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This Week in Downtown Wilkes-Barre: May 27 - June 2, 2014

Weekly Newsletter
May 27-June 2, 2014

Memorial Day weekend has now come and gone, and summertime isn’t far away.
 
Last week, with that in mind, the Diamond City Partnership took another incremental step in the beautification of Downtown Wilkes-Barre, installing new 48 hanging baskets, filled with flowers, on the streetlights around the perimeter of Public Square. 
 
DCP worked with local garden center Dundee Gardens – which provided the planted flower baskets at wholesale cost – to develop a maintenance plan to ensure that the baskets thrive throughout the summer. DCP also purchased hanger brackets for the lampposts, and the City of Wilkes-Barre installed the brackets on the lampposts. DCP’s Clean Team will be responsible for watering and maintaining the baskets throughout the summer.
 
These hanging baskets are another aspect of DCP’s commitment to make Downtown Wilkes-Barre as clean, attractive, and comfortable as possible. We hope that you enjoy the extra beauty and color that the blooms will bring to the edge of Public Square this summer.
 
As Elizabeth Graham, the Chair of DCP’s Board of Directors, said recently: “By keeping the downtown area clean and well maintained and augmenting that effort with projects such as this beautification, we are sending a clear message that there is strong management in Downtown Wilkes-Barre and it is a prime investment opportunity for those that want to live, work, or go to school in a walk-to-everything urban environment.
 
It’s apparent, from the announcements of new downtown businesses and developments and from the comments we hear every day, that the message is being received. In a multitude of ways, both large and small, Downtown Wilkes-Barre is continuing to change for the better – and there’s still more to come.
 
Hoping to see you soon in Downtown Wilkes-Barre!
 
Larry Newman, Executive Director
Diamond City Partnership
larry@wbdcp.org

SIGNS OF GOOD THINGS TO COME

Passers-by at the corner of Market and Franklin have probably noticed the signs advertising the residential units now being constructed at "The Bank" - the landmark Daniel Burnham-designed office tower at 8-18 South Franklin Street, whose middle floors are currently undergoing conversion to residential use.

Downtown Events


Wednesday, May 28
Wilkes-Barre Green Drinks

TIME: 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
PLACE: Bart & Urby’s, 119 South Main Street
 
Join us for Wilkes-Barre Green Drinks: a night of socializing with eco-minded people, environmental professionals, volunteers, and students. First-timers all made welcome! Bring a friend and RSVP today. Drinks (or not) and good chats and connections are all part of the international Green Drinks network. Please RSVP if you're stopping by.
More information or to RSVP: www.greendrinks.org/pa/wilkes-barre or Facebook
 
Friday, May 30
Public Square Car & Bike Cruise

TIME: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
PLACE: Public Square
 
It’s time for the May edition of the monthly Public Square Car & Bike Cruise, sponsored by the NEPA Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, and held on the final Friday of each month on Public Square. Anything with wheels is welcome to participate: "If it has wheels, it's welcome!" Registration is free.
More information: www.facebook.com/wbcarcruise
 
Friday, May 30
The Kirby Center presents Ethan Bortnick

TIME: 7:30 PM
PLACE: F. M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square
 
Ethan Bortnick, the youngest performer ever to headline his own concert tour, will bring his captivating new family music special LIVE to audiences around the country this spring on his 30-city concert tour.
More information: http://www.kirbycenter.org or 570-826-1100.
 
Saturday, May 31
Around Town Bicycles Saturday Morning Ride

TIME: 7:45 AM
PLACE: Around Town Bicycles, Rear 59 North Main Street
 
Join other area bicyclists for the weekly Saturday Morning Ride. Rides will start at 8:00 AM. For now, the ride is about 20-25 miles in length at a 13-15 mph average. As the season progresses, the ride will get longer and incorporate more hills. There are stops for regrouping, and no riders are left behind. Bagels, coffee and juice are served after the ride. Road bike recommended.
More information: www.atownbikes.com or 570-970-3008.
 
Saturday, May 31
One More Row Knit & Crochet Group

TIME: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
PLACE: Osterhout Free Library, 71 South Franklin Street
 
Learn, share and knit or crochet! All ages and beginners welcome. Free and open to the public. Call 570-821-1959 to register.
More information: www.osterhout.info or 570-821-1959.
 
