Scranton Cultural Center Receives PA Historic and Museum Commission Grant

Members News

The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple is pleased to announce the completion of a long-range study that will guide its future efforts in the ongoing preservation, restoration, and modernization of the historic structure.

The study was funded through the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission and the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office.  The completed report provides a comprehensive look at all of the building systems and spaces and identifies work remaining to be done.  The study ranges from mechanical systems such as ventilation and plumbing to illumination and preservation of doors and historic paintwork. 

Taking slightly over a year to complete, the report was prepared by Highland Associates, an architectural and engineering firm located in Clarks Summit, Pa.  The firm has over thirty years of experience in doing detailed analysis of structures and in designing solutions to achieve the multi-faceted goals of the SCC.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Designed by renowned architect Raymond Hood, the 180,000+ square foot structure has been in constant operation since opening in 1930.  The building encompasses two theaters, a grand ballroom with balcony, several masonic lodge rooms, meeting spaces, a library and a youth theater space, as well a offices and support spaces.  At one time, the facility housed an eight-lane bowling alley and a billiard room – both now converted for alternative uses.

“We were delighted to have been chosen by PHMC as a grant recipient.  This study is absolutely critical to our ability to plan the next steps in the restoration program and will serve as guidance for our future development and capital campaigns,” Deborah Moran Peterson, executive Director of the SCC said.  “As a non-profit organization, this type of support is critical in our ongoing efforts to restore and improve our building so that we can continue to serve a broad and diverse population as a center for cultural and entertainment activities.”

PHMC / PA SHPO provided $25,000 in a matching grant with the matching balance being provided by a private donor.

Previous restoration and modernization work totals over $17,000.000 dollars, starting in 1987 with the formation of the Scranton Cultural Center and the award of $8,000.000 from the state of Pennsylvania under then Governor Robert Casey.  A state funded exterior restoration project is currently being developed and is anticipated to begin in late spring of 2024.

Future projects will include restoration of the Weinberg theater interior and modernization of stage mechanical, audio and lighting systems, addition of air conditioning to the second, third and fourth floor spaces, upgrades to the facility computer, phone and security systems, modernization of restrooms and dressing rooms, modernization of the facility HVAC control systems, and energy efficiency improvements, among others.