Nanticoke’s Most Recognizable Buildings
Whenever former Nanticoke residents are asked to name the buildings they most recall, there are usually three very quick answers; the High School on Kosciuszko Street, the Leader Store with its distinctive ceiling track system and the State Theatre, all of which have been reduced to memories by the wrecking ball.
However, show them a photograph of any of the buildings below and you will get just as rapid a response, followed by the inquiry, “Is that still there?” This set was taken in 2009 and the answer is, “Yes, they are still there.”
So, here is just a bit of history about some of the most recognizable Nanticoke buildings that you can still see on a summer stroll through the city.
The Victoria Building at the intersection of Prospect and E. Green Streets was constructed in 1930 by Emil Malinowski, one of the most prominent citizens of Nanticoke in the early years of the 20th Century. The Victoria Building replaced a wood frame structure called The Susquehanna Hotel, which had stood on the spot for several decades.
The Verizon Building at 108 Prospect Street. The site was originally occupied by Brinton Jackson’s General Store. Jackson died in 1925 and the building was sold to the Bell Telephone Company. The store was dismantled by Nanticoke contractor Caradoc Rees and shipped to Church Street, where it was reassembled and became someone’s house. It most likely still exists today (although there is no known record of the address) and it is unlikely the family residing within knows it was once one of Nanticoke’s most successful stores.
The Nilved Apartment Building on E. Main Street. Excavation for the building began in 1915 after the owner of the Family Theatre purchased a vacant lot adjacent to the theatre. It was described as the “first regulation apartment house” in Nanticoke, at a cost of $20,000. And if anyone is wondering who or what was Nilved, it was the name of owner Frank E. Devlin spelled backwards. Apparently, Mr. Devlin had a sense of humour.
The VFW Building on E. Broad Street, almost unrecognisable in its present condition. The site was the house of Dr. William B. Stricker who died in 1919. His widow sold the property to Nanticoke hotelman Herman Granitski and he died in 1941, after which the property was purchased by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The remains of the original Stricker house can still be seen at the rear of the building in this photo taken in 2009. The last tenant, an antique dealer, vacated the building in 2011 and it is slated for demolition sometime in 2012.
Recently the Nanticoke Historical Society completed a project to photograph every business and home in the city, from North to South and from East to West. For the first time in its history, the city has been completely documented in pictures. The Society is forever on the lookout for photos of its vanished history, commercial buildings and private residences remodeled over the course of time. You never know what may be in the background of a family snapshot, like the old Synagogue on State Street that showed up in a nearly discarded family photo.
It isn’t unusual to hear someone at the society call out to everyone, “Hey! Look at this!” while going over old photos. We love to be knocked out of our shoes (photographically speaking, of course).