This week's header image is from co-administrator Michelle Hryvnak Davies and shows the Hotel Sterling in Wilkes-Barre mid-demolition this past weekend.
In a sense, the Hotel Sterling is responsible for the founding of NEPA Blogs. Back in October 2005 I went on a photo expedition in and around Wilkes-Barre. A major stop on that tour was Kirby Park, where I got some wonderful photos - including this one:
I wrote "In the distance, obscured by the Eagle on the right, is the once-proud Hotel Sterling - currently slated for demolition, I believe."
Shortly thereafter someone left this comment: "Super pics. One correction, the Hotel Sterling is not going to be demolished. There is a plan to renovate it as part of the riverfront project."
The person who left this comment called himself Gort. I think this was the first time I had a comment from him, and I followed the link on his name back to his profile, and then to his blog, Gort42. I quickly learned that he was one of the leading political bloggers in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and was networked together with many other political bloggers throughout NEPA and beyond.
Months later, when I had the idea for creating a local blog network, I realized that Gort had already gathered together links to many local political blogs. All I had to do was go to his site and steal them. Then I decided that this would be far too much work, and it would be easier to ask him to join as co-administrator - and add the political blogs himself.
It turned out, in the long run, that both of us were wrong. While the Sterling may not have been slated for demolition in October 2005, the plans to incorporate it into the riverfront project fell through. As of this writing, the Hotel Sterling is nothing but a pile of rubble waiting to be carted away. Some major artifacts from it were removed and preserved, and thanks to some intrepid photographers (see the end of this post) the now-vanished views from within the Sterling have been recorded for posterity.
NEPA Blogs has actually featured the Hotel Sterling numerous times in its header images. Here are some (but probably not all) of them.
You should also definitely download a copy of local guerrilla historian, urban archaeologist, and photographer Cheri Sundra's e-book, Welcome to the Zombie Hotel Sterling.
Abandoned and rotting away along the banks of the mighty Susquehanna River, the zombified Hotel Sterling tells its tale of fading grandeur and woe to an urban explorer who infiltrates the deteriorating structure, seeking to photographically document the reality of the condition of the building, as the hotel waits for its beloved community to decide its fate, once and for all.
It's free through August 3 - Cheri doesn't want anyone to think that she's looking to make a quick buck from the destruction of this historic building.
Submit you photos to be featured as the NEPA Blogs header! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.