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“The Office” fans asked to pitch in for Penn Paper tower restoration

A brick tower with a sign reading "Penn Paper," with the Scranton skyline seen in the background.
Brandon Soto
The building that houses Penn Paper is 140 years old.

The building that houses NBC's favorite Scranton paper company is an icon beyond the Electric City, and the owner is asking fans of the show “The Office” to pitch in to help with repairs.

The mockumentary follows employees of a fictional paper company named Dunder Mifflin, inspired by Pennsylvania Paper and Supply Company, also known as Penn Paper.

Footage of the Penn Paper tower made it into the show’s title sequence.

Douglas Fink, general manager of Penn Paper and owner of the building, says strangers show up often, curious to see the real life Dunder Mifflin. Due to the building’s popularity, he has taken on the responsibility of restoring the 140-year-old structure.

“There's no possible way that I'm going to be the guy that's going to tear that down,” he said. “We get people from all over the world that come and take pictures in front of the tower and come into the showroom and see the shrine that we've built for 'The Office.'”

Memorabilia from "The Office" TV show inside an office.
Haley O'Brien
"The Office" art and news articles are on display at Pennsylvania Paper and Supply Company today.

An online fundraiser is inviting the public to chip in to offset the cost for replacing the bricks on the iconic tower on Vine Street. The goal is to raise $295,000.

"[Restorers] went up and actually replaced the bricks of the tower one at a time from a certain level on up," Fink said. "To hopefully buy another 50 or 100 years without having to worry about it."

Donors who pitch in can receive a brick from the original tower, a personalized ‘Dundie’ award, or another prize, based on the size of their contribution.

"Thanks for keeping up such an amazing landmark," wrote Austin Arvonio, who contributed to the roughly $3,000 raised so far.

In 2022, shortly after the company celebrated 100 years in business, Pennsylvania Paper and Supply Co. was purchased by Envoy Solutions, now known as Brady Plus. In the show, Dunder Mifflin was purchased by a larger company by the name of Sabre.

“I disavow any resemblance to the show, both in cringy HR violations or acquisitions,” Fink said.

The building was built in the 1880s by Thomas Dickson of Dickson works. It was used for manufacturing and warehousing until Jerry Fink bought the building in the 1970s.

A historical drawing of a factory building.
Pennsylvania Paper and Supply Co.
The building on Vine Street was part of Dickson works, a large manufacturing company founded in 1856.

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Haley O'Brien | WVIA News