Many of the people who came to the RetroRoadmap / Roadsidefans meet-up in Scranton told me that the tour we took of the historic Lackawanna Train Station – now a Radisson Hotel in Scranton, PA was a highlight of their visit. As this tour was my idea I was pleased that this was such a success, and recommend you stop by the Radisson if you’re ever in Scranton. It’s Beautiful!
The building itself was constructed in 1908 and while it did go through the decline that many historic rail stations have, I am happy to report when a classic gem like this avoids the wrecking ball (see my post on Worcester’s Union Station as an example).
I cannot rave more about the prompt and professional service that I received from the staff at the Radisson in Scranton, from my first email exchange with General Manager Michael Kearney to the friendly, informed tour given by Front Office Manager Rae Lynn Barrett. I have recently planned a lot of events via email and have to say that these two definitely left a positive impression on me.
The hotel was in fine form as we arrived, serving an elegant brunch in the main hall with live accompaniment on a grand piano. While we were all technically looking forward to eating in the Glider Diner, each of us commented at one point that had we known the brunch would look and smell so delicious, we would rather eat here. RetroRoadhusband and I have put it on our map for a nice Sunday drive for sure.
The stained glass roof above the main hall is reported to be Tiffany glass – and (horror of horrors) the reason that the middle sections are missing is that during a period of decline and closure of the property years ago, construction workers threw the furniture from the floors above THROUGH the wonderfully decorative glass ceiling!!! At least there are some sections left to admire.
When we met up with Rae Lynn I did not know what to expect from the “tour” and thought perhaps she’d just point to a few areas of interest and let us roam around. Our entire group was delighted when we realized we were getting a behind the scenes guided tour of the property, including trips to the old safe, wine bar and even the…MORGUE!
Yes, that’s right, the morgue.
And behind that door…another door!
And behind that door….well it was just a small cement lined room. But still, how cool is that, a creepy ancient morgue, that you would never know existed unless you took the tour. Rae Lynn tells that when the property was still a train station they needed a place to store bodies that were waiting to be transferred onto trains that hadn’t arrived yet. The painted warning was added recently for effect
We were then brought up to the 6th floor (added to the station in the 1920′s) to get a glimpse of one of their guest rooms, which was well appointed and nicely decorated. Taking a peek outside the window I was thrilled to see the famous Scranton Electric City sign in the near distance:
Rae Lynn knew many facts about the property and her pride in working in such a wonderfully historic property was in evidence. We too were caught up in her enthusiasm for the details she pointed out, such as the green tiled walls that now line the Trax bar, to the decorative marble surrounding the main hall and cozy wine bar.
I was feeling bad for not taking more photos but doing a little internet search I found a WONDERFUL 360 tour you can take, to show you some of what we viewed in real life:
Even if you don’t arrange a private tour like we did, do yourself a favor and poke your head into the Radisson at the Lackawanna Station if ever you’re in Scranton. It’s a marvelous testament to the grandeur of the past, and a thumbs up to a company like the Radisson who are keeping this gem viable for hopefully the next 100 years!
Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton
700 Lackawanna Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503