Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Up on the roof

This was my next-to-last week doing the Blog of the Week at PA Live! on WBRE. For the past seven months I've been parking in the Boscov's parkade next door to WBRE every Tuesday (or almost every Tuesday; those days that I was working after the show I parked at a meter across the street so I could make a quick getaway.) It's given me a reason to visit Boscov's, something I hadn't done in years. A few weeks ago I happened to park on the top deck of the parkade, something I hadn't done in over a decade. The views were beautiful, but I lost sunlight before I could get back to the car. I decided that one of these days when the sun was setting later I had to park up there and remember to bring my camera. This past Tuesday was to be the day.

The stairwell and elevator shaft on the top parking deck of Boscov's in Wilkes-Barre. I went all these years without realizing there was an elevator here. My mom never even realized there were stairs. Someone has tagged this wall. It's hard to read, but it looks like it might say "Gort."

The spires of the Irem Temple, the Masonic hangout in Wilkes-Barre. Looking East down Franklin Street.

The Westmoreland Club seen from street level. This is where the rich and powerful of Luzerne County gather to plot. I think.

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church from ground level.

The Bear Creek Wind Farm seen from the top deck of the Boscov's parkade. The white building on the left is the Bicentennial Building. This is facing east-by-southeast.

Close-up of the wind turbines.

The Market Street Bridge, looking towards Kingston. Facing north.

The backside of Wilkes-Barre. Main Street runs through the middle of this picture. These buildings, which look like so many tenements, present attractive faces to Main Street. Facing south by southwest.

The rooftop array of WBRE. A bit of chain-link fence can be seen at the lower left. This picture and the ones before and after it were taken through a chain-link fence that keeps you from falling off the side of the parkade. (No such fence is at the front, just a low railing separating you from a five-story plunge to Franklin Street. Facing south by southwest again.

Another skyline view. This is mostly to the left of the previous picture. The towers of Penobscot Mountain are visible  to the left of center. Facing south.

St. Stephen's as seen from the top deck of the Boscov's parkade. This building is so large and so close that it couldn't be captured in a single photograph. This is a composite of three photos.

I realized that a building I tried (and failed) to photograph earlier in the day (the sun was behind it) now had favorable lighting conditions. I drove a few blocks across town and took some pictures. This is one of the better ones of "THE WILKES-BARRE CO".

What does that even mean? I have no idea. Does the "CO" stand for "company?" "Colliery?" What were the smokestacks for? How many people worked here at its peak?

UPDATE: I've been informed (and have confirmed) that these last two photos are of the Wilkes-Barre Steam Heat Building, which once provided steam heat to customers throughout Wilkes-Barre. Scranton had a steam heat system when I went to college there in the mid-to-late-80's. The steel-barrel chimneys in the middle of the street, and the great gouts of dirty-smelling water vapor pouring out would have made great photos. I think I took one or two, which I'm sure I have somewhere.

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