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Swing Lobby - New Castle PA

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In early 1944 newly elected Mayor John F. Haven set up the Mayor’s Recreation Project, a committee tasked with establishing civic activities for the children of New Castle and surrounding areas. With the active support of the New Castle Police Department they established the “Swing Lobby,” a weekly Friday evening dance for teenagers in grades 10-12. Police Lt. Cecil F. Suber served as general chairman of the project and oversaw the dances for many years. The first official dance was held in March 1944 at the old YMCA in downtown New Castle. In February 1945 the dances were moved to the third floor of the City Building on East Washington Street. The events were held in downtown New Castle during the winter, and at Cascade Park during the summer months (beginning in 1946). When the old City Building was vacated in late December 1949 the Swing Lobby was left without a home. It was soon relocated to the gymnasium of the New Castle High School in late January 1950. In November 1951 it moved again to the new hall of the American Legion Post #343 on Falls Street. Beginning in November 1956 local 9th graders were allowed to attend as well. (1946) Full Size

During the summer the Swing Lobby relocated to the Rainbow Terrace dancing pavilion at Cascade Park. The first ever Swing Lobby dance held at Cascade Park took place on Friday, June 17, 1946. (Jun 1949)

The small admission fees to attend the Swing Lobby were utilized to help fund various civic projects, including a public ice skating rink that opened in Mahoningtown in January 1945. The dances suffered poor attendance in later years and were temporary closed in November 1960 while the committee sought smaller accommodations. During 1961 the dances apparently continued at several locations to include the New Castle High School gymnasium before finding a new home at the old Deshon Annex. The Deshon Hall building was damaged by vandals in February 1962 and the Swing Lobby was apparently closed for good. Various Swing Lobby reunions or revivals began in the 1970’s and continued for many years. (1948)

Police Lt. Cecil F. Suber oversaw the Swing Lobby from 1944-1960. He stepped down as project chairman when he was reassigned as a night shift patrolman in early 1960. (1959)

An advertisement announcing the first ever dance to be held at the new American Legion hall on Falls Street. (Nov 1951)


  1. I work in a nursing home, and one of my residents love swing lobby and always talk about it. I was just curious if there are swing lobby reunions still she would love to go!
    Get back to me if you can. Sincerely, Sarah


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