Hope Horn Gallery Celebrates Historic Iron Furnaces of Scranton

August 20, 2012

The Lackawanna Iron Furnaces have changed from a 19th-century leader in iron production to a nationally registered historic landmark.

The Hope Horn Gallery will celebrate the 21st anniversary of the furnaces’ designation as a historic site with “The Lackawanna Iron Furnaces of Scranton, Pennsylvania: History, Art, Heritage” exhibit on display from Friday, Sept. 7, to Friday, Nov. 16.

For more than 60 years, the Lackawanna Iron Furnaces were among the largest iron producers in the nation, pouring 125,000 tons of pig iron by 1880. In 1902 the furnaces were abandoned, but they were reclaimed in 1969 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

“The furnaces are an important part of Scranton’s history that is often overlooked,” said Darlene Miller-Lanning, Ph.D., director of The Hope Horn Gallery. “People readily think of anthracite coal’s impact on the city, but it was really the iron that started it all.”

Dr. Miller-Lanning said the exhibit will feature paintings, drawings, maps and photographs exploring the history of furnaces, with each different piece of art displayed offering a unique glimpse at the rich history of Scranton.  

“There is a difference between paintings of the iron furnaces, which present idealized images of a beautiful and productive landscape, and photographs taken at the same locations, which document harsh details of the transitions occurring there,” Dr. Miller-Lanning said. “The maps, photos and artifacts, depict several different views of industry and nature.”

As part of downtown Scranton’s First Friday, Dr. Miller-Lanning will present a lecture on the exhibition Friday, Sept. 7, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Pearn Auditorium of Brennan Hall. A public reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Hope Horn Gallery will follow the lecture and is part of Scranton’s First Fridays. In addition, tours of The Estate, the historic home of the Scranton family, will be conducted on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 2 p.m.

The exhibit and tour are part of The Hope Horn Gallery’s “Landmarks and Milestones” program lineup for the 2012-2013 year, celebrating significant dates and architecture in the region.

The Hope Horn Gallery, located on the fourth floor of Hyland Hall, corner of Linden Street and Jefferson Avenue, is open Sunday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. For additional information, contact The Hope Horn Gallery at 941-4214.

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