Scranton Library Receives State Grant for Architectural Updates

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SCRANTON -- Governor Corbett announced Thursday that close to $4 million will go to libraries across the state.

One library in Scranton will receive a significant part of that money.

The Albright Memorial Library was built back in the late 1800's and aside from the books, the library has stayed true to that time in history. So, it's never had some modern amenities such as elevators until now.

The building's new elevator, which went into service just this week, is an update library officials have had on their wish list for a long time.

"For the first time in our 120 year history, we will actually be able to get patrons who are handicapped up to the second floor," said Executive Director Jack Finnerty.

Finnerty said they've been looking at ways to bring the Albright Building on Vine Street into the 21st century while also maintaining its history.

That's where a $500,000 grant from the state is going to help.

"Buildings like these are irreplaceable, so if you can't replace them, you have to simply preserve them," Finnerty said.

The state grant will be used on the outside of the building, in part to replace old mortar that's expanding and causing pieces of stone to fall off the side of the library.

That's why a sidewalk along the building has been closed off for a year.

All of the upgrades to the library are expected to cost about $1.3 million dollars.

"I think what they saw really is that we were able to document the need," added Finnerty.

Finnerty expects work on the outside of the library to start this spring. And take at least a year to complete.