News & Events

Taking Things For Granted

Published: June 2, 2015

Look Up, Self-Guided Tours of Downtown Scranton

First Friday Scranton June 5, July 3, August 7 6-9PM

-A Partnership between the LHVA ( and First Friday Scranton (


FFS4 - Aug 2012We live in times where we expect things to occur, things that nearly 50 years ago were thought impossible. For example, we expect our computers (a milestone in and of itself) to load up a webpage of millions of pieces of information within seconds and connect the thoughts of billions of people from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. We used to have to wait days or weeks for responses from those with whom we were communicating, now our expectations require an instant response; thank you digital technology. We come to measure our time spent on activities as a quantity; is this time well spent when we could multitasking on another activity. Open another window or tab, send another email while we wait, stretch that time to the breaking point. On the downside it also stretches our patience and fractionalizes the amount of time we expect to spend on moments. It’s all measured out in our minds and parses our moments into secondsFFS 10 - September 2012 of what can be perceived of as wasted time, waiting, when the moment our expectations aren’t met immediately.

We miss a lot in those wasted moments, taking things for granted. In our physical world we do it too. We take history for granted, especially as it’s embodied in the structures that surround us. Buildings come and go in the long march of history, but some stay. Those are the ones that compound those moments we thought wasted. They hold those unique memories each of us treasure. It’s why great, historic buildings should be remembered. They withstand our lack of patience and fortify our existence.

There are plenty of these types of buildings in Scranton and we take them for granted. It’s for this reason that in conjunction with the Lackawanna Heritage Valley, First Friday Scranton asks you to Look Up over the next couple of months. Look at how our downtown area has been shaped by persistent architectural moments that are still here. Lackawanna County Courthouse has undergone many renovations in its time since it was originally built in 1884, but it is still one of our city’s major landmarks. So too are the iconic Scranton Electric Building and the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple. The grounds of the Albright Memorial Library were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, a man with a penchant for capturing moments in time.

FFS10 - July 2012There are many, many more examples all of which can be found in History Set in Stone: A Guide to Downtown Scranton Architecture. Of course there are also many that have come and gone, so be sure to not take time or what is around you for granted. Revel in what is a great architectural setting found in downtown Scranton.

Self-guided “tour booklets” will be available at the First Friday Scranton Headquarters the evening of First Friday Scranton on June 5, July 3, and August 7 at the corner of Spruce and N. Washington Ave. For more information about self-guided tours and Look Up please visit or contact

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