA in 1913.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas



  • 1889

  • 1927

    Church house built

What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "First Presbyterian Church", [Wilkes-Barre, 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, 468-469.

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