A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Hotel Sterling and the possible demolition it faced. To much of my dismay, it seems the Hotel will in fact be demolished due to its continued dilapidation.
It may be odd to you that I feel so strongly about the Hotel considering it has been vacant and moldy in the years I have known it. But, on my diurnal walks throughout the Wilkes-Barre City strip, I found myself glancing up to that great skyline with the beauty of that building directly in my view. Without the Hotel, I feel that when I return to the city it will not hold the remnants that once was.
I remember a specific room in the original (and last remaining) part of the building, one which I never had the chance to photograph. It was circular and an interesting shade of red, which in its glory days, may have been more blood-red than pink. To be honest, the times in which I ventured into the Hotel have been at night when even I was sure the wrong sound or ghastly touch would have been enough to make me wet myself. I was human after all. Yet, I love the thrill of being scared because it makes me feel as though not everything in life is of schedules, but risk and sometimes even consequence.
However, to my luck as well as any of those reading this blog, most images can still be seen in large respect and appreciation for Tom, an amazing photographer and preserver of history.
Since its construction, Hotel Sterling has managed to outwit (because yes, this building is more like a person than a structure) forces of nature including (but not limited to) Hurricane Agnes in June of 1972. As seen below, this photograph was taken following the aftermath of Agnes. Even after the uncontrolled catastrophe of wind and torrential water, the Hotel stood.
Today, however, the Hotel is up against a force of nature that is the worst of all. I am talking about companies who say a lot but do nothing. Companies such as CityVest who propose “saving” the Hotel only to find their funds have dwindled and shockingly, even considering all the time they have labored (both physically and mentally) to bring forth a stabilized version, there is no way it will be resurrected to its former glory. Quite a strange predicament being that the company had years to realize the Hotel’s rebirth would never come to fruition. Another act of totality strikes again, as I am sure the unanswered questions that so many locals had will continue to be evaded with hope that one day the dissent will die down. Fat chance, as this company managed to drastically alter the skyline that has existed since 1897. But, that may be in large part due to ulterior motives to have the Hotel destroyed to build a new structure(s) that will serve as a parking deck or another building named as the replacement that will never be.
As an alumna of one of the schools, I can tell you that parking is unnecessary. If you need a car that badly, live off campus and park in the comfort of your own driveway or street-way. In the alternative, ride your bike to work/school. After all, Duckie Dale was such a hunk and exercise never hurt anyone except Tony Little, who may have gone a wee bit overboard.
Humor aside, my feelings about the destruction of the Hotel have not changed. I hope that the protests will continue and that someone in the last fit of hope will come through and find a way to save Hotel Sterling. Though I am optimistic, I also know not much more can be done. As another holiday fast approaches, now only two weeks away, I know that instead of dying eggs and in the interim, dying my hands strange colors, I will instead spend what will most likely be my last visit to Hotel Sterling.