About Louis Stanley Brown Hall

February 18, 2016

Louis Stanley Brown Hall

Built in 1896, Louis Stanley Brown Hall is an example of a transitional phase of commercial architecture that took place in Scranton at the end of the 19th century. Brown Hall exemplifies both the Classical Revival and Commercial Style of architecture with reduced exterior ornamentation and large expanses of glass, which was a style less prevalent in buildings constructed in downtown Scranton until the 1920s.

Brown Hall extends beyond typical elements of late 19th century Commercial Style, such as a “mid-rise” structure (three to four stories) with storefront construction at the street level, to incorporate more “modern” 20th century elements. The four-story brick structure expresses similar details in the Adams Avenue and Linden Street exterior façade, consisting of large expanses of glass at the street level, with repetitive clusters of double-hung widows on the upper floors. The Adams Avenue side incorporates large Chicago-style windows between the double-hung windows.

The interior construction is considered to be more typical for the turn of the century, consisting of offices with plaster walls and ceilings and common wood trim. The fourth-floor interior space is considered more distinct because of its use of a pressed metal ceiling and a decorative wood entrance screen on the westerly end of the building.

The building has been in continuous use since first opening in 1896 as the P.P. Carter Building. It has since housed numerous businesses, including a printing company, axe and mining tool sales, a sweet shop, a bank and trust company, a dance studio, a law firm, an advertising agency, an accounting firm, a bus terminal and news stand.

The University of Scranton acquired the building in 2012. It currently houses the Enrollment Management and External Affairs and University Advancement divisions on the second, third and fourth floors. The University’s Small Business Development Center and Lavish Body and Home, a privately owned hair salon and store, occupy the first floor.

The University dedicated Louis Stanley Brown Hall on Feb. 18, 2016, to honor its first African American graduate. Brown earned a commercial degree in 1919 from The University of Scranton, then St. Thomas College.

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