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Weckesser Hall

170 South Franklin Street

Weckesser Hall is now home to the President's office, support staff, and the Vice President of Student Affairs. The second floor features offices for the balance of the President's Cabinet.

Some call it "The Castle."Those lucky enough to work in Weckesser Hall are surrounded by the opulence of one of the largest former mansions in our historic neighborhood.

The first floor of the limestone building features two boardrooms and a kitchen, in addition to a reception area and other offices.

The second and third floors -- former bedroom suites and an opulent Oriental-style ballroom -- are now home to administrative offices.

The attic and basement are used for storage and other purposes. One room of the basement was used as a billiard room in the original house.

originally had... a third-floor ballroom

still has... a working elevator & a surround shower

one chandelier... hangs from a 24-foot chain

rain gutters... inside the building

If you were at Wilkes after 1956, Weckesser might have been your "Castle" for a semester or two. The building was acquired by Wilkes in 1956, after the passing of Mrs. Anna Weckesser. It was used as a female dorm from 1964 to 1967.

The Weckesser home was built between 1914 and 1916 as a residence for Frederick J. Weckesser, who moved to the Wilkes-Barre area at the turn of the nineteenth century. He became associated with F.M. Kirby, who lived at 202 South River Street (our current Kirby Hall). When Kirby's business merged with the Woolworth Company, Weckesser became a district manager, and at the time of his death in 1953, was the director of the F.W. Woolworth Company.

This success in the business world provided Weckesser with the means to build his fabulous Beaux-Arts style home, which was popular in the United States prior to World War I. It is one of the few examples of this type of achitecture left in Wilkes-Barre. Also included in the property is a large garage, now known as the Weckesser Annex.

This grand home, built by Charles H.P. Gilbert of New York -- the architect of Frank W. Woolworth's home, is actually the second Wilkes building to carry the Weckesser name. The first was located at 78 West Northampton Street (currently the entrance to the Evans Hall parking lot) and was donated to Bucknell University Junior College by Mr. and Mrs. Weckesser on October 4, 1938.

That building became a residence for Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Farley, the director of BUJC and later, the first President of Wilkes. It was also used for music classes until 1943, when an Army Air Force pre-flight training program was established at BUJC. With the introduction of that program, Weckesser became the headquarters for and infirmary of the Sixth Training Detachment (Air Crew) USAAF, and the Farleys moved into the third floor of Kirby Hall.

When the pre-flight training program ended in 1944, the first Weckesser was converted into BUJC's first residence hall, which housed 16 female students. It remained as a female residence hall until 1959, and then again from 1962 to 1963. The first Weckesser Hall was renamed Susquehannock Hall in honor of the Susquehannock Indians in 1963, but was razed in March 1981 to make room for the construction of what is now Evans Hall.

 

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