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History on display in Tunkhannock

A piece of history is on display in Wyoming County. The second piece of a mural covering the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock was installed on Monday.

TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. — It started as nothing more than an empty wall. Then, it became a blank canvas for a painting. It's now in the process of transforming into the image of a 1920s postcard.

Bob Lizza is the mastermind behind the mural in downtown Tunkhannock that has been several years in the making.

"The building was such a big space that didn't have a lot going on, so they came to me years ago and said, 'What can we do to the building?'" said Lizza.

"We've been talking about this for seven years, so to actually see the mural come to life is incredible," said Erica Rogler, executive director of the Dietrich Theater.

Lizza spent months painting the mural in his Tunkhannock studio, and the first of three panels was installed last year. This will be the second.

The mural features an iconic site in Wyoming County: The Lackawanna Viaduct, also known as the Nicholson Bridge.

"It's kind of cool for me to work on something historical and kind of put the pieces together. You drive up there now, and the bridge is just as majestic and huge and fascinating, but this is back when it was pristine," Lizza said.

It's fitting that the mural is on display at the Dietrich Theater, a staple of Tunkhannock.

"We thought that our building was dying to tell a story, and located at the heart of Wyoming County, where Route 6 meets Route 29, we thought this was the idyllic place to tell Wyoming County's history," Rogler said.

"It's a gem in our town, so for me to have this big canvas that you really see from a lot of angles, it's kind of cool to have that opportunity to have my artwork displayed," Lizza added.

"People come across the bridge, and they can see it from whichever direction they come from, and I think to have the second phase done, it'll be that much more visible to the community," said Cain Chamberlin from the Endless Mountains Heritage Region.

The third panel will be on the opposite side of the theater, and the subject is still to be determined.

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