Jul 6, 2009

19th Street Loses Gem

Although much attention has been focused on the Theater District between Liberty and Tilghman Streets, 19th Street just lost an architectural gem. The mediterranean stucco masterpiece, on the corner of Greenleaf Street, dated back to the late 20's and sported a side yard, which ultimately sealed it's fate. Although there are several mediterraneans on 19th, this one had character galore. Among it's features were a tower above the front door, scalloped parapets, and an ornate chimney. A villa type wall connected the house to the garage. The house had been vacant and in ill repair for a number of years. The combination of much needed work and the side yard made the property more valuable as a small office parcel than a residence. Allentown has been lucky in retaining it's iconic buildings. Although a number of buildings were lost on downtown Hamilton Street, it has retained most of the mansions west of 12th Street.


Katie Bee said...

I drive by this place most every day. About a year ago, all the windows got boarded up and then just this past spring, a chain link fence appeared. It looks and smells like there was some significant fire damage here, am I wrong?

michael molovinsky said...

i believe you are wrong. the house suffered significant water damage from broken heat pipes and roof problems. the owner was instructed last year to properly secure the property.

ironpigpen said...


A great little neighborhood. 19th Street area north of Tilghman St.

Went to elementary school not too far away once upon a time.

The WHOLE city is changing bit by bit by bit.

It's very, very sad and heart-breaking.

Good news is many of the newcomers are coming from areas outside of Allentown which never were as nice as Allentown to begin with so if standards everywhere here drop a little bit, it does not matter because Allentown is STILL better than from the places they come from!

Anonymous said...

Mike -

You are correct that we are lucky that most of the mansions have been retained along Hamilton. However, this is an area where the city should be a bit more proactive.

I know you are not a big fan of historic districts, but I think this is one area where some sort of protection is appropriate.

LVCI said...

Speaking of mansions.. shame yet another one of them has been converted for yet another rental @ SW corner of 15th & Linden. Just what that area needs!

Anonymous said...


You mention the property is more attractive as office space. Does this mean an office building is being built here?

If so, it is not such a bad way to make lemonade out of our lemons.

michael molovinsky said...

lvci, the property on that corner has been a multi-unit and use for many years. to my knowledge, with the exception of factory conversions, there has been very little such approval in many years.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 8:14, i do not know the plans for that parcel. i speculated with the mixed use zoning on 19th st., that a single family residence would not be built there.

Anonymous said...

Ironpigpen - I know several New York immigrants who say they feel safer walking around NYC than Allentown.