Built in 1909 as Hazleton’s First National Bank this 12,000 square foot building in the City’s commercial core sat vacant for more than a decade. In 2014 the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress purchased the building from Luzerne County and, together with the City and several community partners, launched a fundraising effort to redesign and rehabilitate the building as a new City Arts Center (soon to be named the Hayden Family Center for the Arts).
The building is envisioned to become the new focal point of arts and culture within the Greater Hazleton Area, which encompasses a population of approximately 90,000 residents, and the cornerstone of the newly rebranded Arts & Innovation District. When complete the building will will provide studios and classrooms for painting, drawing, clay, glass, digital arts, and childrens programs, as well as a large exhibition hall and meeting room, and a commercially licensed kitchen.
The center will be leased by the Hazleton Art League, who will operate and manage the facility and offer expanded arts and cultural programming to our increasingly diverse community to nurture creativity and cultural expression.
This $2.4 million renovation project was funded with private donations from local families, businesses, and charitable foundations on behalf of the Banking on the Arts Capital Campaign, undertaken by the Alliance. Half the funding was provided by state and federal grants. These include: a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Local Share and Keystone Communities grants, the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, and a USDA Rural Business Development grant. undertaken by the Alliance.
The half acre lot to the west of the park is being redeveloped as the CAN DO Community Park with Phase 2 construction starting Summer 2020.
Clockwise from left: Early 20th-century postcard depicting the bank located on Broad Street; former bank lobby under renovation in 2016; progress made in 2018; former lobby (now main gallery) now functions as a special event space for the community.