About the tour
The Castle Inn
Built by Dimmick Drake in 1906, Castle Inn was the last of the great resorts to be built in Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania. Tourists flocked to the “Gap” to escape the summer heat and enjoy the beauty of the Delaware River.
Designed by German architect Karl Robert Brueckner, Castle Inn was constructed of poured concrete and timber beams, a European construction technique that was unusual in the United States at the time. The Castle boasted all the latest amenities such as an ice cream parlor, “1600 electric lights, mosaic floors and running spring water in every room….blowling alleys, pool, and billard parlor.”
The Music Hall, The Great Dining Hall, and the Fred Waring Years
In addition to the main Inn, a grand Music Hall was constructed that included 5,000 square feet of uninterrupted space. There were many concerts and it could accommodate over 500 couples on the dance floor at a time. John Philip Sousa performed here to a crowd of 875 in 1912. Comedienne Fanny Brice, singer Enrico Caruso, and dancer Fred Astaire reportedly performed at the Music Hall. Sadly, the Music Hall burned down in 1985.
The last building erected at the Castle was the great dining room, today know as “The Hall”. At the time, it was designed to seat up to 500.
From 1928-1930, The Castle Inn was used as a boxing training ground for numerous boxers out of Madison Square Garden, including four world champions and three Hall of Fame boxers – most notably James J. Braddock, who became known as the Cinderella Man.
In 1952 Fred Waring bought the Castle Inn for his vast music empire including: his big band Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians; Shawnee Press, one of the world’s largest educational music printing companies in the world; his Chorale Workshops, which saw over 1,000 students from all 50 states and Canada come to the Castle every summer to learn Waring’s specific style of singing; as well as the iconic Waring Blender.
In 2005, Castle Inn was purchased by Theresa and Frank Paccione, who, through their loving restoration of the buildings, have preserved and protected this wonderful part of American History.
Today, Castle Inn is home to a colonnade of unique shoppes including a toy store, a Victorian era ice cream parlour. There are also offices that include a full recording studion as well as a day spa. The latest addition includes “The Hall”, a beautifully restored, multi-functional event space that is available for private rentals.
The tour is a walking tour and takes approximately one hour to complete. If you have a member of your group with a disability, we can offer a modified tour without stairs and minimal walking. Please contact us for more information.