Wilkes-Barre South Main Street Redevelopment
Cooper Carry developed an urban, mixed-use design for a site at the intersection of South Main Street and East Northampton Street in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre is home to two colleges: Kings College and Wilkes University. The project incorporates the cinema Wilkes-Barre Movies 14 with a ground-floor entrance. Ultimately, Cooper Carry developed concept design plan schemes through construction documentation and construction administration for the site. The project includes a new theater shell, an underground parking garage, residential units on the upper floor of the existing masonry buildings, and new street-level commercial space. The design incorporates the development criteria provided by the client along with building size and location limitations as envisioned by the City of Wilkes-Barre.
It was an ambitious undertaking, considering the state of the project’s immediate context and the implications for the street and the city itself. All the buildings on Main Street were in disrepair, and Cooper Carry set out to revitalize Main Street and bring people downtown for dining and shopping. In renovating five historic Main Street facades, architects took hints from the surrounding architecture. The cinema’s main façade, for example, is styled after the Stegmaier brewery, a local historic industrial building. Residential units were single loaded on upper-floors so all units face onto the main street. Modern materials such as metal shingles, glass, aluminum, stainless steel and composite metal panels are melded with these historic references, resulting in a project that is both contextual and contemporary. Since its opening, residents have flocked to the cinema and surrounding retail.