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April 3, 2017

historic architecture historic depots Historic hotels historic Scranton landmarks Lifestyle Northeastern Pennsylvania history Pennsylvania Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton Landmark Scranton lodging

Scranton landmark hotel: The Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel

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  • April 3, 2017
Scranton landmark hotel: The Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel
The Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, a Scranton landmark hotel and formerly a bustling train depot, was built in 1908. Photo by Kento Matsui 2016 taken during Scranton’s 100th Birthday Celebration. 

Visit an iconic Scranton Landmark

The Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel 

If you have ties to Northeastern Pennsylvania, you probably already know bits and pieces of the history of one of Scranton’s iconic landmarks.

Scranton landmark hotel
The Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, PA offers guests amenities they would find at a metropolitan hotel, with the added vintage charm of a turn-of-the-century Scranton landmark hotel. 

The former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad station, known today as The Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, is a sight to behold and one I have admired for as long as I can remember. You simply can’t miss the limestone facade and the eight-foot bronze clock that’s prominently displayed on the front of the building as you head south on Jefferson Avenue. History buffs and travelers looking for a quaint and authentic experience, with distinctive architectural elements, will savor every moment at this Scranton landmark hotel.

Scranton landmark hotel
Regardless of the time of year you visit the hotel, the lobby is a masterpiece work of art in itself. Take time to notice the exquisite tiles that adorn the marble walls.

Architect Kenneth Murchison designed the station in 1906, as a replacement for a much smaller depot only blocks away on Lackawanna Avenue. The grand French Renaissance-style station is awe-inspiring as its poised between Spruce Street and Lackawanna Avenue.

The five-story structure was built in 1908 but a sixth floor was added in the 1920s to provide additional office space.

One of the most notable features in the lobby is a barrel-vaulted ceiling.

 

History buffs will marvel at the significant role the depot played in Scranton’s past as a transportation hub for travelers.

You can learn more about the history of the station at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWtea9H5Hjs

For me, it’s the delightful mix of history, architectural ornamentation that includes marble walls, hand-painted tiles and a barrel-vaulted ceiling adorned with Tiffany glass, combined with some very fond childhood memories. As a child, my late father, a commercial hardware designer, and I wandered around the first-floor before and after the station closed and rail service ended. Until recently, on only one occasion did I venture upstairs into one of the guest rooms.

In January, I was an overnight guest and treated to a night in one of the posh newly renovated suites.

Sweet Dreams 

When the time to relax or fall asleep is upon you, the ambiance of the sleeping area will have you dreaming of days gone by. The guest suite amenities are plentiful with a desk and a comfortable chair for those guests who happen to bring work along, a coffee maker, refrigerator two flatscreen televisions, and a decor that’s soothing to the eye.

Scranton landmark hotel
With ultra-comfortable linens and pillows, if you choose to read or work before you nod off, you might have a difficult time staying awake. Task lighting provides a perfect environment to watch television or surf the web with free high-speed internet while lounging on your bed. The hotel offers 146 posh lodging options and outstanding services to optimize your experience. 

Other amenities include the hotel’s business center, a complimentary shuttle ride to AVP Airport and local attractions, fitness center, same-day dry cleaning and a pet-friendly policy.

There are so many opportunities to explore Scranton’s rich history and cultural heritage at the nearby Steamtown National Historic Site. More information regarding admission prices and exhibits are available here.

Take a walking tour of some of the city’s other historic buildings. Shop at The Marketplace at Steamtown or one of many specialty boutiques and art galleries or spend your afternoon at The Everhart Museum, located only a few miles from the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Nay Aug Park. The museum was founded in 1908 and is one of the oldest museums in the state of Pennsylvania.

Are you ready for a sumptuous meal? 

Whether you choose to order room service or you’re looking to socialize over a cocktail or fine wine, the dining options at this Scranton landmark hotel are as varied as an 8 oz Grilled Filet Mignon or Flat Bread with sliced tomato and fresh mozzarella. You’ll find three on-site dining choices, beginning with your jolt of morning caffeine and a croissant or pastry at the Station Café. Throughout your day, find your perfect meal at the award-winning Carmen’s 2.0 Restaurant & World Tour Menu or Trax Platform Lounge, a popular more casual meeting evening destination for both local residents and hotel guests. Order an appetizer, salad or entree to pair with your cocktail, tap beer or wine.

Scranton landmark hotel
Trax Platform Lounge is located on the original loading dock.
Scranton landmark hotel
The decor at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel is a delightful blend of old and new.