Sunday, June 1
Ellis Paul in Concert: Afternoon Family Show

TIME: 1:00 PM
PLACE: Wilkes University Henry Student Center ballroom, 84 West South Street
 
Known for his deeply felt and socially conscious songwriting, often about heroes, Ellis Paul was inspired by his own two growing daughters and four years of performing for families to write about people who contributed something to the world through their work and art. Ellis Paul’s family concert at 1 PM, benefiting KISS Theatre Company, features songs from kids' CD "The Hero in You." Tickets: $10 for adults, $8 for children.
More information: www.kisstheatre.org or www.wilkes.edu
 
Sunday, June 1
Ellis Paul in Concert: Evening Performance

TIME: 7:00 PM
PLACE: Wilkes University Henry Student Center ballroom, 84 West South Street
 
Since emerging from the Boston music scene, Ellis Paul’s music has been consistently recognized and celebrated worldwide. His 16 releases and loyal, enthusiastic audiences reinforce this acclaim and have since cemented his place as one of America’s most talented songwriters. Geared for adults, Ellis Paul’s evening show at 7 PM, benefiting KISS Theatre Company, features fan favorites and songs from the upcoming CD "Chasing Beauty." Tickets: $18 in advance, $20 at the door.
More information: www.kisstheatre.org or www.wilkes.edu

The Quilt exhibit at the Luzerne County Historical Society's Museum continues through August 30.

Downtown Exhibits

Luzerne County Historical Society Museum
(69 South Franklin Street):

HOURS: Tuesday-Friday, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM; Sat, 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

She Rolled Up Her Sleeves: Luzerne County's Women at Work
DATES: March 4, 2014 through August 30, 2014
 
This exhibit is a tribute to the working women of Luzerne County – the pioneer women, miners’ wives, maids, canallers’ wives, factory workers, religious sisters, teachers, nurses, secretaries, clerks, waitresses, telephone operators, church and synagogue volunteers, and women in the military.

Quilt Exhibit
DATES: March 4, 2014 through August 30, 2014

The Luzerne County Historical Society currently has twenty historic quilts on display. The quilts, from the Society’s collections, include many patterns, types and sizes from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. These handmade quilts have been collected by the Society over the years.
 
Native Americans of Wyoming Valley
Permanent exhibition

The permanent exhibit on the Native American inhabitants of the area includes local artifacts ranging from stone implements of the Archaic period to the archeological evidence of European influence.
More information: www.luzernehistory.org or 570-823-6244
 
Marquis Art & Frame Second Floor Gallery
(122 South Main Street):

 
Kindred Expressions
DATES: May 16, 2014 through July 5

Kindred Expressions is a group exhibition featuring works by painter Linda Keck, potter Frank Mariano, and photographer Sophia Heij Mariano. Marquis' second-floor gallery is accessible by stairs only.

More information: www.marquisartframe.com or 570-823-0518.

The Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University
(Stark Learning Center, 150 South River Street)

 
The next exhibit at the Sordoni Art Gallery – "Women's Work: Selections from the Permanent Collection" - will open on June 5, 2014.
More information: http://www.wilkes.edu/pages/1531.asp
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This week's historic building is:

First Presbyterian Church (1889)
97 South Franklin Street
 
This massive edifice for the Valley’s oldest congregation (founded 1779) is clad in Laurel Run redstone, a popular local building material. Look around downtown, and you will see the distinctive purple stone everywhere. Don’t let this church’s rugged Romanesque exterior fool you, however; with this commission, New York City architect
J. Cleveland Cady introduced large-scale steel frame construction to the valley. Cady also designed the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and multiple buildings at Yale University. Among the adornments to the soaring clerestoried sanctuary are eight breathtaking Tiffany windows and a bronze memorial tablet to Andrew Todd McClintock by the great American sculptor J. Massey Rhind. The arched transepts flanking the nave once contained balconies, removed during a 1935 renovation. The adjoining Church House was constructed in 1927 to the designs of Wilkes-Barre architects Thomas Atherton and Thomas Foster.

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