October 26th, 2004

Unpaid pledges keeping sign dark

10/26/2004 — By Lynne Slack Shedlock TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

The relighting of the Electric City sign has been moved from Halloween to the year-end holiday season as organizers attempt to collect on outstanding pledges.

The 1930s-era sign on top of Linden Street’s Scranton Electric Building is undergoing an approximately $200,000 renovation that will incorporate Las Vegas-style digital animation. It is being restored as a symbol of the city’s economic revitalization.

PPL’s Rich Beasley, who is assisting with the joint Scranton Tomorrow and Scranton Redevelopment Authority project, said about $75,000 in “solid” pledges have not been paid. He said many of the donors planned to pay at the end of the year, but the restoration cannot continue until there is cash on hand to cover the cost of the work.

Mr. Beasley said donors have been asked to expedite payments.

“We’re very, very close but we desperately need cash in hand,” he said.

Organizers are now targeting a lighting around “Black Friday,” the Friday after Thanksgiving that traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season. Mr. Beasley said the worst-case scenario would have the sign lighted at the end of 2004.

“We really want to see this project done by the end of the calendar year,” he said.

The 17-piece sign is being restored by MAC Signs, West Scranton. PACE Construction is ensuring that the sign’s support structure is brought up to code.

The eight-story Scranton Electric Building was constructed in 1896. The sign was added in 1937. It’s unclear exactly when the lights were permanently dimmed, but it’s been dark for about 25 years. Scranton was called the Electric City because it was the first city in the country to have electric trolley cars.

I took a number of pictures when the sign came down in July; I hope to have them up this weekend….

1 comment(s)

  1. comment by xradiographer on Friday, Oct 14th, 2005 2:12 pm

    It’s nearly a year later, and I still haven’t cleaned up the pictures.


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