Please follow this link to see videos featuring Michael Kearney, Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel manager. I am grateful for the opportunity to experience this extraordinary hotel. Many thanks to Michael Kearney his gracious hospitality and Michael Chandler, facility manager, for his technical assistance during the filming of these videos. Stay tuned for more videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmzwmmIw1oA

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Lifestyle

Bob Dunlop shares stories from the Crescent Lodge

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  • April 3, 2017
Bob Dunlop, Crescent Lodge owner, has dedicated more than 70 years to the hospitality industry. Photos by Joan Mead-Matsui

Crescent Lodge: a retreat from city life

Peaceful paradise in the heart of the Poconos

In 1947, Jack Dunlop and his wife, Minerva, traveled to the Pocono Mountains and found the perfect spot — a nine-bedroom former boarding house on 28 scenic acres along Route 191 in Paradise Valley.

Bob Dunlop, current Crescent Lodge owner, described his parents as typical “New Yorkers” who discovered their niche in the Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.

Dunlop was 10-years old and growing up on Long Island, N.Y. when his father purchased the rooming house “in the country” as a retreat from city life. Family and friends gathered there on weekends and summers to play cards and unwind.

The Crescent lodge is located in Cresco, PA in the heart of the Poconos at 5854 Paradise Valley Rd, at a busy thoroughfare that intersects with Route 191. Despite a constant flow of traffic; inside the lodge, guests will find a peaceful reprieve among the antique furniture and memorabilia Dunlop has collected over the years. Don’t miss the wall of photos near the registration desk that feature Dunlop immersed in one of his favorite hobbies – golf.

The Crescent Lodge, Paradise Valley, was a former boarding house. On a mid-summer evening, there wasn’t a seat available in the dining room. My table had a view of the pool and Dunlop’s collection of vintage cottages he and his father built, one by one, over a 70-year span.

As I scribbled notes in my stenographer’s notebook, I heard a male voice ask, “How’s everything?”

I gazed up and found Dunlop standing next to my table. Whenever he’s in town, he makes his evening rounds to each table. greeting dinner patrons and inquiring about their meals. From the brief conversations I overheard, I wasn’t sure if the customers were close acquaintances or new customers, but nonetheless, I heard rave reviews. Dunlop and his son, Wayne, have built their business by carrying on a tradition of personalized service, flavorsome cuisine, and plentiful portions. Part of their success is attributed to a hands-on approach. On that night, Dunlop’s son, Wayne, was the maitre d, but he also serves as the chef, according to Dunlop.

Decades of

As I waited for my French Onion Soup appetizer to arrive, Dunlop gave me his undivided attention as he shared decades of stories about his life in the hospitality business.

“My father bought the property and came up often with his friends on the weekends,” Dunlop commented. “When they started the business, they did not charge guests. The guests felt guilty not paying to stay here.”

Wistful Charm 

Patrons will find a touch of vintage charm, whether they choose to stay in the inn or one of the captivating cottages. Each accommodation at the Crescent Lodge has its own distinctive style and is adorned with ample furnishings covered in soft, comfortable fabrics.

Guests can choose from a room in the inn or in one of the custom-built cottages.

Rather than dress his rooms in the most up-to-date fabrics and colors, Dunlop has chosen to retain a style that’s reminiscent of the late 1940s, intermingled with the amenities guests expect. Private bathrooms with a shower and bathtub, toiletries, hair dryer, ironing board, and iron are some of the comforts provided. Many of the cottages feature a fireplace and sunken jacuzzi built for two.

Dunlop offers his guests the timeless style and elegance they’ve come to expect. 

Dunlop has witnessed first-hand significant changes in the hospitality industry. One way to stay up-to-date with trends is the practical approach he has acquired after nearly 70 years in the business by staying in touch with his customers’ needs.

“I was just a kid when my father began to build the cottages in a semi-cirle,” Dunlop explained, referring to the cottages dressed in cedar shingles. 

Years later, when he was absorbed in his own career, Dunlop, an architect, made a decision to take over the family business, but his design skills and training weren’t wasted. Upkeep often included building and renovation projects. Cedar is a key element in the cottages’ exterior facade and all but one of the bungalows has a fireplace.

“My parents didn’t know what to do with the (Crescent Lodge) business. So, I gave up my business and I took over,” he said.

The Cedar shingles incorporated into the cottage design lend a romantic appeal.  

While being in the hospitality business is at the very least demanding, Dunlop said a dedication to the business is a necessity.

 Anyone who gets into the hospitality business needs to know it’s very time-consuming,” he quipped. “I’m like a doctor. If somebody needs something at three o’clock in the morning, we have to get up and do it, but it’s very rewarding.”

Dunlop draws his dinner clients from a variety of demographics. Folks passing through the Poconos or those with second homes dine with him on a frequent basis and many are faithful followers who have been fans for years. Overnight guests range from honeymooners seeking romance, privacy and outdoor recreational activities to the over 55 crowd, who shop, golf or kick back.

“I have to give my dad credit. He was very progressive for that era. We’ve had a really nice business and we’ve met all sorts of people. You make a lot of people happy. I don’t think we’ve made anybody unhappy,” Dunlop said. 

Visit crescentlodge.com for more information regarding rates, menus, deals and packages. You can also find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

Disclosure:

My trip was comped but my opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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