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Historic Hotel to Meet the Wrecking Ball?

By: Shannon Murphy
Updated: March 16, 2011
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Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County - Tony Brooks, Executive Director of the Luzerne County Historical Society, is sad to hear about the possible plans to demolish the old Sterling Hotel.

 

"If you think of Bethlehem, there�s a Hotel Bethlehem there, wonderfully restored.  It�s just sad that couldn�t be accomplished here in Wilkes-Barre.  Yet again we lose another one of our historic treasures," Brooks says.

 

According to officials with City Vest, a non-profit community development organization that currently owns the Sterling Hotel.  They're wrapping up a study to analyze the 113 year old structure.  The study is being done by engineers, architects and developers and will provide options for the future of the hotel.  One of those options brought forward to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission last week is to tear it down.

 

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton believes tearing the structure down would give the area a fresh start.

 

"I�m very confident that once this building is demolished and you see a vacant spot here on the Susquehanna River over looking the new river front park that this will be come very attractive to potential developers," Leighton says.

 

Local business owners on the block couldn't agree more.

 

Owner of Sartorio�s Baber, Peter Sartorio says, "It would be a big addition to us.  Everything down the block would really pick up because of it so I think it�s a great idea."

 

Officials with City Vest say their study on the structure should be complete in the next few weeks.  They will then present their report to city and county officials and they make a final decision on the future of the Sterling Hotel.

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