In 1908, the neoclassical Beaux Arts design Lackawanna Train Station opened serving the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroads. One hundred and ten years later, I pulled into the parking lot for a fabulous hotel experience at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
This gorgeous building is an example when city development gets it right. The train station closed in 1970 to reopen in 1983 as a Hilton hotel becoming a Radisson property a few years later. Regardless of which company owns this hotel, the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel is marvelous for the architecture alone.
Faced with Indiana limestone granite and topped with an 8 foot bronze clock flanked by winged birds of the facade, the hotel is a centerpiece to downtown. Inside, it’s obvious why the building won a design award from the American Institute of Architects.
Step into the Grand Lobby for a visual feast. Sienna marble walls, a mosaic tile floor, and a Tiffany stained-glass barrel-vaulted ceiling two and a half stories above the floor are stunning. These are among several features of the original train station. The 36 Grueby Faience tile murals that edge the lobby of train line scenes have also been restored.
Every inch of this hotel reflects its history. Display cases showcase items like a track switch key for the Illinois Central Railroad. Historic photographs are featured along hallway walls and behind the reception desk.
Each of the hotel’s eateries also incorporates original details of this National Register of Historic Places treasure. The main restaurant, Carmen’s 2.o Restaurant of the World Tour is partly in the Grand Lobby so guests can bask in the splendor. Dining options here are sit-down formal with pasta, steak and seafood signature dishes. Breakfast is also served, although I hit the road without breakfast.
The Station Cafe with windows that open to the Grand Lobby is designed to look a bit like a Venetian-style dining car. The menu here is grab and go casual with a sit-down counter to enjoy pastries, sandwiches and beverages. Trax Bar + Kitchen is casual family dining by day and a lounge that serves up craft cocktails, wine and craft beer at night. It hadn’t opened by the time I headed out, and was closed when I arrived, but this is another gorgeous spot to spend time. The original green tile work is stunning.
With an eye for detail, the architects pulled guest rooms into the train station theme. I noticed each doorway was reminiscent of the entrance to a train car, for example.
Inside the rooms, the Beaux Arts design is incorporated with a contemporary feel through light fixtures and furniture. I loved the small reading lights on each side of the bed. Great idea for people who have different reading habits. Also, the artwork features a train motif with train inspired photographs with an upscale, elegant eye.
My king bed gave me a splendid night sleep. This was a room where I wanted to linger. A refrigerator, coffee maker, flat screen TV, the marble and granite details of the bathroom blend in the modern with practical perfection.
Of all the years I’ve passed by Scranton, I never stopped for a night. This time I did. What a treat.
Hotel features of note: There are 122 guest rooms and suites. Standard room options are 1 king or 2 queen beds. Wi-Fi and parking are free. Pets are allowed – 1 dog per room for a $75 fee. There is a fitness center. Room rates start at $122. Book your stay directly at the hotel website or you can go through Expedia, Travelocity or other OTAs.
Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein